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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Historic Defensive Effort Propels No. 4 W&M Football Past Charleston Southern, 15-7

(Tribe Athletics)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The fourth-ranked William & Mary football team extended its season-opening winning streak to three games with a 15-7 victory at Charleston Southern on Saturday evening.

The Tribe (3-0) posted a dominant performance defensively and limited the Buccaneers to just 77 total yards, marking the first time W&M has held an opponent to less than 100 yards since 1996 (Bucknell, 82 yards).

CSU’s (1-2) lone score came on a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown by Nivon Holland early in the first quarter. The Tribe’s defense has not allowed a touchdown in the last two games.

Additionally, W&M recorded four sacks, a pair of interceptions and put points on the scoreboard with a safety on a strip sack by defensive end Nate Lynn.

Running back Malachi Imoh led the Tribe offensively and rushed for 110 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown, while kicker Caden Bonoffski converted both his field goal attempts (28, 42).

Tribe Standouts 

Lynn led the Tribe defensively with a team-high seven tackles and 2.0 TFL to go with his strip sack that resulted in a safety.

Linebackers John Pius (six tackles, sack, 2.5 TFL) and Isaiah Jones (four tackles, sack, 2.0 TFL) also came up big defensively, while safeties Malcolm Spencer and Marcus Barnes recorded interceptions.

In addition to Imoh’s impressive game on the ground, which included three catches for 21 yards through the air, wideouts JT Mayo (four catches for 80 yards) and DreSean Kendrick (four catches for 69 yards) also came up big in the passing game.

Quarterback Darius Wilson completed 13-of-27 passes for 204 yards and rushed for 34 yards on seven carries.

Punter Will Whitehurst posted another impressive performance and averaged 43.5 yards per punt, with a long of 51, and pinned CSU at its own 5-yard line in the waning minutes of the contest to help preserve the victory.

Inside the Numbers

W&M outgained CSU, 395-77, and held the Buccaneers to just 20 rushing yards on 30 carries (0.7 yards/carry). The Tribe was especially dominant in the first half when it outgained CSU, 197-<4>.

The Tribe also limited CSU to just 1-of-10 on third down and totaled twice as many first downs, 16-8.

W&M controlled the time of possession, 34:17-25:43.

The Opposition

CSU quarterback Tony Bartalo completed 9-of-14 passes for 57 yards with two interceptions, while Timothy Ruff was the Buccaneers leading rusher with 37 yards on 10 carries. Fred Highsmith caught two passes for 24 yards.

Malik Barnes recorded a team-high seven tackles with 1.5 TFL, while Darrius Bell posted six stops and a sack.

Notes
With the win, W&M extended its school-record regular-season road winning streak to eight games … W&M opens its season with a 3-0 record for the second consecutive year … W&M has now won 41 of its last 43 games against non-conference opponents during the regular season … W&M has allowed a total of just 10 points during the second half of games this season … The contest was the first-ever meeting between W&M and CSU … Bonoffski has made 7-of-8 field goals this season … Wilson moved into 10th on W&M’s career passing list (4,082) … W&M improves to 20-3 during the last six seasons in games in which it commits fewer turnovers than its opponent.

Up Next
W&M will return to conference action when it hosts Maine at Zable Stadium next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale and available at TribeAthletics.com.

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