HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 1, 2011 – Fueled by 297 yards rushing and seven quarterback sacks from its defense the James Madison football team powered past the University of Richmond 31-7 at Bridgeforth Stadium on Saturday.
JMU won its fourth straight game to improve to 4-1 this season and 2-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association. UR lost its second straight, dropping to 3-2 and 0-2 in the conference.
JMU running backs combined to average 5.5 yards per carry, gaining 297 yards and four touchdowns on 54 carries. Redshirt sophomore running back Jordan Anderson (Chanitlly, Va./Westfield) rushed for a career-high 162 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Redshirt freshman Jauan Latney (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) added 98 yards and a touchdown on 19 rushes.
Richmond struck for the game’s first score as DeShawn Holmes blocked a punt during the Dukes’ opening drive and ran it back to the three-yard line. Three plays later, Kendall Gaskins plunged in from a yard out for the first score of the game. Wil Kamin added the extra point and the Spiders led 7-0 less than four minutes into the game.
The Dukes evened the score with an 11-play, 62-yard drive that took more than five minutes off the clock. Latney finished the drive with a five-yard scoring run and sophomore kicker Cameron Starke’s (Halifax, Va./Halifax County) extra point split the uprights to tie the game at seven at the 12:29 mark in the second quarter.
After a three-and-out by the Spiders, the Dukes’ started their next drive on the UR 43-yard line. Latney led another scoring drive with four rushes for 18 yards, and redshirt freshman quarterback Jace Edwards (Midland, Texas/Robert E. Lee) capped the drive with a 10-yard scramble up the middle for the touchdown.
On the next possession, Richmond was held to just four plays, before quarterback Aaron Corp fumbled on fourth-and-12 on a sack from freshman defensive end Sage Harold (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes). JMU redshirt senior defensive end D.J. Bryant (Baltimore, Md./Randallstown) recovered at the 37-yard line to send Madison into the half with a 14-7 advantage.
In the opening drive of the second half, the Dukes snuffed out a fake punt as redshirt senior safety Vidal Nelson (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) intercepted punter Nick Hicks’ throw to set the Dukes’ up at their own 30. The Dukes went 70 yards In just three minutes in a six-play scoring drive. Anderson broke off the drives’ big play, scoring from 45-yards out to stretch the JMU lead to 21-7.
Starting the fourth quarter at its own one-yard line, Richmond was forced to punt and JMU began its next possession on its own 47. On the second play of the drive, Anderson outraced the UR defense, scoring from 49-yards out for his second touchdown of the day.
On the ensuing drive, JMU’s defensive line continued its domination as it forced another three-and-out to set up a 44-yard field goal by Starke to cap the day’s scoring at 31-7.
Harold finished the day with two and a half sacks and a pair of forced fumbles to lead the defense. Redshirt senior defensive tackle Lamar Middleton (Newark, N.J./Shabazz) added two tackles for loss, including a sack while redshirt senior linebacker Pat Williams (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) had a team-high eight tackles. Collectively, JMU limited the Spiders to -12 yards rushing on 25 carries.
In his first start at quarterback, Edwards went 5-for-12 for 34 yards, adding 11 yards rushing and a touchdown. Redshirt junior tight end Brian Barlow (Stephens City, Va./Sherando) led the team with two catches for 22 yards.
Corp finished his day 16-for-31 for 130 yards. Tre Gray picked up 38 yards receiving on four catches while running back Kendall Gaskins was limited to 22 yards on nine carries.
Linebacker Darius McMillan led all playes with 15 tackles and strong safety Colin Pehanick added 13 tackles, including one and a half for a loss.
JMU continues its three-game homestand next weekend as it hosts Maine at Bridgeforth Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m.