Delaware and William & Mary move into first place

By Jackson Alexander

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The Delaware and William & Mary football teams each won this Saturday and have temporarily claimed the conference’s top spot with two weeks of the regular season remaining.

On Sunday, Towson fell victim to an offensive onslaught put on by the Blue Hens. Delaware accumulated 589 yards of total offense en route to a 48-0 blowout.

Leon Jackson paced a potent ground game, rushing for 88 yards and a score. Andrew Pierce (79 yards), Walter Davis (59 yards) and Pat Devlin (25 yards) also found the end zone to cap off an impressive performance from the four backs.

Meanwhile, the Tribe snuck by New Hampshire 13-3, winning their fifth-straight conference game. W&M had one of its best defensive outings of the season, limiting the Wildcats to 275 total yards and 39 rushing yards on 31 carries.

Jonathan Grimes carried the offensive load for the Tribe, totaling 118 rushing yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Brent Capri hooked up with wide receiver Chase Hill for the Tribe’s other TD.

Delaware (8-1, 5-1 Colonial Athletic Association) and William and Mary (7-2, 5-1 CAA) sit atop the conference standings, with Massachusetts and Villanova lurking one game behind the leaders.

Players of the Week

Massachusetts’ Tyler Holmes, Delaware’s Andrew Pierce and Rhode Island’s Steve Probst and Willis McGinnis were named conference CAA Players of the Week.

Holmes was awarded the Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Minutemen’s 39-24 victory over Maine. The linebacker intercepted two passes and returned both of them for touchdowns.

Pierce’s two rushing touchdowns helped him win his sixth Rookie of the Week award this season. The freshman tailback carried the ball 16 times for 79 yards in a 48-0 win against Towson and became the first CAA running back to surpass 1,000 rushing yards this season.

Probst was named Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. The junior QB was the catalyst in Rhode Island’s 17-14 upset of Villanova. He compiled 208 yards of total offense, throwing for 107 and rushing for 101.

McGinnis scored his first collegiate touchdown and also earned his first Special Teams Player of the Week award. The defensive lineman manufactured the Rams’ second touchdown when he broke through the Wildcats defense, blocked the attempted punt and then recovered the blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown.

URI nips Villanova

On Sunday, the URI’s shocked Villanova, the defending D1-AA National Champions, 17-14.

The Rams defensive squad held the Wildcats to 68 rushing yards and forced three turnovers.

URI capitalized on Villanova’s first turnover when cornerback Jarrod Williams intercepted Chris Whitney’s pass and took it 33 yards for the score. The touchdown was the only score of the first half.

The Wildcats opened up the second half with a touchdown to even the score at seven apiece. However, URI reclaimed the lead with a 19-yard field goal by kicker Louis Feinstein, and then added some insurance when McGinnis recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown.

Villanova responded with a touchdown of its own, but it was too little, too late.

The win puts the Rams (4-5, 3-3 CAA) two games back of the conference leaders, Delaware and William and Mary. Fortunately for Villanova (6-3, 4-2 CAA), it will stay in the thick of things, and only fall a game out of first place.

Jackson Alexander can be reached at [email protected]