Philpart soars as JU beats San Diego, 35-28
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The JU football team piled up more than 500 yards of total offense, enabling the Dolphins to overcome a myriad of mistakes to beat San Diego, 35-28, at D.B. Milne Field.

The Dolphins (4-1, 2-0 PFL) won their school-record sixth straight game at home thanks in part to a huge day by Josh Philpart. The junior wide receiver become the school’s all-time leader in receptions with six catches to give him 115 for his career, enabling him to record 180 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Jacksonville’s offense seemed unstoppable on the new AstroTurf surface at Milne Field, holding the ball for more than 35 minutes and recording 24 first downs, with 195 yards out of the rushing attack.

JU built a 35-7 lead early in the third quarter, only to lose its intensity in the final 22 minutes, allowing the Toreros (1-4, 1-1 PFL) to claw back into the game.

“At halftime, we said we wanted to come out on our first drive and score,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “We did that to open up a big lead, but we lost our focus and intensity there. Every win in this league is tough and you have to give them credit – they didn’t give up.

San Diego was able to put 28 points despite getting just 273 yards of total offense – the second-lowest total allowed by JU this season. When given good field position, the Toreros took advantage, recording touchdown drives from 15 and 22 yards respectively.

“We made a lot of mistakes in this game,” Bell said. “We put our defense in some bad places with field position and we were not very good on special teams, which is an area we put a lot of emphasis.”

Sporting a 28-7 lead at halftime, the Dolphins came roaring out of the locker room on their first drive – going 62 yards in five plays, with J.J. Laster finishing the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run. Laster finished with eight carries for 55 yards.

Trailing by 28, San Diego answered with Phil Morelli’s 7-yard run to start the rally and followed with Mason Mills 21-yard touchdown scamper cutting the deficit to 14 entering the fourth quarter.

USD cut it to seven on its final drive with Mills hooking up with John McGough on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 1:25 left in the game for the final score. Mills finished the day 12-of-22 passing with one interception for 149 yards.

JU opened the game by taking a 14-0 lead, starting with Josh McGregor hooking up with Larry Thompson for a 22-yard touchdown pass to cap a 3-play, 90-yard drive in the first quarter. Rudell Small capped the next drive with a six-yard reception from McGregor with 12:29 led in the first half. Small had three receptions on the day and had 21 carries for 91 yards rushing.

After a Morelli 5-yard touchdown run, the Dolphins closed the first half with back-to-back scores. Philpart hooked up with McGregor on an 80-yard touchdown pass, tying the fourth longest pass in school history. Dorian Guy made his first touchdown reception as a Dolphin, scoring from 18 yards out to spot JU a 28-7 lead at the intermission.

McGregor posted his third straight 300-yard effort, completing 20-of-30 for 327 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. He now has 17 touchdown passes this year, which is already the fourth highest single-season total ever at JU.

The Dolphins wrap up their two-game homestand this Saturday as they host Drake. Kickoff is set for Noon at D.B. Milne Field.