Backed by an explosive offense that totaled 489 yards, eight touchdowns and zero turnovers, the Jacksonville University football program notched an impressive 56-31 victory over Walsh in its home-opener Saturday.
The Dolphins scored a touchdown on all but one series, while limiting the visiting Cavaliers to three points through the opening half.
“I was really proud of our team and how we came out with a fast start,” said Head Coach Ian Shields. “We’ve been through a lot this past week, considering Hurricane Irma, so to come back with one full day of practice, I’m proud of how they performed today.
“We certainly took a step forward offensively from where we were at Mercer. We had a big day today – turnover free and not penalized much – and I’m really proud of the execution and playmaking ability. We had some guys really step up and make some big plays, both in the run game and in the passing, and that’s how we like to play.”
The Dolphins’ opening drive required less than two minutes and resulted in seven points as quarterback Rylan Wells connected with fellow captain Jamal Adjamah for a 22-yard pass.
Ironically enough, Adjamah who wears No. 3, concluded the game with three touchdowns – two rushing and one receiving. Entering Saturday’s game, the senior running back had four touchdowns credited to his name, and sat out most of last season with an injury.
“This feels pretty good,” said Adjamah. “The work that I’ve put in is coming into fruition. It’s a pretty cool feeling to just come out and play with the team.
“We had a short week, but since we had such a hard camp and solid preparation, when we came back Thursday, we picked up where we left off. We still have some things to tweak and get right, and we’ll get at them tomorrow, but what you saw all day is what we did a camp. We did the basic things and executed well.”
Adjamah was one yard shy of rushing for 100 yards, but still finished with 123 all-purpose yards.
The box score also featured six other players with a touchdown, with running back Keenan Simpson also tabbing one rushing and one receiving.
Wells finished 14-for-18 with 206 yards and three touchdowns.
At the break the scoreboard read: Jacksonville 35, Walsh 3, as the home team’s defense kept the Cavaliers out of the red-zone while limiting them to 73 yards.
Emon Smith, who has now recorded interceptions in both games this season, picked off Walsh’s quarterback in the second quarter to setup the Dolphins for their third touchdown of the day.
Griffin Garland followed the act with his first career pick later in the period, and Harrison Rodormer and Chris Jones added sacks to keep up with the local theme of Sacksonville.
Walsh found the end zone on a 76-yard pass at the 12:36 mark of the third quarter and recorded 14 points in each of the final frames.
Jacksonville opens Pioneer Football League action next Saturday at Marist. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.