Dolphins Fall To Charleston Southern, 38-3, In Home Opener

Sept. 18, 2004

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU freshman running back Phillip Fields (Orlando, Fla.) ran for a game-high 86 yards on 19 carries, but Charleston Southern quarterback Collin Drafts completed 12-of-22 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Buccaneers to a 38-3 win over the Dolphins Saturday afternoon before 2,809 fans at D.B. Milne field. CSU (1-1), a Division I-AA scholarship program, also ran for 194 yards and limited JU (0-2) to just one trip inside the red zone. After opening the season with games against two scholarship opponents, the Dolphins begin play in the Pioneer Football League next Saturday when they take on defending PFL champion Valparaiso in a cross division match-up.

Charleston Southern forced three JU turnovers and limited the Dolphins to just 7-of-18 on third down conversions, despite surrendering 290 yards of total offense to the Dolphins. JU quarterback Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) completed 17-of-31 passes for 147 yards, but was picked off twice. Junior wideout Eldin Ferguson (Riviera Beach, Fla.) paced 10 different Dolphin receivers with three catches for 44 yards, while freshman Nathan Conner (Middleburg, Fla.) grabbed three passes for 22 yards. Junior linebacker Brandon Torre (Tallahassee, Fla.) had eight solo tackles and a sack to lead the JU defense, while junior middle linebacker Zell Robinson (Pancea, Fla.) posted eight stops and forced a fumble on the goal line.

Wide receiver Eddie Gadson had five receptions for 73 yards and two touchdowns for the Buccaneers, while running back Robert Adams added a pair of touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Jada Ross came off the bench to lead CSU with eight tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble, and defensive back Tavares Shorter had seven stops, including three behind the line of scrimmage. Cornerback C.J. Hirschman had both of the Buccaneers' interceptions.

Charleston Southern jumped out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead after scoring on its first three possessions. Nick Ellis nailed a 47-yard field goal on the Bucs' first possession and then running back Kenny Harper capped a 12-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give CSU a 10-0 lead with 6:52 to play in the first. After stuffing a JU fake punt attempt on 4th-and-6, Charleston Southern went 39 yards on four plays and Drafts hit Gadson with a 20-yard touchdown strike to make it 17-0.

Drafts and Gadson hooked up again midway through the third quarter for a 35-yard touchdown pass and a 24-0 CSU lead. The Dolphins finally got on the board when Ryan Feely (Odessa, Fla.) hit a 31-yard field goal with 2:56 to play in the third to cap a 12-play, 65-yard drive. Fields keyed the JU drive with five carries for 32 yards, including a 20-yard scamper down to the CSU 9-yard line. After freshman fullback Corey Saunders (Bradenton, Fla.) bulled his way to the four, Fields was stopped on consecutive plays and the Dolphins were flagged for holding on fourth down, which negated a 4-yard touchdown run by Sturgill.

The Buccaneers answered JU's score with a 13-play, 80-yard drive and Adams took it in from a yard out to give CSU a 31-3 lead at the 12:03 mark of the fourth quarter. Adams added his second touchdown on a 16-yard run with 3:24 remaining.