JACKSONVILLE, FL- On a chilly night in Jacksonville, the North Greenville University Crusaders met the Jacksonville University Dolphins for a Thursday night showdown at Skinner-Barco Stadium. Playing in the final home game of his career, Jacksonville senior running back Chad Davis put on a great show for the crowd of 3,328 as he rushed for 137 yards on 16 carries in the 52-13 Dolphin victory.
Jacksonville lit up the scoreboard first after a 44-yard run by Chad Davis on the third play from scrimmage. That play set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Bryan Gamble. Ryan Feely's PAT gave the Dolphins a 7-0 lead just 1:49 into the game. After several scoreless possessions by each team, Jacksonville again used a big rush to set up a touchdown. Chad Davis ran 30 yards to the North Greenville 4-yard line to set up a touchdown run by Tyrone Bolden. Feely's PAT made the score 14-0 with 1:13 remaining in the first quarter.
The Crusaders would strike back early in the second quarter. Facing a third and 23, quarterback Eric Moeller found Brandon Dobbins for a 36 yard gain. On the ensuing play, Moeller found Dobbins again, this time for a 28-yard touchdown to cap a 9-play, 80-yard drive. The PAT was added by Adrain Escalona to make the score 14-7 at the 13:10 mark in the second quarter.
Jacksonville drove down the field on their next possession, appearing to score on a 2-yard rush by Davis, but an offensive holding penalty forced the Dolphins back to the 11-yard line. Two plays later, Feely kicked a 28-yard field goal to give Jacksonville a 17-14 lead with 7:58. North Greenville would be forced to punt on their next drive, but would regain possession with 5:02 remaining in the first half when Chad Castor forced and recovered a fumble by Dolphin wide receiver Nathan Connor. That is the fourth forced fumble of the season for Castor, who is currently ranked #2 in Forced Fumbles in the latest Division II statistics released by the NCAA.
However, North Greenville could not convert the turnover, and Jacksonville took over at their own 28-yard line with 2:59 remaining in the first half. Quarterback Christopher Horton completed four passes for 38 yards on the drive to set up an 18-yard touchdown run by Chad Davis. Feely's PAT gave the Dolphins a 24-7 lead going with just 35 seconds remaining in the half.
The Dolphins' offense did not let up in the second half. Horton capped a seven play, 47-yard drive with a 6-yard pass to Anthony Campanella at the 11:39 mark in the third quarter. Feely's PAT made the score 31-7. Horton then padded his stats with a 56-yard touchdown pass to Dan Petillo to cap a six play, 87 yard drive put the Dolphins up 38-7 with 5:03 remaining in the third quarter.
North Greenville would add one more touchdown at the 6:06 mark in the fourth quarter when Moeller hooked up with Dobbins for their second touchdown of the night on a 17-yard pass to cap a nine play, 69-yard drive. The PAT attempt was blocked. Jacksonville's Steven Battle answered with a 39-yard run that set up his 5-yard touchdown run with 5:15 remaining in the game. Feely's extra point brought the score to its final of 52-13.
Moeller finished the game with 269 yards on 20-37 passing and one interception. Travis Talbert had another outstanding performance hauling in nine receptions for 122 yards. Dobbins added three catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Travis Mosley did not play in the second half due to a concussion, but should be ready for next week's game at Concord. Mosley finished with 20 yards on seven carries.
The Crusader defense was led once again by senior linebacker Isaac Tate who had 11 solo tackles and two assists.
Jacksonville improves to 3-4 on the season, while North Greenville falls to 2-7. The Crusaders travel to Athens, WV November 5th to play Concord College. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.