Richmond rallies to beat James Madison 21-17
HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP)—Ben Keating caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and Richmond rallied to beat James Madison 21-17 on Saturday.
Richmond (5-0, 3-0 Colonial Athletic Association), the defending Football Championship Subdivision champion, has won 15 straight since losing to James Madison 38-31 on Oct. 11, 2008.
“I sit here before you really humbled and really blessed,” Richmond coach Mike London said. “It didn’t look pretty, but we played football when we had to play football. This is a special team. This is a team that rallies around each other.”
Keating scored all three touchdowns for Richmond. He had a pair of 1-yard runs in the first quarter, his only carries of the game, then caught a 6-yard pass from Eric Ward with 7:20 to play in the game.
Ward was 16 of 26 for 165 yards and a touchdown.
“If Eric is not considered one of the best quarterbacks in the country, I don’t know who is,” London said. “He’s as good as any quarterback out there.”
After Richmond’s go-ahead score the Dukes drove 57 yards to the Spiders’ 6-yard-line, but redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Thorpe fumbled the ball. The Spiders’ Eric McBride recovered with 58 seconds remaining.
“He doesn’t know. He’s young,” James Madison coach Mickey Matthews said of Thorpe. “He’s got to learn to take care of the ball.”
The Dukes (2-3, 0-2) took a 17-14 lead on a 15-yard return of a blocked punt in the second quarter by Corwin Acker.