JMU knocks off Tribe, Scott takes over for injured QB and wins honors

By Scott Cournoyer

Behind 266 yards of total offense, all in the form of rushing yards, the James Madison football team upset William & Mary, 30-24, on Saturday, knocking the Tribe out of their tie with Delaware for the top spot in the conference.

Although senior quarterback Mike Callahan completed over half of his passes (24 for 40) for 250 yards and two touchdowns, the Duke’s running game saw two players each compile over 100 yards on the ground. JMU’s Dae’Quan Scott had 125 yards rushing to go along with three touchdowns, one that capped off a 14-play, 71-yard drive that lasted over eight minutes to start the second half.

After cutting the lead to 21-13, the Tribe recovered an ensuing onside kick, and tied the game with a 17-yard connection from Callahan to receiver Ryan Moody. W&M (7-3, 5-2 Colonial Athletic Association), then completed the two-point conversion to tie the game at 21-21. JMU (5-5, 2-5 CAA) took the lead once again on the ensuing drive, when Scott took it into the endzone on a 30-yard touchdown run with just over 12 minutes left in the game. The Duke’s defense sealed the victory with a fourth down safety with 3:26 left to play.

The loss puts W&M’s season on the brink, as they need to hope for a loss by Delaware next week for a chance to climb back into the playoff picture. The Blue Hens secured a tie for the CAA title, defeating Massachusetts, 45-27 Saturday.

UNH Upset ‘Nova

In a battle of ranked teams, New Hampshire went on the road Saturday, coming away with a seven-point victory against a higher ranked Villanova.

Although the Wildcats doubled UNH’s time of possession, ‘Nova (6-4, 4-3 CAA) fumbled the ball five times. Sophomore linebacker Matt Evans continued to amaze, racking up a game-high 15 tackles to lead UNH (6-4, 4-3 CAA) in a stingy second half defensive performance. UNH’s defense especially clamped down in the third quarter when ’Nova, threatening to score on the Wildcat’s 9-yard line, surrendered sacks on back-to-back plays, while also having their field goal attempt get blocked to keep the game at 24-17 in favor of UNH.

The game came down to the wire when ‘Nova had one last shot to take the ball the down the field with a 31-24 UNH lead. After a 3rd-and-5 incompletion at the UNH 20, the Wildcats were called for pass interference, spotting the ball on the 5-yard line. With less than 30 seconds left to play in the game, UNH defensive end Brian McNally forced a victory-sealing fumble when he recorded his conference-leading ninth sack on the season. The 31 points UNH put up is the most that the Villanova defense has allowed this season, who came into the game with the country’s third-best scoring defense (14.2 ppg).
Scott, McBride take home CAA honors

After starting quarterback Drew Dudzik went down for the Dukes during the game Saturday, Scott moved from receiver to quarterback, leading the Dukes as they compiled all 266 total offensive yards in the game, on the ground. JMU did not attempt or complete a pass while Scott was under center, who led the game with 125 rushing yards on 21 carries, scoring three times. The performance earned the Staunton, Va., native the CAA Rookie of the Week honor.

Richmond linebacker Eric McBride made highlights all over the field Saturday against Rhode Island, earning himself a CAA Defensive Player of the Week honor. In his final regular season home game, McBride recorded 13 tackles, a forced fumble and recovery, as well as a 20-yard interception return to lead a Spider defense to seven turnovers against the Rams. The 13 tackles helped McBride move into second-place in school history with 441 tackles over his four-year career.

Scott Cournoyer can be reached at [email protected]