Jacksonville Sports Day

JU: Dolphins Prevail in Double OT at Marist

Jacksonville University football (3-8, 1-6) prevailed over Marist 52-45 when Ethan Hull stripped Hunter Cobb on first-and-goal from the one in the second overtime and Myles Harris recovered to ice the victory at Tenney Stadium on Saturday.

“I’m just so proud of this team,” said Head Coach Ian Shields. “All the adversity we’ve been through, for these kids to stick together.

“This is a big-time win, a great atmosphere, a great football game.”

Jacksonville fell behind early, when Marist went 10 plays on its first drive for a touchdown, but it did not take the Dolphins long to tie it. Garnett Nicolas took the first carry of the game 75-yards for a score to even it up at seven.

It stayed tied until a program first broke the deadlock. A 31-yard field goal try was blocked by Caysaun Wakeley and scooped up by Maurice Flournoy, who scampered down the left sideline for a touchdown.

It was the first time in the 22-year history of JU football that a blocked field was returned for a touchdown.

Marist tied it at 14 after JU missed a field goal and the Red Foxes took over at their own 20. It was their turn for a long run, as Cobb ripped off an 80-yard touchdown.

JU marched back down the field and went back in front on a 26-yard field goal by Zachary Benwick. With the first half winding down, Marist drove down to the three-yard line.

With seven seconds left, they threw into the end zone incomplete, but pass interference gave the Red Foxes another shot. With four seconds and no timeouts, they elected to run from the one-yard line, and Kyree Woods and Keyshawn Douglas combined to stop Cobb at the one to end the half.

Jacksonville went three-and-out to start the second half, and Marist stopped a fake punt attempt, setting up a short field.

On third-and-five, Austin Day scrambled and heaved a 34-yard touchdown pass to Joe Petro to put Marist back up 21-17. The lead would change the ensuing six possessions.

JU put together a 12-play, 68-yard drive that ended in a four-yard TD toss from Calvin Turner Jr. to Mitchell Bailey.

Marist answered with an 8-play drive ending in Cobb’s third rushing touchdown of the day. Turner Jr. then hit BJ Byrd for a 30-yard completion, setting up Sean Dispenza’s eight-yard score.

Marist responded again with another long passing score, this time a 30-yard fade to make it 35-31 with just under eight minutes to play.

JU came back with a 10-play drive that ended in a BJ Riley five-yard rush to give the Dolphins the 38-35 advantage with 2:12 left in the fourth.

Marist drove to the 23-yard line of Jacksonville, but a sack pushed them back to the 32 and forced the Red Foxes to use its final timeout.

A quick pass took them to the 27, and set up a 45-yard field goal try to tie it with the clock running out. Luke Paladino’s kick hit off the left upright and bounced in, setting up overtime.

Marist started the first OT with a touchdown, and JU overcame an illegal shift that wiped Turner Jr.’s one-yard score with a six-yard touchdown run on the next play to force a second overtime.

After Turner Jr. carried in from 10-yards out on the second play of double overtime, Marist drove down to the one in three plays, setting up the defense’s heroics.

Hull recorded a career-high 15 tackles, 10 solo, with 0.5 tackles for a loss and the forced fumble on the final play of the game.

Jacksonville hosts San Diego next Saturday at D.B. Milne Field at noon. It is Senior Day, so come out early to celebrate the Dolphins seven seniors.

GAME NOTES: Jacksonville had two 100-yard rushers for the third time this season, and the first time since the Morehead State game on Oct. 12. Garnett Nicolas had a season-high 165 yards on 17 carries, with a touchdown coming on his season-long 75-yard run. Calvin Turner Jr. had 103 on 25 carries, and topped the century mark for the seventh time this season and 14th time in his career. Ethan Hull became the first Dolphin to record at least 15 tackles in a game since Caysaun Wakeley did it at Mercer on Aug. 21, 2017. Jacksonville recorded its first ever blocked field goal returned for a touchdown in the first quarter. The last time JU blocked a kick and returned it for a score was also at Marist. On Sept. 23, 2017, the Dolphins blocked a Marist PAT and Calvin Turner Jr., then a freshman defensive back, returned it for two-points. The blocked field was Jacksonville’s first since Sept. 5, 2009 at Webber International.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *