DAVIDSON, N.C. - Jacksonville University football (1-3, 0-2 PFL) fell just short of a fourth quarter comeback that saw the Dolphins score 28 unanswered against the Davidson Wildcats (5-1, 2-1 PFL).
Each team was effective on their first drive, scoring touchdowns to open up the game. Jacksonville's came on a nine yard rush by Garnett Nicolas, who led his team in yardage and attempts during the first half. As a team, Jacksonville rushed for 131 yards during the first half, but were only able to score one more time on a Javier Arce-Ramirez 26 yard field goal.
On the other side of the ball the defense allowed 143 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. They also gave up a 32 yard touchdown through the air to Davidson's Eli Turner Jr.
The Dolphins came out for the second half looking to make up the 14-point deficit. A short kick and a pair of Davidson penalties set Jacksonville up at the Davidson 44 yard-line. On the ensuing play Calvin Turner Jr. coughed the ball up, and Davidson took advantage with a James Story touchdown run.
The Wildcats would go on to score two more touchdowns during the third quarter, leaving Jacksonville in a 44-9 hole entering the fourth.
The fourth quarter was all Jacksonville, scoring more points than they had in a single quarter since the season opener. The run was started by Turner Jr., who scampered for a 13 yard touchdown with 11:34 remaining. The 'Phins would fail on the two-point conversion as the score sat at 44-15.
Four plays later Jacksonville got the ball back after Thomas Oporto forced a fumble that was recovered by Dakota Trice. Again Jacksonville took advantage of the opportunity with Turner Jr. scoring on a one yard run that came on fourth down. Jacksonville was good on the two-point conversion this time, cutting the deficit to 21 points.
Arce-Ramirez pooched the kickoff just 35 yards, allowing Jacksonville's Ian Ainsworth to recover it. Once again the offense scored a touchdown, this time on a seven yard rush by Irvin Riley. With the two teams now separated by just 14 points Jacksonville attempted another on-side kick. They managed to recover it, but an illegal touching penalty was enforced and Davidson got the ball back.
With the momentum now completely on their side, Jacksonville's defense stepped up and forced a Davidson turnover on downs. Jacksonville scored yet again on a 34 yard rush by Turner Jr, his third of the day.
With the score sitting at 44-37 Jacksonville attempted one more on-side kick, but failed. Tuner Jr. would end the day with 202 yards on the ground and three touchdowns for the Dolphins. Jacksonville's Caysaun Wakeley led the team in tackles with eight, while Oporto had two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble.
Next week, Jacksonville hosts PFL opponent Marist (1-4, 1-1 PFL) in a 1 PM contest at D.B. Milne Field. The game is schedule for Saturday, Oct. 13, the same day as Jacksonville's homecoming. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.