Home Spiders rally late, hold on for 21-17 win at JMU

Spiders rally late, hold on for 21-17 win at JMU


Richmond drove for the go-ahead score midway through the final quarter and forced a fumble as James Madison was driving with one minute to go to pull out a 21-17 Colonial Athletic Association football win on Saturday afternoon at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field.

UR improved to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in the CAA while extending the nation’s longest winning streak to 14 games dating back to JMU’s 38-31 win last year in Richmond. JMU fell to 2-3 on the season and 0-2 in the CAA.

JMU led 17-14 at the half and remained in the lead until the fourth quarter. The Spiders took possession at their own 24 with 13:06 remaining after an interception. Richmond drove 76 yards in 10 plays, culminating in a six-yard touchdown pass from Eric Ward to Ben Keating, who scored all three touchdowns for the Spiders.

The Dukes responded with a lengthy drive of their own. JMU rushed 10 consecutive times, including a fourth-and-one conversion, to reach the UR 27. The only pass of the drive from redshirt freshman Justin Thorpe (Richmond, Va./Varina) to redshirt sophomore Julius Graves (Reidsville, N.C./Reidsville) moved the ball to the six. However, with Thorpe scrambling in the backfield looking for a receiver, Martin Parker forced a fumble for the Spiders and Eric McBride recovered to seal the Richmond victory.

Thorpe started at quarterback for the Dukes and completed 7-of-15 passes for 87 yards while also rushing 14 times for 42 yards. He also accounted for all three turnovers in the game with a pair of interceptions and the late fumble.

Redshirt junior Drew Dudzik (Clifton, Va./Centreville) led JMU’s lone touchdown drive with a 38-yard pass to senior Rockeed McCarter (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) with 5:45 remaining in the second quarter. Dudzik, who completed three of six passes for 68 yards, was later forced from the contest due to an injury.

JMU finished with 281 total yards on 59 plays with 126 on the ground and 155 through the air. UR totaled 264 yards on 64 plays with 165 passing and 99 rushing.

Redshirt junior Griff Yancey (Glen Allen, Va./Hermitage) was the leading rusher for the Dukes with 74 yards on 16 carries.

Eric Ward completed 16 of 26 passes for 165 yards for Richmond with the lone touchdown coming on the game winner to Keating.

Keating rushed twice for two yards for the game, both carries resulting in one-yard touchdown plunges. Justin Forte rushed 18 times for 94 yards for the Spiders.



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