Dolphins Solid In First Football Scrimmage On Saturday

Aug. 23, 2003

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Dolphins football team held its first scrimmage on Saturday morning at the Ashley Sports Complex on the JU campus. The Dolphins had an 80-play scripted scrimmage with referees in front of about 200 fans.

With starting quarterback Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) still out with a broken left hand, sophomore back-up Kevin Haggerty (Parkland, Fla.) took all but two snaps with the first-team offense. Haggerty, who played in three games last season as a true freshman, completed 10-of-12 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. On the first drive of the second half against the first-string defense, Haggerty marched the Dolphins 70 yards on six plays capped by a 10-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Eldin Ferguson (Riviera Beach, Fla.). He also hit sophomore wideout Julio Santiago (Jacksonville/Bolles) for a 41-yard strike on the drive, while senior running back Emmett Hunter (Largo, Fla.) had his longest run of the scrimmage - 22 yards - to start the drive.

Hunter carried the ball nine times for 37 yards and a touchdown, while catching a screen from Haggerty for 14 yards. On his touchdown run, Hunter carried four players the two-plus yards into the end zone. The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Hunter also barreled over four players on the 14-yard reception.

Four different Dolphins had catches for 20 or more yards, including senior tight end Jimmy Willman (Ocala, Fla.) who caught two passes for 45 yards. On his 22-yard reception, Willman ran over three defenders to pick up an extra six yards. Senior tight end Justin Knowles (Perry, Fla.), who played on defense last season, had a 10-yard TD reception from Haggerty on a nice play-action fake to Hunter for the Dolphins' first score.

With sophomore running back Chad Davis (Tallahassee, Fla.) out with a sore hamstring, freshman Jason Laurence (St. Petersburg, Fla.) made the most of his opportunity carrying the ball 11 times for 79 yards and a touchdown. Laurence broke several tackles on runs of 14, 10, 11, 30, and 17 yards.

The first-team defense was effective on all but one drive, when the first-team offense went 70 yards on six plays for a touchdown to open the second half. Gilbert was pleased with the play of senior free safety Charlton Williams (Lynn Haven, Fla.) and senior strong safety Emile Duvernois (Boynton, Fla.). The defensive line was dominating at times, including sacks by senior defensive tackle Paul Pierson (Jacksonville/Ed White) and junior defensive end Jason Bense (Panama City, Fla.). Sophomore defensive end Peyton Keeling (Jacksonville, Fla.) also had two sacks and was disruptive in the backfield. Sophomore linebacker Brandon Torre (Tallahassee, Fla.) had a sack and a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, while junior linebacker Tim Hasse (Bradenton, Fla.) was solid and pressured the QB on multiple occasions.

The JU kicking game has a long way to go, according to Gilbert. The Dolphins missed wide left on three point-after attempts and a 37-yard field-goal attempt by sophomore Ross Shmunes (Jacksonville/Raines) was blocked by freshman Ryan Patneaude (Tampa, Fla.). Three different kickers saw action, as well as three different punters.

Sophomore running back Chad Davis, who is the Dolphins' top all-purpose player, was held out while nursing an aggravated hamstring, as was senior linebacker Oliver Barnes (Opa Locka, Fla.) who has an injured leg. Sophomore linebacker Gabe Forshee (Jacksonville/Terry Parker) sat out with an injured elbow, while starting QB Mike Sturgill took just two snaps because of a broken hand. Sturgill has gotten the cast off his non-throwing hand and should be back at full strength within the next week. The only injury during the scrimmage was junior free safety Drew Stafford (Rockville, Md.), who sprained his knee and will be evaluated on Monday.