Dolphins fall at Gardner-Webb, 27-6

Sept. 8, 2007

Box Score

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Gardner-Webb scored two touchdowns early to set the tone as the Jacksonville University football team fell on the road here at Spangler Stadium, 27-6.

The Bulldogs (1-1), who scored on their first two possessions, got an impressive performance by quarterback Devin Campbell, who threw for 200 yards and a touchdown as well as running back David Montgomery, who had 11 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

JU's (0-2) defense gave the Dolphins a lot of chances, forcing two turnovers and held the Bulldogs to just seven points in the second half. For the game, JU had 13 tackles for loss, with six of those sacks - led by Joey Rumph's two. Rumph led the defense with seven tackles.

"We've got a long way to go, but these guys have the talent to be a good football team," said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. "Our defense played well enough for us to win tonight, but we just couldn't get anything going on offense."

The JU offense was unable to get in sync and couldn't finish drives, kicking two field goals for the Dolphins only scoring. Freshman Michael Zacco was perfect on the evening, nailing attempts of 33 and 46 yards, the later being the second longest field goal in school history.

"Offensively, we've just got to get some confidence," Bell said. "We need to have a really big day and I think we'll really go from there."

The offense finished the game with 213 yards of total offense, being held to just 12 yards rushing. JU employed two quarterbacks in the contest, with freshman Erik Stepleton leading the team with 105 passing yards, completing 10-of-20 with one interception in his first collegiate outing.

Senior Chris Horton was 12-of-26 passing for 83 yards and one interception.

The two quarterbacks were harassed all night as the Bulldogs finished the game with seven sacks to go with seven quarterback hurries.

"Chris was a little banged up and Erik was healthy, so we wanted to give him a chance and see if he could give us a lift on offense," Bell said.

After stopping the Dolphins on the opening drive, the Bulldogs marched 79 yards in 14 plays, with Campbell hooking up with Duvaughn Flagler on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 8:17 left in the first quarter.

The Dolphins answered with a 13-play drive that covered 48 yards and finished with Zacco's field of 33 yards.

The Bulldogs answered immediately with a long kickoff return and a 29-yard touchdown by David Montgomery to take a 14-3 lead with 3:00 left in the first quarter.

Zacco was called upon again to kick a field goal, nailing the 46-yarder with 6:55 left in the second quarter to cut the deficit to eight, 14-6.

The Bulldogs closed the half with field goals on their final two drives as Evan Kay hit from 38 and 30 yards out to give Gardner-Webb a 20-6 lead at the intermission.

The second half didn't open the way the Dolphins wanted as Montgomery took the opening play from scrimmage and rushed 74 yards for his second touchdown, putting the Bulldogs comfortably ahead 27-6.

"Nobody said it was going to be easy and we've got a lot of work to do in the next two weeks," Bell said. "It's going to be good for us to get home and feed off of that home energy as when we open up the home schedule in two weeks."

The Dolphins will get a week off before their home opener against UNC-Pembroke on Sept. 22.