Jacksonville Sports Day

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JU special teams, defense beat Delaware, 20-14

NEWARK, Del. – Jacksonville kicker Brandon Behr kicked two second-half field goals and linebacker Justin Horton recovered a fumble in the end zone with 2:09 to play as the Dolphins beat Delaware 20-14 Friday.

Behr, from Fleming Island, Fla., connected from both 42 and 41 yards as the Dolphins won a second half field position battle to capture their season opener.

JU punter Ryan Giaratano kept the Blue Hens (0-1) bottled up with some pinpoint efforts which led to Behr’s 42-yarder with 3:15 to go in the third.

The Dolphin defense stifled Delaware and JU punt returner Terrance Bryant returned a kick 34yards  in the fourth quarter that led to Behr’s 41-yard field goal and a 13-7 lead.

Horton, from Clermont, Fla., then recovered a fumble by Blue Hen quarterback Joe Walker in the end zone on a hit by defensive lineman TJ Jenkins.

“Our special teams were big time,” JU coach Kerwin Bell said. “Special teams coach Kerry Webb does a great job,  Giaratano did a great job and so did Behr and Bryant.”

Delaware came back and scored with 1:20 to play on a five-play 46-yard drive when Jalen Randolph ran in from the 1. The Blue Hens tried an onside kick but touched the ball before it went 10 yards and JU ran the clock out from there.

The Dolphins overcame three penalties on their first drive of the season to get on the board early when Kade Bell hit senior Andy Jones on a 22-yard pass with 10:08 to play in the first quarter. The score capped a 90-yard drive that took 14 plays.

After the opening score, the teams played even through the remainder of the first half until the Blue Hens struck with 1:20 to play in the second quarter when quarterback Diante Cherry hit running back Jalen Randolph on a 25-yard touchdown pass. The play ended a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took five minutes, 15 seconds.

Giaratano averaged 47.6 yards per punt with a 67-yarder and five went inside the 20.

Kade Bell ended the game 25-for43 for 269 yards and one touchdown. Jones caught nine passes for 118 yards.

Not only did Bryant shine on special teams, he led the team with 10 tackles while Grady Redding and Malik Slater each had seven.

The Dolphins travel to Newberry next Saturday.

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