Newcomers shine, defense rolls in scrimmage
Kicker Dylan Lynch connected on two field goals of more than 40 yards Saturday.
Kicker Dylan Lynch connected on two field goals of more than 40 yards Saturday.
A pair of newcomers made their presence felt in big ways as the JU football team conducted its first scrimmage of the season at D.B. Milne Field.

Freshman running back Frantz Caudio and placekicker Dylan Lynch were offensive sparks in a day dominated by defense. Caudio from Fleming Island, Fla., had 124 yards rushing on 18 carries to lead the way for the offense while Lynch, a newcomer from Jacksonville, Fla., kicked field goals of 44, 42 and 25 yards and just missed a 51-yard effort.

“I didn’t expect it but kept working,’’ Caudio said. “I knew that good things would happen if I worked hard.’’

Coach Kerwin Bell said Caudio’s scrimmage was a continuation of his picking up the offense in a hurry.

“He’s a very smart kid and has picked up our system fast,’’ Bell said. “A lot of guys are out there swimming but he is very consistent.’’

Sophomore Jarrius Lindsey had 15 carries for 73 yards; Johnnie Hicks had 56 yards on 15 carries and senior Keith Dawson rushed for 32 yards on nine tries.

The team’s four-way battle at quarterback continued playing out as redshirt freshman Kade Bell completed 10 of 17 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns, including a 61-yard strike to tight end Andy Robustelli who finished the day with five catches for 131 yards. Bell also had one interception.

Sophomore quarterback Trevius Folston threw 19 passes completing 10 for 77 yards and a touchdown while Steven Hughes was 10-for-21 for 72 yards and Ryan Walker was 4-for-15 for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Wide receiver Kwadwo Mensah had three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown and Colt Linster had a catch for 28 yards and a touchdown.

Defense, however, won the day.

Relentless pressure resulted in several sacks with Nnamdi Ofidile recording three, TJ Jenkins 2.5 and Aaron Riley and Jamaal Coleman two each.

Defensive end Chance Smith, linebacker Lucktes Estiverne and defensive back Colby Walden each had interceptions.

“Our defense is really good,’’ Bell said. “We couldn’t sustain drives and convert third downs because the pass rush was really good which I hope will be great for our defense. I think we’re going to be one of the best pass rush teams in our conference.’’

Lynch gave himself mixed reviews on his debut.

“I started strong with the 44-yarder,’’ he said. “I didn’t hit the 50-yarder very well, but, to me, distance is almost irrelevant. The number is what people look at but until about 55 yards it’s the same stroke for me. At about 55 I have to think about kicking harder.

Bell said having Lynch’s leg is going to be a weapon, but wouldn’t concede the place kicking job as won.

“There’s still two other guys in this contest in Brandon Behr and Bladen Gudz,’’ Bell said. “But Dylan has a lot of potential.’’

The Dolphins have a second scrimmage scheduled Saturday at the Bolles School at 6 p.m.

- Jim Nasella