SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2004
Football Loses Chance at PFL Title With 28-14 Loss at Morehead State
Oct. 23, 2004
MOREHEAD, Ky. - Morehead State scored 15 third-quarter points to erase a one-point halftime deficit and stuffed the Jacksonville offense in the second half as the Eagles held on for a 28-14 win over the Dolphins in a key Pioneer Football League contest, Saturday afternoon on Homecoming at Jayne Stadium. The loss drops JU (2-5, 2-1 PFL) into a tie for first in the PFL South standings, however, the Dolphins cannot win the PFL South through any potential tiebreakers. Morehead State (4-4, 2-1 PFL) wins its third consecutive PFL South title by allowing a combined 28 points against Davidson and JU.
The Eagles outgained the Dolphins, 196-50, in the second half and limited JU to just 37 yards on the ground for the game. The Dolphins entered the contest ranked second in the PFL averaging 238.5 yards per contest. Morehead State, meanwhile, rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles attempted just two passes in the second half.
Junior quarterback Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) completed 9-of-23 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns but tossed an interception and fumbled in the second half while completing just 2-of-10 passes after the break. Julio Santiago (Jacksonville/Bolles) finished the day with four catches for 37 yards and a score while also adding 117 all-purpose yards. Junior linebacker Brandon Torre (Tallahassee, Fla.) led the JU defense with a game-high 14 tackles.
With JU leading 14-13, Santiago returned a punt 62 yards early in the third quarter to the Morehead State 22-yard line, but the Dolphins failed to convert when Ryan Feely's (Odessa, Fla.) 37-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. The Eagles responded two plays later with a 75-yard touchdown strike from Tyler Cvitkovic to Chris Stockleman, along with a two-point conversion, to give MSU a 21-14 lead.
The Eagles extended the lead to 28-14 after marching 67 yards in eight plays under the direction of freshman quarterback Eric Fitzpatrick, who capped the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run with 5:23 to play in the third.
The Dolphins took a 14-13 halftime lead on the strength of two touchdown passes from Sturgill and three turnovers by Morehead State. The Eagles took an early 6-0 lead on a 5-yard run by Rick Cornelius to cap an 8-play, 75-yard drive. The Dolphins answered with an 80-yard drive and a 31-yard touchdown pass from Sturgill to Nate Conner (Middleburg, Fla.) to take a 7-6 lead midway through the first.
Morehead State regained the lead, 13-7, on a 1-yard run by Jabari McGee with five minutes to play in the half. JU failed to move the ball on offense on its next possession, but a fumbled punt by the Eagles' Daniel Vagni was recovered by JU's Jason Greenwod (Tampa, Fla.) at the MSU 26-yard line. The Dolphins followed with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Sturgill to Santiago to take the halftime lead.
JU returns to action next Saturday against Webber International at 12:30 p.m. at D.B. Milne Field in the first of three consecutive games against scholarship teams to end the season.