JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University football's 2018 season came to a close today as they hosted Dayton at D.B. Milne field. It was Senior Day for the Dolphins, but the Flyers were the ones who came away with the 34-7 victory.
Jacksonville quarterback Calvin Turner Jr., who came into the game 38 yards shy of the school's single season rushing yardage record, was injured on the first drive, leaving it up to freshman Xaiyhir Jacobs to operate the offense. The Dolphins moved the ball well in the first quarter with 114 yards on offense, but couldn't manage to find the end zone. The defense also held their own in the first, allowing just three points to the PFL's third ranked scoring offense.
Jacksonville began the second quarter at the Dayton 12 yard line after being set up by a 61-yard rush by Garnett Nicolas. However, the Dolphins would turn the ball over on downs after attempting to pick up the first on fourth-and-three. From there, the Flyers went on a scoring tear, adding two touchdowns and another field goal to make it a 20-0 game by halftime. By that time, the Flyers had racked up 282 yards, with 132 of them coming from running back Tucker Yinger.
Dayton opened the second half with two more long drives that culminated in touchdowns, making it six consecutive possessions that ended in scoring. The Dolphins' defense tightened up near the end of the third quarter when they stopped Dayton on fourth down at the Jacksonville 26. On the following Flyers drive freshman cornerback Myles Hunt intercepted a pass at the Dayton 37 yard line.
Jacksonville freshman Walker Wright came into the game during the fourth quarter and led the Dolphins on their lone scoring drive of the contest, connecting with Craige Saxton on a 15-yard touchdown for their last possession of the season. Garnett Nicolas led all Dolphins with 66 yards on the ground. Seniors Wade Benton and Larenz Scroggins were right behind Garnett with 58 and 47 yards, respectively. Scroggins' 47 yards came on just four carries, giving him 11.8 yards per carry in the contest.
"Hopefully we can look back 12 months from now and say this was the foundation, the year that really built towards something going forward. We've got a bunch of young guys out there, some that were really forced into the fire before they should be out there. So there are a lot of valuable reps gained. What we've got to do now is use the disapointment of this season as motivation going forward, and have a great offseason," said Head Coach Ian Shields.
COACH SHIELDS ON THE SENIORS
"We appreciate them and love them. They kept a great attitude throughout the entire year. It's frustrating when you don't have a lot of seniors out there and they're surrounded by young guys, especially when you're not winning, but they kept their poise throughout the entire season. They all brought value to our team."