It took Jacksonville University a while to shake its jet lag Saturday, but once it did the Dolphins scored 31 consecutive points to put away Morehead State 38-17 in a Pioneer Football League game here.
The Dolphins (5-1, 3-0) did their yearly Air Raid game where they leave school Saturday morning, play and fly home in the same day, and the early wake-up call apparently brought the slow start before JU took off.
Quarterback Kade Bell ran for one score and threw four touchdown passes, three to tight end Andy Robustelli, to lead the win. Robustelli wound up with four receptions for 46 yards and running back Eric Baker became the team’s first 100-yard rusher of the year with 101 yards. Dorian Guy led all receivers with 87 yards on four catches.
Bell, who came into the game having completed 69 percent of his passes the previous two contests, connected on 16 of 22 passes for 238 yards.
“I want to thank the offensive line and the running backs,’’ Bell said. “Our running backs don’t get enough credit for their pass blocking.’’
In addition to Robustelli’s catches, wide receiver D’Andre Randle caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Bell, who was eight of 10 in the first half, with what turned out to be the winning score with 2:54 in the first half and a 21-17 halftime lead.
“Our guys really battled back and I am really proud of them for that,’’ coach Kerwin Bell said. “We played a bad first half, about as bad as we could play in the first half. We were real lethargic early, maybe it was the early flight. We didn’t get going until the second quarter so I felt good about that.’’
The Eagles (1-4, 0-2) scored first with 3:52 to play in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead and following the kickoff, Bell fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and Morehead’s Michael Jackson returned it 46 yards on a scoop and score for a 14-0 lead with 3:32 to play in the first.
The Dolphins responded quickly with a 60-yard drive and scored with 27 seconds to play in the opening quarter when Robustelli was on the receiving end of a 10-yard pass from Bell. The seven-play drive took 2:58 off the clock.
Morehead added a 42-yard field goal with 9:20 to play in the half when placekicker Rainer Duzan hit a low ball that skipped off the cross bar and a 17-7 lead.
The Dolphins came back with 6:39 to play when Bell scrambled 12 yards for a score. The extra point by Dylan Lynch made the score 17-14. The drive was six plays, 62 yards.
Defensive lineman Juan Pimienta led the defensive charge with seven tackles, two sacks, two tackles for losses and two fumble recoveries, one that stopped a MSU drive near the end of the first half and the second which led to a JU touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins travel to Davidson next week.