Richmond pulls come from behind victory

By Neil Carroll

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The No. 1 Richmond football team was losing 17-10 at halftime on the road against Maine, but pulled off a 38-21 victory after the Spiders held the Black Bears scoreless until the last two minutes of the second half.

Richmond’s defense completely shut down Maine’s running game in the second half as the Black Bears (3-4, 2-2 Colonial Athletic Association) offense totaled -2 yards rushing.

Maine’s quarterback Warren Smith was the lone bright spot for the offense, finishing the game 35-of-58 for 327 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Smith also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown with five minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter that tied the game at 7.

Richmond’s Derek Hatcher had a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown that stretched the Spiders’ lead to 10 points in the third quarter.

Justin Forte led the Richmond offense with 16 carries for 91 yards. Although Forte did not score in the game, the Spiders had rushing touchdowns come from running backs Kendall Gaskins and Garret Wilkins, and quarterback Eric Ward.

Ward played efficiently behind center, throwing for 108 yards on 12-of-21 passing attempts with one touchdown and one interception.

Maine will have a bye week this weekend following the loss.

With the come-from-behind win, Richmond (6-0, 4-0 CAA) will next face Massachusetts at home on Saturday.

Villanova shuts out JMU

One week after being upset by New Hampshire and bumped from the No. 2 spot in the Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 rankings, Villanova (6-1, 3-1 CAA) rebounded this week by pulling off a 27-0 shutout over James Madison (2-4, 0-3 CAA) on Saturday.           

Villanova quarterback Chris Whitney rushed 18 times for 121 yards and also completed 11-of-16 passes for 93 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Matt Szczur ran eight times for 76 yards, and caught four passes for 53 yards with two touchdowns on the way to the Wildcats’ sixth win of the season.

JMU struggled on offense throughout the day. The Dukes’ put together two drives of 50 yards or more, and had to punt on 7-of-12 drives.

James Madison quarterback Justin Thorpe completed 13-of-32 passes for 144 yards, and had 18 rushes for 80 yards with two fumbles.

Villanova’s defense played a key part in the victory, keeping the JMU offense out of the red zone for the entire game. The Duke’s closest chance at scoring came by way of a missed 37-yard field goal attempt by kicker Matt Goff.

James Madison will next travel on the road to face William and Mary this Saturday.

This weekend the No. 4-ranked Wildcats will also have their homecoming weekend, as they will play Rhode Island.

Delaware routs Towson

Delaware served up a 49-21 rout of Towson this past Saturday in Towson, Md., to improve to 5-2, and 3-2 in the CAA.

The Blue Hens defense shut out Towson (2-4, 1-2 CAA) for the first three quarters of the game. The Tigers leading passer was Brian Potts, who completed 4-of-11 passes for 46 yards with two interceptions.

On offense, Leon Jackson led the Blue Hens. Jackson carried the ball 17 times for 53 yards with three touchdowns. Quarterback Pat Devlin also chipped in by completing 9-of-15 passes for 127 yards with two touchdowns.

Towson running back Tommy Chroniger was the lone bright spot for the Tigers. Chroniger finished the game with 11 rushes for 107 yards and one touchdown.

Neil Carroll can be reached at [email protected]