The Game of the Week for November 5th was essentially an unofficial CAA Championship game between two Top 10 teams. It did not disappoint anyone (besides Richmond fans) who were looking for a tight battle.
It was a back and forth game, as demonstrated by the fact that there were 3 ties and a whopping 10 lead changes. Up until 1 minute left in the game the largest lead of the game was 7 points for Richmond and 6 points for James Madison.
The Dukes closed out the win in the last 6 minutes and 43 seconds of the 4th quarter. Richmond had just scored a touchdown to pull ahead 37-33 when Bryan Schor led James Madison on a 12 play, 71 yard touchdown drive that was capped off with a throw to Jonathan Kloosterman with 1:36 left in the game. After the extra point JMU held a 40-37 lead. The game was finished off by the Dukes defense which forced Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta to throw 4 straight incomplete passes from his own 8, resulting in a turnover on downs. The JMU offense would run the ball twice before finding the endzone to give them a 47-37 lead. Richmond would cover 83 yards in 6 plays and score a touchdown as the clock expired to end the game at 47-43.
Schor had an amazing day for the Dukes. He completed 22 of the 28 passes he attempted for a total of 285 yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Add in the 91 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground and those are conference player of the week stats. On the ground he was joined by RB Khalid Abdullah who had 20 carries for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. Through the air Schor’s number one target was junior wide receiver Terrence Alls who was targeted 6 times for 98 yards.
For the Spiders, Lauletta threw the ball all over the field generating 435 yards of offense through the air on a 28 of 43 performance with 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Deontez Thompson, a freshman running back, had a standout game for Richmond on the big stage. He had 13 touches for 128 yards on the ground and 3 catches for another 18 yards. Lauletta spread the ball around to 10 different players through the air, the biggest days went to wide receivers Brian Brown and Jamal Bevels. Brown had 5 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown and Bevels had 7 catches for 92 yards.
James Madison has another huge road game as they head to Villanova to take on the Wildcats. The Dukes are in the running for a top two seed for the FCS playoffs and need to keep winning. A win over Villanova should leave them undefeated in FCS competition with their last game at home against a down Elon squad.
Richmond can’t hang their heads for too long. The Spiders still have a great shot at 9-2 and a first round bye. They host Delaware this weekend and then head to William and Mary to finish the season against an in-state rival. Both of these games are very winable if the Spiders can stay focused and healthy.