Jacksonville Sports Day

RECAP: JU Drops Home Opener to Dartmouth

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University football battled Dartmouth in its home opener on Saturday, but ultimately fell 35-6.

Calvin Turner Jr. had 210 all-purpose yards, including a career-high 106 through the air, and BJ Byrd topped the 100-yard mark in all-purpose yards for the second time in three weeks in order to earn Hodges Mazda Player of the Game honors.

“We knew we were playing up, and when you do that, the margin for error is small,” said Head Coach Ian Shields. “There we certainly some wins out there though, and we’ll try to build on those.”

Dartmouth scored on four of its five possessions in the first half, including punching it in to the end zone on just five plays to start the game, after Drew Estrada took an end around on the first play of the game around right end for 62 yards to set up the Big Green.

After a JU three-and-out, Dartmouth returned the punt all the way to the Dolphin 23, but the defense stiffened in the red zone, stopping Dartmouth on a fourth-and-one attempt to force a turnover on downs.

Jacksonville drove to midfield, but were forced to punt again, and Dartmouth blocked it, taking over at the JU 28. The Dolphin defense tried again to hold up, as it took Dartmouth seven plays to go 28 yards, but eventually cashed it in on a five-yard touchdown pass.

The Dolphins turned it over on downs after driving down to the Dartmouth 12-yard line, a drive fueled by a big pitch-and-catch from Turner Jr. to Byrd, a gain of 44-yards to flip the field. Dartmouth then drove the length of the field in nine plays, converting two third downs, including a 26-yard touchdown pass on third-and-11.

The Big Green nearly ran off the final 7:30 of the first half on a methodical 13-play, 55-yard drive, punctuated by another four-yard touchdown pass, while Dartmouth converted three more third-downs on the drive to take a 28-0 lead into the break.

Dartmouth took its first drive of the second half and found pay dirt again, with a 13-yard touchdown pass on third down to wrap an eight-play scoring drive.

Jacksonville scored on its second drive of the second half, putting together a textbook JU drive. Turner Jr. mixed the run and the pass well, connecting with Byrd a few times on the drive, and scoring on a five-yard pass to Craige Saxton, which he hauled in with one hand.

It was Saxton’s second-career catch, and both have gone for touchdowns.

Jacksonville stays at home to wrap up the non-conference portion of the schedule, hosting Ave Maria next Saturday at 1 p.m.

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