Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Spiders stun Minutemen

Jeff Bernstein/Collegain

A late rally by No. 20 Richmond handed the No. 8 Massachusetts football team its first conference loss, stunning a Homecoming crowd in Amherst.

The Spiders (3-3, 1-2 Colonial Athletic Association) rallied on a touchdown in the final seconds to win 11-10 on Saturday.

McGuirk Alumni Stadium welcomed 16,421 people, including 900 alumni, the 14th-largest attendance figure in the stadium’s history.

Richmond held the Minutemen (4-2, 2-1 CAA) to 224 yards, including 146 on the ground, halting two fourth quarter drives inside its own 2-yard line.

“It’s a bad loss for UMass,” Minutemen coach Kevin Morris said. “We certainly let them stay in it all game long and they finally came through and won the football game.

The Minutemen committed three turnovers and faltered on special teams in its first loss in three games.

Freshman quarterback Montel White threw a game-winning pass with nine seconds left in the contest during his first career start for the Spiders.

White and the Richmond offense attempted one pass through the first three quarters, operating primarily out of a wildcat formation. White went 4-for-5 for 47 yards and ran for a first down on the final Richmond drive, which ended with a 15-yard strike to wide receiver Tre Gray.

“We certainly should be able to defend those pass plays when they happen,” Morris said. “It wasn’t like they lulled us to sleep and then sprung the pass on us. We’re going to look at it and be disappointed in our own effort. Not in terms of effort, but in terms of execution.

John Griffin ran for 84 yards on 19 carries and Jonathan Hernandez added 72 yards, as both backs failed to reach 100 yards for the first time this season.

Quarterback Kyle Havens found tight end Andrew Krevis on a seven-yard pass, capping a six minute, 41 second drive in the second quarter to take a 7-2 lead. Havens finished 12-for-22 with a touchdown, an interception and a fumble.

The two teams traded fumbles early in the third quarter. With 3:29 left in the quarter, Havens was blindsided by the Spiders’ Eric McBride, who knocked the ball loose. Darius McMillan recovered the loose ball, setting up a Wil Kamin field goal to make the score 7-5.

After a Richmond three-and-out in the fourth quarter, the Minutemen drove 40 yards in six plays to set up a goal line situation on the 1-yard line.

On three straight rushing plays, UMass tried one final time to score on the ground, but Hernandez’s effort was stopped.

On the next drive, the Minutemen found themselves in another 4th-and-1, this time at the Richmond 8-yard line. Kicker Caleb Violette kicked a 25-yard field goal to push the UMass lead to 10-5 with 1:51 remaining.

Morris spoke about his short-distance decision making late in the fourth quarter.

“We thought we could get the touchdown,” Morris said. “We were on 4th-and-goal inside the 1 and they made a play to stop us from getting in. In the second set, it was a matter of take the three points. They hadn’t done anything all day in terms of threatening to score against our defense, so we made [White] make the plays.”

The Minutemen entered the game 10-for-11 on the season in fourth down conversions.

Violette attempted a squib kick on the ensuing kickoff, misfiring out of bounds. The penalty gave the Spiders the ball at their own 40-yard line to begin their drive.

The Minutemen led 7-2 at halftime, but had trouble getting points on the board.

UMass went three-and-out on both of its first two drives. On its second drive, Violette could not secure a snap that flew over his head and out of the end zone for a safety.

The Minutemen recovered the ensuing free kick and drove to the Richmond 22-yard line where Violette missed a 43-yard field goal.

Violette entered the game as one of three kickers in the Football Championship Subdivision who had no missed field goals (6-6). He also punted five times, placing four inside the 20-yard line.

The Spiders went 0-for-5 on third down conversions (2-for-12 total) and gained one first down (nine total) in the first half.

UMass possessed the ball for nearly 34 minutes, moving the chains 13 times compared to nine for the Spiders.

Dan Gigliotti can be reached at [email protected].

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