Freshmen shine in first scrimmage
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If one of the key points of a first scrimmage is to take a long look at the new players, Jacksonville University made that point Saturday at Fleming Island High School.

The Dolphins got their first glimpse at their incoming freshmen and what they learned was there’s some talent on its way up.

One of the newcomers, quarterback Trevius Folston of Cocoa Beach, Fla., who redshirted last season, unofficially completed 7 of 12 passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns and freshman running back Keith Dawson of Plant City, Fla., ran for an unofficial 136 yards and two touchdowns in the offense vs. defense two-hour simulation in the sizzling heat.

“It was hot out here and our guys fought through it,’’ coach Kerwin Bell said. “The defense set the tone early and the offense picked it up after that and got going. The young quarterbacks got some good work in so I feel pretty pleased with our first scrimmage.’’

Folston’s longest play was a 25-yard strike to senior wide receiver Josh Philpart, who ended the day unofficially with three catches for 70 yards. First team quarterback Josh McGregor was 3-for-12 in limited action and another freshman, Kade Bell, was 5 of 8 for 85 yards and a score.

“I think I did pretty well,’’ Folston said. “There are some things I can work on to get better but, overall, I’m pretty proud of myself.’’

Dawson had a long run of 45 yards and scored on carries of 7 and 4 yards.

“It feels good to finally be out there and do the things I can do,’’ Dawson said. “I want to give a heads up to the linemen.’’ Dawson said he was a bit surprised at his success.

“A little bit, but it’s expected of me,’’ he said. “Coach wanted me to do exactly what I did out here and that’s what I’ve got to bring every day.’’

Senior running back J.J. Laster, of Graceville, Fla., had 65 yards on five carries as he, too, saw limited action.

“It didn’t feel like 65 yards,’’ Laster said. “It went by fast. The plan was to get two, three or four series and I got two series. I did what I had to do; work with the linemen and the quarterbacks, we got everything rolling.''

The only damper on the day was that the Dolphins committed seven fumbles, losing four and safety Mike Dorminey had an interception.

“It seems like every first scrimmage we turn the ball over, either interceptions or fumbles,’’ Bell said. “Then we talk to the guys and they make a concerted effort not to do that. That’s why we were so good last year. We only turned it over 15 times last years. We have five keys to victory and one of them is turnover margin and last year we were plus 14, second in the nation. We’ve got to protect the ball. Like I told them out there, if you can’t protect the ball, you won’t be playing.’’

Asked to grade the scrimmage Bell gave it a C+.

“That’s probably the best grade I’ve given a first scrimmage in a long time,’’ he said. “We had a lot of freshman and a lot of them missed assignments and they’ll see it for the first time, it’s the first time live for them. I thought our first unie really got going and defensively, we stared out great and ended great.’’

Next week’s scrimmage, originally scheduled for Bishop Kenny High School, will be at The Bolles School Aug. 20 at 6 p.m.