DES MOINES, Iowa -- In what has seemed to become a house of horrors for the Jacksonville University Football team, the Dolphins were unable to solve the Drake Stadium curse on Saturday. Drake (2-3; 1-1 PFL) prevailed 27-17 over JU (2-4; 1-2 PFL), dropping the Dolphins to 0-7 all-time inside Drake Stadium.
Making his third consecutive start, quarterback Steven Hughes passed for 269 yards and a touchdown while helping to rally the Dolphins from a 13-0 first quarter deficit. Andrew Robustelli capped off the come back midway through the third quarter for JU hauling in a go ahead touchdown. Robustelli, who finished with a career high six receptions for 161 yards, hauled in a pass that was tipped by a defensive back then raced the rest of the way home for a 77 yard touchdown reception that gave the Dolphins a 17-13 advantage.
The lead would be short lived. On the ensuing possession, Drake drove 79 yards in nine plays capped off by Andy Rice’s second touchdown run of the day to retake the lead at 20-17 in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.
When the Dolphins got the ball back they turned to freshman running back Ulysses Bryant. Bryant, who scored the first touchdown of the day for JU, rushed for 40 of his game high 83 yards the drive, but a third down stop by the Bulldogs forced JU into a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Dylan Lynch hit a 29 yard field goal earlier in the game, and his 41 yard kick had the distance but the swirling 20 mph winds pushed to just to the right of the goal post and left JU still trailing by three with 9:35 left.
The Dolphins were then unable to get the stop they needed as Drake marched down the field and took a 27-17 lead on a 32 yard pass from Rice to Lee Snell.
JU tried to rally once more as a 28 yard kickoff return by Yeovanti Williams set up the Dolphins at their own 44 with just under six minutes to play. The drive stalled there however ending the Dolphins comeback as Drake’s Brandon Coleman sacked Hughes for an 11 yard loss on third down and a fourth down attempt for a diving Andy Jones fell just off his finger tips.
The Dolphins return to action on Oct. 19 at Campbell.
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