Richmond smacks down VMI, 47-6

The Richmond Spiders opened the game by returning the opening kick for a touchdown, and went on to outgain the VMI Keydets 487-197 in total yards en route to a 47-6 victory Saturday in Lexington, Va.

After Justin Grant brought the opening kick back 90 yards for a Richmond (2-1) touchdown, the Keydets (1-2) got back within four, 10-6, early in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Jabari Turner, just Turner’s second career rushing touchdown. The Spiders would go on to score the next 37 points, including 28 in the third quarter, to account for the final margin.

The Keydets were undone by three turnovers, including two interceptions in the second half, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Spiders were led by Ben Edwards, who had 11 catches for 122 yards, and VMI saw linebacker Ty Garvin (12) and safety Adam Morgan (10) notch career-highs in tackles.

The game got underway with a bang, as UR’s Grant brought the kickoff back 90 yards for an opening touchdown. It was the fastest TD in a VMI football game since Sept. 20, 2008, a 74-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage.

Leading 7-0, Richmond forced a VMI three and out, but Edwards fumbled the David Eberhardt kick and Patrick Sexton fell on the loose ball, giving the Keydets quality field position inside Spider territory. The Keydets could not take advantage, however, and after another Eberhardt punt, UR drove 91 yards in 16 plays for a Remington Hinshaw field goal. The 20-yard kick put the visitors up, 10-0, with 4:48 left in the first quarter.

The Keydets took over with 1:42 left in the opening period and would get on the board early in the second. A 10-play, 62-yard drive that saw either Eric Kordenbrock or Turner touch the ball on every play ended with Turner’s one-yard plunge, making it a 10-6 contest after a missed extra point.

From there, the teams would trade relatively unproductive possessions for the remainder of the half. Richmond had two possessions inside the VMI 20, but had to settle for just one field goal until late, when UR quarterback John Laub orchestrated a two-minute drill that ended with a 37-yard Hinshaw kick, giving the visitors a 16-6 halftime lead.

The Keydets took the ball first in the second half, but after picking up one first down, Kordenbrock was intercepted by UR’s Cooper Taylor, giving the visitors possession at the VMI 41. Seven plays later, Laub connected with Kevin Finney for a four-yard touchdown pass, pushing the margin to 23-6.

The Spiders got the ball back after a Keydet punt and scored once more, as Laub had a hand in all 10 plays of a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a strong 14-yard quarterback draw. Laub was met by a Keydet defender at the two-yard line, but was able to spring over the tackler for a touchdown and a 30-6 UR lead.

UR’s defense forced another Eberhardt punt and took possession once again at the 50-yard line with 2:32 left in the period. Jovan Smith took the handoff on the first play and ran around right tackle, reaching the sideline and getting through the Keydet defense for a touchdown and a 37-6 Richmond advantage. The visitors would cap their third quarter scoring when Taylor intercepted Kordenbrock for the second time and returned the pick for a 35-yard touchdown, making it a 44-6 contest.

Richmond controlled the clock in the fourth quarter, running the ball 15 times and eating up 11:06. The only fourth quarter scoring came off the foot of Hinshaw, as he hit a 22-yard field goal with 7:50 to go to account for the final margin, 47-6. Richmond concluded the day with a 78-50 edge in plays run, as well as the 487-197 total yard advantage.

VMI quarterback Kordenbrock finished 23 of 32 for 146 yards, but did move into the #6 position on VMI’s all-time passing vardage listing. The junior also exceeded the 300 career completion mark. In addition, wide receiver James Rogers had a career-high six receptions. Hinshaw’s four field goals were a school record for UR, while his 17 points also set a new scoring mark for UR’s kickers.

VMI football will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 22, as the Keydets travel to Annapolis, Md. to take on the Navy Midshipmen. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

Augusta Health Kris McMackin CPA
augusta free press news
Augusta Free Press