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Richmond, William & Mary easing past CAA foes

Both Richmond and William & Mary continue to show why they are two of the top teams in the Colonial Athletic Association, as their quarterbacks, Eric Ward and R.J. Archer earned conference co-offensive player of the week honors.

Ward led the No. 1 Spiders (4-0)  to victory over in-state rival Virginia Military Institute by the score of 38-28. He recorded career highs in the process, completing 28 of 39 passes for 394 yards and three touchdowns. His 394 passing yards were second in school history. Ward spread the ball among the Richmond offense as three different receivers caught touchdowns.

The Spider running game was also effective against the Keydets (1-2), picking up 177 yards from scrimmage on the ground. Running back Justin Forte led the team with 154 yards on 21 attempts, scoring one touchdown. Richmond ended up with 548 total offensive yards. They have a bye week this week, allotting two weeks to prepare before taking on No. 6 James Madison.

The No. 5 Tribe, led by Archer, also came away with a win, beating conference rival Delaware, 30-20.

Archer had a career game of his own against the Blue Hens (2-2), passing for 313 yards, completing 23 of 37 passes, and two touchdowns for William & Mary (4-0). His first touchdown of the game made school history, completing a 91 yard pass to wide receiver Chase Hill.

Chase had an impressive game of his own, catching a career-high six receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Both Archer and Chase originally were high school quarterbacks, converted to wide receivers when they arrived to William & Mary. Archer returned to his original position, this being his first year as starting quarterback for the Tribe.

This is William & Mary’s best start to a season since 1994. The Tribe defense also factored in on the victory. The defense recorded five sacks and took away the Delaware running game, allowing only negative two rushing yards on 18 attempts. Their next game is at No. 2 Villanova in a conference showdown.

James Madison defensive lineman earns Defensive Player of Week

No. 7 James Madison’s defensive play, led by CAA Defensive Player of the Week defensive lineman Arthur Moats, beat No. 25 Liberty, 24-10.

Moats recorded nine tackles in the game – a team high – including three tackles for losses. Moats also sacked quarterback Tommy Beecher, as well as forcing a fumble.

JMU (2-1) held the Flames to 217 total offensive yards, down from their season average 325 yards per game. Liberty’s 10 points in the game is a season-low for points scored. During the season, the Flames (2-2) average 22 points per game.

The Dukes’ defensive play was important to the victory, as the game was tied 10-10 going into the fourth quarter. JMU held Liberty to a field goal in the second half.  Free safety Griff Yancey intercepted the ball, returning it for 34 yards to the Liberty 13-yard line, which set up a touchdown by running back Corwin Acker, sealing the win for JMU.

New Hampshire wins Granite Bowl Trophy

In the annual game against in-state rival Dartmouth, New Hampshire convincingly beat the Big Green, 44-14 to win the Granite Bowl Trophy.

The No. 7 Wildcats (3-0) beat Dartmouth for the second straight year, giving them the advantage in the all-time series.

New Hampshire played both sides of the ball well, picking up 528 total offensive yards and holding Dartmouth to 314 total yards. The Wildcat running game was impressive, as it rushed for 287 yards. The 287 yards on the ground was a collective effort as UNH utilized 10 different players on the ground.

The Big Green (0-2) kept the game close in the first half, losing 20-14. However, the Wildcats went on to score 24 unanswered points in the second half, putting the game out of reach for Dartmouth. Running back Chad Kackert led the team in rushing yards with 74 as well as rushing attempts (12).

The only bright spot for the Big Green was running back Nick Schwieger. Schweiger finished the game with 119 yards, the first time a Dartmouth running back reached the 100-yard mark in a game since 2007.

 New Hampshire goes on the road this week to take on Towson in an in-conference game. Kick off will be at 3:30.

Juan Pacheco can be reached at jcpachec@student.umass.edu.

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