The Press Box Sports

Late Score Puts James Madison Over Richmond 20-13

James Madison Football

The James Madison Dukes pulled out a tough game 20-13 against the Richmond Spiders. It was a low scoring game that surprisingly, had Richmond in a good position to take the game into overtime. With the game tied at 13-13, the Dukes were able to pull out a touchdown with 44 seconds left. Trai Sharp was phenomenal on the last drive for James Madison. Sharp capped the 10 play, 71-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to put the Dukes up 20-13. Richmond was able to get down to the JMU 29-yard line on their final drive, but couldn’t get any closer.

James Madison just didn’t play well offensively today. Their potent rushing attack wasn’t able to get anything going. For a team that averages 224 rushing yards per game, the Dukes could only gain 113 yards on the ground. Sharp led the team with 60 yards on 13 carries and Marcus Marshall added 41 yards on 14 carries. Both running backs scored a touchdown each. Only averaging 2.9 yards per carry, the Dukes clearly had issues on the ground which led to the close game.

Bryan Schor wasn’t very impressive either. The senior quarterback completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 229 yards and an interception. David Eldridge led James Madison with 80 receiving yards on 4 catches. Ishmael Hyman contributed to the cause with 4 catches of his own for 70 yards. Both guys did have key receptions to keep drives alive which provided a small spark throughout the game.

Even with the offense lacking, the defense for the Dukes stepped up once again. That’s what makes James Madison so tough to beat. You have to beat them on both offense and defense and not many FCS football teams can do that. The defense sacked Kyle Lauletta four times in the game. They held the Spiders to just 20 rushing yards on 19 carries. It was a group effort today, but a couple of guys did stand out defensively for the Dukes. Safety, Raven Greene had 11 total tackles and cornerback Curtis Oliver rushed the passer on a blitz to record a sack. Jordan Brown had a pick while Cornell Urquhart had 1.5 sacks.

Lauletta wasn’t that bad for Richmond, but he just couldn’t provide any spark. The senior completed 61 percent of his passes for 304 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Tyler Wilkins had 180 of those yards on 12 catches and a touchdown. The rest of the team just couldn’t add anything else to push the Spiders from taking advantage of the low scoring game.

You have to give the Richmond defense a lot of credit. They contained the ground game for the Dukes and helped win the possession battle. Just like James Madison, the Spiders also had four sacks on the day. They also had eight tackles for a loss. The only major flaw the defense was on the last drive for the Dukes. Sharpe was able to get a few good gains on the ground as the Spider d-line started to wear down. Other than that drive, you couldn’t have asked for a better performance from the Richmond defense.

James Madison extends their winning streak to 22 games. The undefeated Dukes will wrap up the regular season next week against Elon. A win will guarantee the Dukes a consecutive CAA Title and the top seed in the FCS Football Playoffs. James Madison is still currently only one of two undefeated teams left in the FCS this season. Richmond falls to 5-5 on the season. They’ll wrap up their season next week against the William & Mary Tribe.

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