SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2004
Football Falls To Wingate, 42-9, In Season Opener
Sept. 11, 2004
WINGATE, N.C. - Redshirt-sophomore Jerry Brant (Jacksonville/Raines) ran for 93 yards in his first career start, but Jacksonville couldn't overcome 541 yards of total offense and 35 first-half points as the Dolphins fell to Wingate, 42-9, in the season opener Saturday afternoon at Irwin Belk Stadium. JU, which played without starting tailback Chad Davis (Tallahassee, Fla.) who injured his knee during pregame warm-ups, racked up 296 yards of total offense, including 219 yards on the ground. Wingate, which entered the game averaging 43.0 points in its first two contests, improved to 3-0, while Dolphins went 0-1. JU's original season opener at Florida International on Sept. 2 was cancelled because of hurricane Frances.
Sophomore quarterback Brandon Boone completed 13-of-25 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs, who had 396 yards of total offense in the first half and scored on five of their first six possessions. Senior wideout Lamar Brown had three catches for 116 yards and two scores, while David Brinckley ran for 59 yards as three different Bulldogs ran for 50-or-more yards.
Freshman running back Phillip Fields (Orlando, Fla.) added 59 yards on the ground in his JU debut, while junior fullback Steven Battle (Jacksonville/Raines) ran for 30 yards on a career-high 10 carries. Dolphin QB Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) completed just 7-of-22 passes for 77 yards and was sacked four times as Wingate limited JU to just 11 first downs.
Wingate jumped out to 35-3 halftime lead on the strength of four big plays and 396 yards of total offense before intermission. Boone hit Brown on a 36-yard TD pass at the 11:18 mark of the first to cap a 3-play, 71-yard drive. The Dolphins answered with a 30-yard field goal by junior place kicker Ryan Feely (Odessa, Fla.) to make it 7-3, but the Bulldogs tacked on 28 unanswered points to end the half. Brickley busted through for a 58-yard touchdown run to make it 14-3 and then Boone hit tight end Chris Conklin on 58-yard touchdown pass to give Wingate a 21-3 advantage after the first quarter. Boone and Brown connected again for 77 yards at the 13:32 mark of the second to push the lead to 28-3 and then the Boone scored on a 16-yard scamper with 8:32 to play in the half.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 5-play, 70-yard drive and Boone hit wideout Rodney Williams for an 8-yard TD strike to make it 42-3 at the 9:10 mark of the third, but Wingate never scored again as the JU defense limited the Bulldog offense to just 145 yards in the second half and forced four turnovers. The Dolphins scored their first touchdown of the season when freshman fullback Corey Saunders (Bradenton, Fla.) bulled his way in for a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:36 to play in the third capping a 10-play, 88-yard drive. Feely's point-after attempt was blocked and the Dolphins trailed 42-9.
Redshirt junior free safety Drew Stafford (Rockville, Md.) had 10 tackles to pace the Dolphins, while senior free safety Omarr Platt (Tallahassee, Fla.) had his first career interception. Linebacker Allen Smith paced the Bulldogs with 11 stops, while freshman Kenwin Cummings added six tackles and two sacks.
The Dolphins host Charleston Southern next Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in their home opener at D.B. Milne Field.