Running game powers Richmond past Maine
Top-ranked Richmond got past Maine by a score of 38-21 with four unanswered touchdowns in the second half on Saturday, highlighted by a 90-yard punt return for a score by senior Derek Hatcher.
The running game for the Spiders (6-0, 4-0 Colonial Athletic Association) was the strongest point on the day as they out-gained the Black Bears (3-4, 2-2 CAA) 252 yards to -2 on the ground. Senior Justin Forte and running back Garrett Wilkins led the running game for Richmond. Forte lead the team with 91 yards on 16 carries while Wilkins compiled 78 yards on five runs, including a 57-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give the Spiders a 31-14 lead.
Spider quarterback Eric Ward went 12-of-21 in passing on the day for 108 yards, a touchdown and also a rushing score. Ward often targeted sophomore Tre Gray, who caught six passes for 67 yards.
Maine had a 14-10 lead going into the half, but following the break, Ward threw a 3-yard touchdown to redshirt sophomore Donte Boston to give the lead to the Spiders. Hatcher’s long punt return for a score on the next Richmond possession making the score 24-14 for the Spiders., after the Black Bears were forced to punt.
Maine quarterback Warren Smith went 35-of-58 passing for 327 yards and two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in the losing effort.
No. 6 ‘Nova Blanks No. 16 James Madison
The sixth-ranked Wildcats (6-1, 3-1 CAA) rebounded from their first loss of the season last week with a 27-0 win over James Madison on Saturday. James Madison (2-4, 0-3 CAA) won five of the previous six meetings between the two teams, but Villanova had the upper hand in their latest meeting.
Wildcat quarterback Chris Whitney matched a career-high in passing touchdowns with three and finished the day 11-of-16 passing for 93 yards. Whitney also ran the ball 18 times for 97 yards. As a team, Villanova had a productive running game on Saturday, as they ran for a total of 225 yards.
Junior Matt Szczur had a career day as he recorded his first multi-touchdown game. Szczur caught four passes for 53 yards and also ran the ball eight times for 76 yards.
James Madison quarterback Justin Thorpe was 13-of-32 passing for 144 yards. Thorpe ran the ball 18 times for 65 yards. His running game however needed work, as evident by his two fumbles, both of which resulted in turnovers. Defensive back Fred Maldonado and sophomore James Pitts both recovered one of the fumbles for the Wildcats to highlight a very successful day on defense for the team.
Townson no match for No. 23 Delaware
Townson’s three touchdowns in the fourth quarter came too late, as Delaware rode a 35-0 halftime lead to a 49-21 victory on Saturday. The Blue Hens’ current three-game winning streak is the team’s longest since the 2007 season.
Running back Jerry Butler stepped in for injured starter David Hayes and led the Delaware (5-2, 3-2 CAA) ground attack with 82 yards on 13 carries. The team total was a season-high 204 yards rushing on the day. Butler also opened the second half with an 89 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to extent the lead to 42-0. This is his third career kickoff return for a score set a new Delaware program-record that was previously held by Bill Hopkins (1962-64).
Delaware quarterback Pat Delvin went 9-of-15 passing for 127 yards and added 49 more yards on four carries. Delvin threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Mark Duncan, who caught six passes for 99 yards on the afternoon.
Quarterback Tommy Chroniger led the Tigers (2-4, 1-2 CAA) on the ground, rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown. Chroniger, who replaced quarterback Brian Potts (4 of 11 passing for 46 yards and 2 interceptions) went only 2-of-7 passing for 25 yards.
Drew Morrison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.