Saturday, May 28, 2022

Tribe football’s comeback bid falls short at Virginia in season opener

(Courtesy Tribe Athletics)

The William & Mary football team opened the 2017 season with a 28-10 setback at Virginia on Saturday afternoon.
 
Although W&M outgained UVA in the second half, 172-138, it was unable to overcome a 14-0 halftime deficit.
 
The Tribe narrowed the gap to 21-10 and had possession of the ball midway through the fourth quarter, but a turnover deep in its own territory ended the late comeback bid.
 
Tribe Standouts
Junior quarterback Tommy McKee, who made his first career start, finished as W&M’s leading rusher with 89 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown, while redshirt freshman tailback Noah Giles posted 54 yards on 11 carries.
 
Sophomore safety Corey Parker (13, TFL), sophomore linebacker Nate Atkins (12, sack, FF) and junior linebacker Josh Dulaney (10, 1.5 TFL, FF) all posted double-digit tackle totals. Sophomore linebacker Arman Jones also came up big with eight stops and a sack.
 
Sophomore kicker Kris Hooper made his only field goal attempt, as his 41-yard kick early in the third quarter nearly matched his career long (42).
 
Inside the Numbers
Although W&M outgained UVA on the ground (168-92), the Cavaliers threw for 262 yards and outgained the Tribe, 354-240. Additionally, W&M was just 1 of 11 on third down, while UVA converted half its third downs (9-18).
 
The Opposition 
Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert completed 27 of 39 passes for 262 yards with three touchdowns, while Olamide Zaccheaus (5-56), Andre Levrone (2-56) and Jordan Ellis (2-11) all hauled in touchdown catches. Doni Dowling was the Cavaliers’ leading receiver (6-76), while Ellis rushed for a team-high 80 yards on 20 carries with a score.
 
Malcolm Cook led UVA defensively with 13 tackles and a sack, while Quin Blanding (12) and Juan Thornhill (10) also posted double-digit sack totals.
 
Notes
W&M forced fumbles on both of Virginia’s first half touchdown drives but was unable to secure possession … UVA’s second touchdown, a 34-yard pass from Benkert to Levrone with 1:31 left in the second quarter, came on a fourth-and-9 … Six W&M players made their first career starts (McKee, freshman running back Noah Giles, sophomore tight end Tyler Klaus, junior center Chris Norris, junior right tackle Garrett Best and sophomore linebacker Arman Jones) … W&M converted both its fourth down attempts … The Tribe was penalized just twice for 10 yards … The two teams combined to commit just five penalties for 25 yards … W&M’s defense totaled three sacks and 9.0 TFL … DeVonte Dedmon moved into fifth place on the program’s career list for kickoff return yards (1,324) after returning three kicks for 61 yards … W&M falls to 6-29-1 in the all-time series versus UVA.
 
Up Next
W&M will continue the non-conference portion of its schedule when it plays at Norfolk State next Saturday at 6 p.m.

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