The Richmond Spiders narrowly won a nail-biter over the visiting JMU Dukes at Robins Stadium on Saturday. Reinforced by a stalwart defense, the Spiders had just enough offense to sneak in yet another overtime win to move to 5-4 and 3-3 in the CAA.
The Richmond Spiders narrowly won a nail-biter over the visiting JMU Dukes at Robins Stadium on Saturday. Reinforced by a stalwart defense, the Spiders had just enough offense to sneak in yet another overtime win to move to 5-4 and 3-3 in the CAA. The win all but eliminated JMU from the CAA playoff scene while the fifth-place Spiders’ hopes for a conference title hang by a thread.
The Spiders squandered their first five possessions before junior Tre Gray reeled in a 41-yard reception to tie the game at 7-7 halfway into the second quarter. That one- play drive was set up when senior linebacker Eric McBride picked off a JMU pass and returned it 14 yards into Duke territory.
The Spiders were all but written off as CAA contenders after losing quarterbacks Aaron Corp and Montel White to injuries earlier in the season. Redemption rode in on a resurging defense and hope lay in sophomore quarterback John Laub.
While not perfect by any stretch (two interceptions, two fumbles), Laub connected with seven different receivers for 187 yards and one touchdown. Gray accounted for 86 yards in the air and senior running back Tyler Kirchoff notched 72 on the ground.
Duke quarterback Drew Dudzik couldn’t catch a break against the unusually tight Richmond defense that slapped him with three sacks and two interceptions, limiting him to just six completions for 57 yards in 15 attempts.
One of the Richmond defensive sacks came in the crucial overtime period to set up a fourth-and-30 yard attempt that the Dukes failed to convert. The Spiders took over and forged ahead behind Kirchoff’s four consecutive runs of six, eight, one and seven yards to set up sophomore Wil Kamin’s winning 20-yard field goal. Kamin was two- for-two on the night and remains perfect for the season (eight for-eight).
The Spiders’ final regular-season home game is next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. against the Rhode Island Rams. The Rams are 4-5 on the season and 3-3 in CAA play.