Dolphins dominate Davidson for 42-15 win in PFL opener
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A record setting performance by the JU offense and defense led the Dolphins to a dominating 42-15 win over Davidson in the Pioneer Football League opener.

JU (3-1, 1-0 PFL) got a career-high 405 yards passing from Josh McGregor, who tied his career high with six touchdown passes. Bradley Burns led the Dolphins defense with nine tackles, including a school-record 3.5 sacks.

McGregor’s total is the third-best performance in program history, aided by Josh Philpart and Elliott Finkley. Philpart had nine receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns while Finkley had three catches for 121 yards and one touchdown.

Topping off the game was 136 yards on 17 carries from J.J. Laster, who started in place of Rudell Small at running back.

“We got a great effort from everybody today,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “Our defense really set the tone early and they allowed our offense time to get going. Once we got going, we were able to do a lot of good things.”

The Dolphins racked up 521 yards of total offense, the second straight week that JU has gone for more than 500. Eight different Dolphins caught a pass in the game, with five different Dolphins catching a touchdown pass.

The defense, which had just one sack through the first three games, picked up six on the day en route to 10 tackles for a loss. Jacksonville allowed only 294 yards on offense, with 75 of those coming on the final drive with the game in hand.

JU, which has seen its fair share of struggles in the first quarter, put up its first touchdown in the first quarter when Philpart caught a 13-yard pass from McGregor with 1:12 left in the opening quarter.

Jacksonville took a 21-0 lead when Philpart scored on a 5-yard reception from McGregor, followed by Finkley scoring on the second-longest pass in JU history – an 84-yarder.

The Dolphins ended any hopes of a Davidson rally, scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter. Larry Thompson got the first score on a 13-yard reception from McGregor midway through the quarter and Rodney Sumter made it 35-3 with a 26-yard reception from McGregor with nine seconds left.

Andrew Davis caught McGregor’s record-tying sixth touchdown pass with 6:24 left in the fourth on a 2-yard reception.

After having troubles getting teams off the field on third down, JU held the Wildcats (1-3, 1-1 PFL) to just 1-of-12 on third down conversions. The defense also won the turnover battle, forcing two fumbles.

Jacksonville returns home for the first game on the new AstroTurf surface at D.B. Milne Field against perennial PFL-power San Diego. Kickoff is set for Noon.