Tie for first in CAA

By Scott Cournoyer

Courtesy of William & Mary Athletics
For the first time all season, there’s a tie atop the Colonial Athletic Association football conference, coming after William & Mary defeated Delaware, 17-16, on Saturday for the third consecutive year in row.

Delaware (7-1, 4-1 CAA) struggled all game to put the ball in the end zone, settling for three field goals on the day.

Going into the game, the Blue Hens were facing their fourth top five ranked team of the season, making it difficult to consistently put points on the board against quality teams.

With a 10-point lead going into halftime, Delaware, which had only given up two touchdowns combined in the second half of any game this year, looked to its defense to seal the victory.

The Tribe (6-1, 4-1 CAA) responded by scoring two touchdowns in the second half, both through the air, including a six-yard strike by running back Jonathan Grimes to Chase Hill on a halfback option pass with just over six minutes left in the game to take the lead.

The score would prove to be the game-winner after a 42-yard missed field goal attempt by the Blue Hens’ Mike Perry with under two minutes left in the game.

Despite rushing for its second lowest amount in a contest all season (85), the Tribe converted seven first downs, its second highest amount in a game all year.

Linebacker Dante Cook provided the difference defensively for W&M, racking up 10 tackles, three of which were for losses, as well as two sacks.

Nova survives against Dukes

With a 14-point second quarter performance, Villanova held onto a 14-7 victory Saturday against the James Madison extending their home winning streak to 14 games and positioning them near the top of the conference standings.

The first points of the game for either side didn’t come until late in the second quarter, when quarterback Chris Witney threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Norman White. The second came on a 54-yard connection from White to receiver Mike Reynolds with just over one minute left to play in the half.

The Wildcats (5-2, 3-1 CAA) put on a running display in the second half, compiling all 129 total offensive second half yards for Villanova on the ground.

Witney only threw two passes in the second half, both of them resulting in incompletions. Linebacker Marquis Kirkland recorded a game-high 10 tackles, solidifying the win for the Wildcats.

Grimes, Evans, Walker take home CAA Honors

Tribe’s back Jonathan Grimes did it all for W&M on Saturday, posting 194 all-purpose yards, including 77 on the ground on 21 carries, on his way to being named CAA Offensive Player of the Week. Grimes came up huge for the Tribe late in the game when he completed a six-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option in the fourth quarter, which proved to be the game winner.

New Hampshire’s Matt Evans provided great plays for the Wildcats against Massachusetts on Saturday en route to a 39-13 victory, solidifying a second-straight CAA Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Evans recorded 13 tackles, his first career interception and a forced fumble as the Wildcats held UMass to just 43 yards on the ground.

Maine’s Terrel Walker helped the Black Bears come away with a 28-23 win Saturday against Rhode Island on the road, while winning this week’s CAA Rookie of the Week honor.

Walker ran the ball for 99 yards on four carries, including an 86-yard run for a touchdown late in the third quarter. The run marked the longest play from scrimmage this year for Maine, as well as the longest rush of the year in the conference thus far.

Scott Cournoyer can be reached at [email protected]