JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jamal Adjamah ran for long touchdowns on Jacksonville University’s first two offensive plays in the Dolphins’ 56-21 home win over Guilford College Saturday.
The NCAA Division I-FCS Dolphins (3-1) ran for a school-record 514 yards and seven touchdowns in their first football game against the Division III Quakers (2-2). Adjamah, who opened the game with consecutive scoring runs of 53 and 69 yards, finished with a game-high 141 yards on just four carries. Teammate Irvin Riley carried 16 times for 124 yards. Six other Jacksonville backs gained at least 31 rushing yards, including Keenan Simpson (36 yards), who scored on first-quarter runs of four and 24 yards.
Jacksonville tallied touchdowns on its first six possessions en route to a 42-7 halftime lead. The Dolphins’ special teams got into the act when rookie Akem JN Pierre blocked a Quakers’ punt early in the second half that led to Jake Brito’s 10-yard scoring run. Jacksonville’s first-half defense limited Guilford to 12 rushing yards and didn’t allow a third-down conversion in eight tries. Calvin Turner recovered a bad Guilford snap from Jacksonville’s one-yard line late in the second quarter.
Jacksonville’s option-based attack averaged 8.9 yards per rush and featured 12 different ball carriers. Starting quarterback Rylan Wells completed four-of-seven passes for 53 yards and ran three times for 35 yards. His second-half replacement, Ryder Litten, threw a one-yard touchdown to Michon Sobers in the fourth quarter, which capped the game’s scoring.
Guilford’s De’Eric Bell (Jackson, Ga./Jackson) ran for 112 yards and set the Quakers’ career rushing touchdown record in the loss. He scored on a two-yard run late in the first quarter and broke free for a 33-yard, third-quarter touchdown. His 24 rushing touchdowns in 28 games broke the former standard of 23 held by former teammate Josh Schow. Ranked second among Division III all-purpose yardage leaders through games of September 23, Bell also had 91 kickoff return yards and finished with a game-best 189 all-purpose yards.
While both teams scored 14 second-half points, the Quakers had some quality scoring chances go unfilled. Guilford’s Terry Singleton recovered a third-quarter Jacksonville fumble in Dolphins’ territory. The Quakers drove down to the five-yard line, but the drive stalled. A 13-play, 51-yard drive later in the frame ended on downs at Jacksonville’s 25.
Jacksonville held Guilford quarterback Karsten Miller (Thomasville, N.C./North Davidson) to a season-low 179 passing yards and sacked the senior five times. Guilford’s Tyriek Russell made six catches for 69 yards. Teammate Hunter Causey ran for 51 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Guilford’s defense forced a season-high four turnovers, including an end-zone interception by Reggie Williams in the second quarter. Vic Smith, Jr., (Lakeland, Fla./Atlanta Prep. Sports Academy) made a game- and career-high 16 tackles (11 solo) and recovered a fumble. Julian Cuthbertson added seven tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble for the Quakers.
Guilford hosts Hampden-Sydney College in its Old Dominion Athletic Conference and home-opener October 7 at 1:00 p.m.