VMI Football: Keydets defeat Tusculum, 20-11, snap 25-game losing skid

vmi footballThe VMI football team picked up its first win of the season as the Keydets took down visiting Tusculum College by a 20-11 score Saturday afternoon at Foster Stadium.

With the win came additional broken records for the program as sophomore quarterback Reece Udinski threw 17 pass completions to make his season total 271, surpassing the previous mark of 269 set by Al Cobb in 2014.

The Keydets (1-8, 0-7) went away from their traditional air attack by rushing the ball 45 times today, including 23 carries from Alex Ramsey for 134 yards as both were new career highs for the redshirt sophomore.

Defensively, freshman linebacker Brett Howell set a new season and career high with 16 tackles for the day, including one tackle for loss.

After both teams went scoreless in the opening quarter, the Keydets struck first with 5:33 to play before the half as Udinski took it into the endzone on his own on a one-yard rush. The Pioneers (5-4) would trim the VMI lead to 7-3 with a 48-yard field goal by Joe Defatta just four seconds before halftime.

The Keydets extended the lead to 14-3 late in the third quarter when Udinski connected with Devone Humphrey for an 11-yard touchdown reception. On the ensuing Tusculum drive, the Keydet defense stepped up as defensive lineman Chuck Weatherman sacked Tommy Pistone and forced a fumble recovered by Tyren Cloyd at the Tusculum 39-yard line to give the Keydets a short field.

The VMI offense responded by going down and scoring a touchdown by Quan Myers on a two-yard scamper to put the Keydets up, 20-3.

Tusculum would go on to earn a safety and touchdown midway through the final quarter but the rally was insufficient as VMI held on for the win.

The Keydets return to Southern Conference action next Saturday by hosting Furman for Senior Day to mark the final home game of the 2018 season.

Postgame: VMI coach Scott Wachenheim quotes

“We practice hard each and every week, and it is nice to result in a reward this team deserves.

“I don’t know another team in the country that would stay committed to each other for as long as these guys have with no reward at the end on the scoreboard, and keep fighting.

“Our defense was outstanding today. We have a very young group and, on top of that, have had key injuries this season. Our defense has guys stepping up and making plays.

“One of the game’s biggest plays was Colin Loftis coming off the edge to block a field goal. That kept it a two-score game – if it was a one-score lead it could have been a completely different game.”

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