Jacksonville Sports Day

Butler Posts First PFL Win of the Season Against JU, 24-14

INDIANAPOLIS – After a fast start, Jacksonville University football could not maintain momentum on a wet and windy day, falling 24-14 to Butler at the Sellick Bowl Saturday.

JU (2-6, 0-4) committed three turnovers and nine penalties, and were held without a 100-yard rusher for the second straight game.

The Dolphins set z positive tone early, forcing a Butler three-and-out on its first possession, before methodically moving the ball down the field, culminating in a six-yard touchdown run by B.J. Riley to go up 7-0.

The defense rose up again, forcing a turnover on downs, but on the first play of the ensuing drive, Calvin Turner Jr. was intercepted by Devin Aguilar, who returned it to the Jacksonville eight-yard line. One play later, Butler scored on the ground, but the PAT failed due to a high snap.

Leading 7-6, JU quickly drove down the field again, with Turner Jr. scrambling for 41-yards and finishing the drive with his 10th rushing touchdown of the year to extend the lead to 14-6.

After forcing another punt, Jacksonville started the second quarter by fumbling the ball.

The Bulldogs recovered, and scored on a bizarre drive. A roughing the passer call on a deflected pass on 2nd-and-15 helped Butler to a first down. Later in the drive, a fumble rolled forward nine yards, from the 12 down to the three, before Butler fell on it. They nearly lost another fumble, but were able to recover again, back at the 10.

Finally, they settled for a 22-yard field goal, which was made, but a roughing the kicker call set up first-and-goal on the three, and Butler punched it in on the next play, converting the two-point conversion to tie it at 14.

Jacksonville opened the second half with another slow, clock-eating drive, converting two fourth downs along the way.

But, on fourth-and-two on the Butler 23, Garnett Nicolas was stopped a yard short. Butler then employed its own ground game to go 71 yards in 10 plays, before settling for a 25-yard field goal to go up 17-14 at the end of the third.

JU fumbled on an option pitch on the next drive, and Butler again controlled the clock, taking 5:27 off the clock over a 10-play drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run to make it 24-14.

Jacksonville was unable to move the ball into Butler territory the rest of the afternoon.

Jeremiah Johnson led the defense in tackles with 11. It was the second time he has registered double-digit tackles in a season and the third time he led the team in stops and was named player of the game.

Jacksonville returns home to host Stetson on Saturday at 1 p.m.

GAME NOTES: After being held under 100 yards rushing as a team last week, the rushing offense got back on track this week, racking up 240 yards on the ground.The defense forced two turnovers on downs in the game.

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