Tribe Football Falls at Richmond, 20-9; Shares CAA Title

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Courtesy TribeAthletics.com
Courtesy TribeAthletics.com

RICHMOND – The No. 7 William & Mary football team had its six-game winning streak snapped with a 20-9 loss at No. 14/16 Richmond in both teams’ regular-season finale Saturday afternoon.

Despite the loss, W&M (8-3, 6-2) earns a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title with Richmond (8-3, 6-2) and James Madison (9-2, 6-2). UR secures the league’s NCAA Playoffs automatic bid by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Tribe will learn its spot in the NCAA Playoffs bracket when it hosts a selection show watch party at Kaplan Arena on Sunday morning. The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m., while the live broadcast on ESPNU will air from 11 a.m. to noon.

UR led by just one, 7-6, at halftime, but the Spiders outscored W&M, 13-3, during the third quarter en route to securing the Capital Cup.

Much of Richmond’s offensive production came on the ground, as running back Jacobi Green totaled 217 yards on 36 carries with a touchdown.

Sophomore placekicker Nick Dorka Jr. provided all of W&M’s scoring and connected on all three of his field goal attempts (45, 51, 22).

W&M jumped out to an early 3-0 lead when Dorka capped off the game’s opening drive with a 45-yard field goal.

Although both teams went scoreless for much of the remainder of the initial half, Richmond took its first lead of the game with an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Lauletta to wideout Brian Brown with 3:54 left in the second quarter.

The Tribe had a chance to put points on the board a few minutes later when sophomore safety Keanu Reuben recovered a fumbled punt return by UR’s David Jones at the Spiders’ 20-yard line. However, junior quarterback Steve Cluley was intercepted by Jones on the first play of the ensuing drive.

After the college’s defense kept UR pinned deep in its own territory following the turnover, W&M utilized the good field position and Dorka kicked a career-long 51-yard field as the clock expired to narrow the margin to 7-6 at halftime.

Richmond extended its lead to 14-6 when running back Jacobi Green capped off the opening drive of the second half with a 12-yard touchdown run.

Although W&M answered with a 22-yard field goal by Dorka, Richmond responded with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Lauletta to wideout Reggie Diggs to increase the margin to 20-9 with 1:27 left in the third quarter. UR’s two-point conversion failed.

W&M drove to Richmond’s 12-yard line with less than 3 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but Cluley was intercepted by David Herlocker to halt W&M’s late comeback bid.

Cluley finished the game 20-of-37 for 215 yards with three interceptions, while junior wideout Kevin Hart totaled five catches for 78 yards.

Senior linebacker Luke Rhodes led the defense with a team-high 13 tackles.