University of Richmond Senior QB Eric Ward sliced and diced VMI’s secondary en route to a career high 394 yards passing and 3 TDs to lead the Spiders to a 38-28 home victory over the Keydets. On a day when the Spiders Defense needed a little help, Ward put the team on his back and again delivered.
University of Richmond Senior QB Eric Ward sliced and diced VMI’s secondary en route to a career high 394 yards passing and 3 TDs to lead the Spiders to a 38-28 home victory over the Keydets yesterday. On a day when the Spiders Defense needed a little help, Ward put the team on his back and again delivered.
Richmond’s career leader in completion pct. (62.0), completed 28 of his 39 passes, and spread the wealth by connecting with six different receivers. Ward’s success was bolstered by RB Justin Forte‘s career high 152 yards rushing, marking the first time this season a Spider RB has eclipsed the century mark.
Despite putting up 548 yards of total offense, the eighth-best total in Spider history, victory was not a sure thing. In head coach Mike London‘s weekly presser, he reminded us that last week’s game can’t help you win this week’s game. Seems rather prophetic given the fight the #1 ranked University of Richmond Spiders found themselves in today after blowing out Hofstra last Saturday. Even Ward was not flawless.
It was VMI who scored first, taking a 7-0 lead on a 44-yard TD pass from QB Kyle Hughes to RB Tim Maypray on the first play following a Ward fumble, stunning the U of R crowd. Richmond however thundered back to score on three consecutive possessions, the third on a beautiful 53-yard completion to emerging sophomore WR Donte Boston to take a 21-7 lead. Boston’s 7 catches for 125 yards are career highs.
VMI remained undaunted. On a 3rd and 8 at the their 29-yard line with less than nine minutes before halftime, a missed tackle in the flat enabled Keydet slotback Bryan Barnson to scamper for 51 yards to the U of R 20 yard line. Six plays later, Hughes found junior WR Mario Scott for a TD to pull close the gap to 21-14.
Richmond opened up the second half with a 4-play, 66 yard TD drive that included another pretty long ball from Ward, a 44-yarder to WR Tre Gray that set up a 5-yard TD run by RB Tyler Kirchoff. The Spiders hoped to put the game out of reach with a FG that extended their lead to 31-14 midway through the third quarter. The pesky Keydets would not go away however.
After the teams traded scores to make it 38-20, Kyle Hughes followed his electrifying 66-yard TD run by running in the two point conversion to cut the lead to ten and putting the balance of the game in doubt with 8:46 to go. The Spiders Defense then stiffened when it needed to lifting U of R to 4-0 on the season for their school record 13th straight win.
(Image courtesy of Scott K. Brown, SKB Photography)