WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The No. 22/24 William & Mary football team earned a thrilling 31-28 victory against Monmouth at Zable Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
W&M (5-3, 3-2) freshman defensive lineman Gent Veizi helped seal the victory when he blocked potential game-tying 27-yard field goal attempt by Monmouth’s Vincenzo Rea with just 0:08 remaining.
The Tribe scored the go-ahead touchdown on its prior possession when quarterback Darius Wilson connected on a 10-yard strike to wideout JT Mayo with 6:14 remaining.
W&M led 21-7 at halftime, but the Hawks (3-5, 2-3) charged back with a trio of touchdowns, highlighted by scoring runs of 45 yards and 75 yards by Jaden Shirden, to take a 28-24 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
En route to earning the victory, W&M posted one of its best offensive performances of the season. In addition to totaling 31 points, it piled up 438 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns in all four of its trips into the red zone.
Wilson completed 24-of-33 passes for a career-high 283 yards with two touchdowns, while he also added 28 yards on the ground.
Running back Malachi Imoh scored a pair of touchdowns, including one on the ground and one through the air, as he rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries and recorded three catches for 27 yards. With the impressive effort, Imoh has rushed for more than 100 yards in five of the last six games.
Tight end Sean McElwain totaled a career-high six receptions for 113 yards, while Mayo finished with a career-best seven catches for 69 yards with a score.
Defensively, cornerback Ryan Poole intercepted a pass in the red zone to thwart a Monmouth scoring opportunity and totaled four tackles, a TFL and a PBU.
Linebacker Isaiah Jones tallied a team-high seven tackles, while linebacker John Pius registered five stops with a half sack and three quarterback hurries.
Punter Will Whitehurst helped W&M win field possession throughout the contest and averaged 46.0 yards per punt with his four kicks, including a long of 55 yards.
Inside the Numbers
W&M outgained Monmouth, 438-425, and threw for a season-high 283 yards though the air. The Tribe was especially dominant in the first half when it outgained the Hawks, 309-144.
The Tribe converted 7-of-13 on third down and its only fourth down attempt, which was a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Martin Lucas late in the first half.
W&M dominated the time of possession (34:48-25:12) and did not commit any turnovers.
Shirden rushed for a game-high 251 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns, while Sone Ntoh rushed for 45 yards on seven carries with a score.
Wideout Dymere Miller posted six catches for 62 yards with a score.
Defensively, Jake Brown and Tyrese Wright were Monmouth’s leading tacklers with 12 and 10 stops apiece, respectively.
The contest was the first meeting between the two schools … W&M has won six of its last seven games at Zable Stadium … The victory snapped a three-game losing streak.
W&M will return to action when it plays at UAlbany next Saturday at 1 p.m.