Dawson helps JU break two-game slide
Keith Dawson had 144 yards rushing against Campbell last season and added another 217 Saturday.
Keith Dawson had 144 yards rushing against Campbell last season and added another 217 Saturday.
Senior running back Keith Dawson rushed for 217 yards and scored two touchdowns as Jacksonville University put an emphatic end to its two-game losing streak with a 40-14 Pioneer Football League win over Campbell Saturday.

Dawson, who rushed for 144 yards against Campbell last season, got the Dolphins (7-3, 5-2) off to a 24-7 first-quarter lead with a 21 yard run with 12:41 to play. Freshman Orlando Thomas, who had a 5-yard run, and Johnnie Hicks, who scored from 8-yards out, added to the first quarter onslaught as did place kicker Dylan Lynch who had a 28-yard field goal.

Dawson, who had 25 carries, scored on a 3-yard run in the second quarter and the Dolphins substituted freely from then on after building a 31-7 halftime lead.

Quarterback Steven Hughes, seeing his first action of the season, ran in from the 9 and Lynch connected on a 33-yard field goal to end JU scoring.

JU totaled 333 rushing yards for the game and added another 170 through the air.

Dawson, from Plant City, Fla., came within 8 yards of tying the school single-game rushing record of 225 yards sent by Jon Underhill in the program’s inaugural 1998 season. Dawson’s total is ties him for third on the single game list with Rudell Small. Jerry Brant, who had 224 yards against Dayton in 2006, is second on the list.

In just his second game back from an elbow injury, Dawson also led the team with 43 receiving yards for 260 total yards. The school record for that mark is 477 yards by quarterback Chris Horton in 2007.

“We dominated the line of scrimmage,’’ JU coach Kerwin Bell said. “We finally got off to a good early start and that carried us through the entire game.’’

Hughes ended the game going 5-for-10 passing for 94 yards and starter Trevius Folston was 7 of 15 for 76 yards. It marked the first time since 2008 the team has gone back-to-back games without a passing touchdown. JU has one touchdown last week against Butler on a run by Hicks.

Campbell, which learned this week that coach Dale Steele won’t be retained at season’s end, fell to 1-9 overall and 0-7 in the PFL.

The JU defense once again put in a dominant performance by limiting the Camels to 75 yards rushing and 103 in the air. In addition, Campbell converted on only one of 12 third-down attempts.

Defensive end Luidji Michel had five solo tackles and a pair of sacks to lead the way for JU.

The Dolphins wrap up their season Saturday at home against Drake.