SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2003
Dolphins grind Out 14-9 Win Over Coastal Carolina
Sept. 20, 2003
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior tight end Justin Knowles' (Perry, Fla.) 4-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) with 6:29 to play in the fourth quarter capped a 16-play, 77-yard drive, propelling Jacksonville to a 14-9 win over Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field. The Dolphins, winners of five-straight games over scholarship teams, improve to 2-1 on the season after winning their second consecutive game. Coastal Carolina, playing its first season of football at the Division I-AA level, falls to 1-2 following its first road game.
Following a 26-yard field goal by Josh Hoke, which gave Coastal Carolina a 9-7 lead with 13:01 to play, the Dolphins put together their 6:32 game-winning drive. Sophomore running back Chad Davis (Tallahassee, Fla.) churned out 25 yards on the ground, including a big five-yard run on 4th-and-4 from the Coastal Carolina 31-yard line, while Sturgill completed 6-of-7 passes on the game-winning drive for 53 yards, including a play-action fake to Knowles for the game-winner. It was Knowles' first career reception as a tight end. Senior running back Emmett Hunter (Largo, Fla.) also had a couple of big carries on the drive, including a six-yard run on 1st-and-10 from the Coastal Carolina 10-yard line, a play in which he appeared to be stopped at the line of scrimmage, but used second effort to complete the play.
The Dolphin defense surrendered just one touchdown and has now allowed just two TD's in the last six quarters. Senior free safety Charlton Williams (Lynn Haven, Fla.) paced the JU defense with 10 tackles as the Dolphins sacked the Chanticleers three times. Hunter led a balanced JU offense with 78 yards on 20 carries, while Davis churned out 30 yards rushing and caught two passes for 14 yards in his first action of the season. Sturgill completed 14-of-24 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, both TD passes to Dolphin tight ends. JU has committed just one turnover in the first three games of the season after committing 26 turnovers in 2002.
JU took a 7-0 lead when Sturgill hit senior tight end Jimmy Willman (Ocala, Fla.) with an 11-yard touchdown strike with 8:59 to play in the second quarter, capping a 10-play, 94-yard drive. The Dolphins did most of their damage on first and second down as they faced just one third down the entire drive. On 2nd-and-3 from the JU 24, Sturgill hit senior wideout Travis Lewis (Crescent City, Fla.) for a 36-yard reception to move JU into Chanticleer territory. Facing 3rd-and-6 from the CCU 36, Sturgill connected with Richard Gayle (North port, Fla.) for a 12-yard gain to keep the Dolphin drive alive.
A muffed punt gave Coastal Carolina the ball at its own 45-yard line with 3:25 to play in the first half. Back-up quarterback Ren McKinnon connected on a 19-yard pass to Rodney Burgess, and then following a 1-yard run by Aundres Perkins, McKinnon scampered 30 yards up the middle for the score. The point-after attempt hooked wide left and JU led 7-6. McKinnon finished the day 12-of-19 for 128 yards, while Perkins gained a game-high 117 yards on 20 carries. Burgess also had a career-best 10 receptions for 110 yards.
JU returns to action next week in the first of five consecutive Pioneer Football League games when the Dolphins host Valparaiso from the PFL North at noon at D.B. Milne Field.