Monday, April 15, 2024

The win Saturday brought rewards for William & Mary football. Here’s why

Corey Parker (8), Raeshawn Smith (28) and Arman Jones (21) had reason to celebrate Saturday after Parker’s interception sealed W&M’s win over Albany. (WYDaily photo/Courtesy of W&M Athletics)
Corey Parker (8), Raeshawn Smith (28) and Arman Jones (21) had reason to celebrate Saturday after Parker’s interception sealed W&M’s win over Albany. (WYDaily photo/Courtesy of W&M Athletics)

William & Mary’s 25-22 victory over Albany on Saturday had obvious and immediate benefits.

It snapped a nine-game conference losing streak, a three-game losing streak overall and a scoreless streak that spanned more than eight quarters and 120 minutes.

It also had a lot of intangible benefits.

“It’s amazing what one game can do for you,” said Tribe cornerback Raeshawn Smith, who had eight total tackles against the Great Danes. “The culture in the locker room is a little different now. The culture in the meeting rooms are different. Everybody is smiling and having fun as opposed to being kind of depressed about losing. It was a big relief.”

Coach Jimmye Laycock noted the effort and attitude from his players have been the same from day-one. He saw no difference in that regard when they showed up for practice this week.

“They were smiling a little more in the team meeting on Monday,” he said.

However, that victory comes with a warning, Laycock said.

“Now don’t be complacent,” he said. “Just because what we did was good enough Saturday night doesn’t mean it will be good enough this weekend.”

What the Tribe (2-3, 1-1 CAA) did against Albany was shut down the Great Danes’ passing game, which was led by Vincent Testaverde, the son of former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde.

The Tribe pressured Testaverde into completing just nine passes in 24 attempts for 131 yards.

He was intercepted twice. Their leading receiver, freshman Dev Holmes, was averaging nearly 150 yards a game but had no receptions against the Tribe.

This week, the Tribe face another quarterback with a big name and a receiver who is averaging 100 yards a game.

Tom Flacco, the brother of Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco, is the Tigers’ starting quarterback. He’s a redshirt junior who is completing 69 percent of his passes. He has thrown for 1,482 yards and 14 TDs, and he’s been intercepted five times. Receiver Shane Leatherbury, also a redshirt junior, has 32 catches for 500 yards and three touchdowns.

“He has a strong arm and you don’t see him make many mistakes,” Smith said of Flacco. “We have to put some pressure on him.”

Laycock said Tom Flacco (6-1, 208) might not have the size his brother has or as strong an arm, but he’s still dangerous.

“He’s very accurate,” Laycock said, adding Tom is much more mobile than Joe and can sense when the pressure is coming from his blind side.

Flacco, at 65.2 yards a game, also is the leading rusher for No. 17 Towson (4-1, 2-0), which has won three consecutive games, including a 52-28 victory over then-No. 13 Stony Brook last week.

“Towson’s going to be a challenge,” Laycock added. “They’re playing really well right now.”

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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