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#4 JMU nips William and Mary in 2OTs, 27-26

James Madison escaped rival William and Mary when a two-point conversion attempt at the end of the second overtime fell incomplete, allowing the Dukes to hold on for a 27-26 win on Saturday.

After W&M (2-5, 1-3) had narrowed the gap to 27-26 with a leaping 7-yard touchdown reception by sophomore wideout Tre McBride from sophomore quarterback Raphael Ortiz in the back of the end zone, the Tribe’s two-point conversion attempt failed when another pass from Ortiz to McBride was broken up in the back of the end zone.

While both teams kicked field goals in the first overtime session – a 38-yard kick by W&M’s Drake Kuhn and an 18-yard kick by JMU’s Cameron Starke – the Dukes (5-1, 3-0) took a 27-20 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by tailback Dae’Quan Scott to begin the second overtime frame.

Although the Tribe settled for a field goal in the first overtime session, a 13-yard touchdown strike from Ortiz to McBride in the back right corner of the end zone was negated by an offensive pass interference penalty two plays before Kuhn’s successful kick.

The College had an opportunity to win the game in regulation, but a 31-yard field goal attempt by Kuhn from the left hash missed wide to the left with just five seconds remaining.

Ortiz accounted for all three of W&M’s touchdowns, as he threw for a pair of scores and also rushed for a touchdown. McBride also came up big with seven receptions for 79 yards with two touchdowns, while a trio of players totaled at least 50 yards on the ground- sophomore Darnell Laws (61), Ortiz (54) and redshirt freshman Mikal Abdul-Saboor.

Defensively, redshirt freshman linebacker Luke Rhodes led the Tribe with 13 tackles, while junior safety Jerome Couplin III posted 10 stops and an interception.

The Tribe jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Ortiz scored on a 22-yard run. The touchdown punctuated the contest’s opening drive, which covered 78 yards on eight plays and was highlighted by a 27-yard pass from Ortiz to sophomore wide receiver Sean Ballard along the JMU sideline.

W&M’s Ivan Tagoe recovered the ensuing kickoff near midfield after a muffed return by JMU, but the play was erased due to an official’s inadvertent whistle.

Both teams had long field goal attempts on the next two drives but were unable to come away with any points. JMU placekicker Cameron Starke missed a 48-yard field goal wide to the right, while sophomore John Carpenter missed a 45-yard field goal wide to the right.

The Tribe had another scoring opportunity later in the opening quarter, but Kuhn missed a 43-yard field goal attempt. The drive began at JMU’s 27-yard line following a fumble by quarterback Justin Thorpe that was caused by sophomore defensive lineman Stephen Sinnott and recovered by senior cornerback B.W. Webb.

The College increased its lead to 14-0 with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Ortiz to McBride in the back left corner of the end zone with 10:49 remaining in the second quarter. The 10-play, 63-yard drive began after Couplin intercepted Thorpe at W&M’s 37-yard line.

James Madison cut the College’s lead to 14-7 with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Thorpe to wideout Arlandis Harvey with 4:08 remaining in the second quarter.

JMU drove to the Tribe’s 24-yard line in the waning second of the second quarter, but the drive stalled with a holding penalty before the clock expired on an incomplete pass from Thorpe.

The Dukes tied the score at 14-14 with a 7-yard touchdown run by Scott midway through the third quarter. The score came just one play after Sage Harold blocked a W&M punt to set up the favorable field position.

A 40-yard field goal by Starke with 1:23 remaining in the third quarter gave JMU its first lead at 17-14.

W&M tied the count at 17-17 on a 39-yard field goal by Kuhn with 7:52 remaining. The scoring drive, which covered 52 yards on 11 plays and lasted 5:16, was highlighted by a 20-yard completion by Ortiz to McBride along the JMU sideline.

Ortiz was outstanding on W&M’s final drive in regulation, as he completed 4-of-4 passes for 68 yards en route to setting up the game-winning field goal attempt. Three of his four completions during the drive converted third-down situations.

Thorpe led JMU offensively with 110 rushing yards on 21 carries, while he also completed 14-of-20 passes for 157 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Scott finished with two touchdown runs, while Harvey totaled six catches for 113 yards with a touchdown.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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