Dolphins Fall Short in Comeback Bid Against Drake

Oct. 4, 2003

Box Score

DES MOINES, Iowa - Senior running back Emmett Hunter (Largo, Fla.) ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns as the Dolphins rolled up 507 yards of total offense, but it wasn't enough to overcome 11 penalties and a relentless Drake offense as the Bulldogs defeated Jacksonville, 40-34, Saturday afternoon in front of 6,218 fans on Homecoming at Drake Stadium. The loss ended JU's (3-2) three-game win streak and kept the Dolphins winless on the road this season, while Drake (3-3) improved to 4-0 all-time against Jacksonville with its first win in three games.

Drake's Connor Jostes completed 12-of-34 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns, including 10 passes for 120 yards and three scores to junior wideout Jason Jones. Bulldog running back Jonathan Taylor added 109 yards on 22 carries, including a 41-yard touchdown run with 6:57 to play. JU responded with an 8-play, 65-yard drive and just two minutes later Richard Gayle caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) to cut the deficit to 33-27 with 4:08 to play.

After a 46-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, Jostes again hit Taylor for a 25-yard TD strike, which proved to be the gamewinner. The Dolphins did answer again with another TD catch by Gayle, a 14-yarder with 12 seconds to play, but it was too late as the on-sides kick sailed out of bounds.

Sturgill finished with 245 yards passing and two touchdowns, including a career-best five receptions for 62 yards and two scores by Gayle. Sturgill also scrambled for a career-best 56 yards on nine carries. Junior defensive end/kicker Jason Bense connected on a school-record 52-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to cut the Drake lead to 20-10 at the break. It was the first career field goal attempt for Bense, who handles the JU kickoffs.

JU trailed 13-0 early and then 20-7 prior to Bense's record-setting field goal. The Dolphins scored first in the second half to cut the lead in half, 26-13, and then trailed 26-20 following Hunter's second touchdown run of the game with 42 seconds to play in the third quarter. The Dolphins scored on four of their five second-half possessions.

The Dolphins open PFL South Division play next Saturday, Oct. 11, when JU hosts arch-rival Davidson at 12:30 p.m. at D.B. Milne Field.