FIELD NOTES: Norfolk State 'Ran Into A Dominant Team'

Greg Madia, Publisher
Dukes of JMU
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Daniel Lin/DN-R

HARRISONBURG – James Madison moved the football how it wanted to during a 75-14 blasting of Norfolk State.

Norfolk State couldn’t move it at all.

The Dukes outgained the Spartans 728 yards of total offense to just 91 marking the largest discrepancy for single-game total yardage in JMU program history.

“Well, I think the scoreboard speaks for itself,” Norfolk State coach Latrell Scott said. “We ran into a dominant football team today.”

JMU’s offense rushed for 472 yards – the second time this season the Dukes have surpassed the 400-yard mark for rushing.

The defense didn’t allow a touchdown for the second straight game and limited the Spartans to only 43 yards rushing – the fourth consecutive game JMU has held its opponent to fewer than 100 yards on the ground.

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- JMU junior running back Trai Sharp and freshman Percy Agyei-Obese became the first pair of 100-yard rushers for the Dukes since last season. Sharp had 130 rushing yards on nine carries and Agyei-Obese registered 103 yards on 16 carries. Each scored a touchdown. The last pair to do it was Sharp (144 yards) and Khalid Abdullah (141 yards) against Sam Houston State.

- Three different quarterbacks saw action for the Dukes. JMU starter Bryan Schor played a half and a series before Cole Johnson was inserted. Johnson threw for 99 yards and a touchdown before he was relieved by Hunter Etheridge, who had a one-yard rushing touchdown.

- Six different rushers – Sharp, Agyei-Obese, Schor, Marcus Marshall, Cardon Johnson and Taylor Woods – all had at least 40 rushing yards. Six different rushers – Sharp, Agyei-Obese, Marshall, Schor, Woods and Etheridge – had at least one rushing touchdown.

- Cardon Johnson left the game in the second quarter with an injury. After the game, Houston said he didn’t have an update on Johnson yet. Johnson missed the final six games of the 2016 season with an Achilles injury.

- Most of Agyei-Obese’s touches came in the second half with the second-team offense. Many of JMU’s backups earned reps. Houston said every player that dressed for the game, got in the game.

- Houston said Saturday provided good experience for his young players who saw their first action like freshman wide receiver Ezrah Archie, who recorded his first career catch. Freshman tight end Clayton Cheatham had his first career catch too, on a 47-yard touchdown reception from Cole Johnson.

- Marshall said he’s beginning to feel more comfortable in JMU’s zone-rushing attack. Since the spring, he’s been tasked with adjusting from the Georgia Tech triple-option offense that he played in during each of the past two years.

- JMU senior safety Raven Greene recorded the tenth interception of his career and the first of this season. Greene led the team with six interceptions last year.

- When Greene intercepted the pass, Norfolk State’s quarterback Tripp Harrington was throwing from his own end zone. Greene picked it off at the two-yard line on a diving catch. Greene said right before the snap, he had talked to his teammates about Norfolk State running that specific play he made the interception on. Greene said earlier in the week, he had seen Norfolk State run it on film.

- Bryce Maginley’s first-quarter blocked punt that resulted in a safety was shades of the FCS quarterfinal against Sam Houston State. Maginley scooped-and-scored on a blocked punt in that contest.

- Of the blocked punt Saturday compared to the one last year against the Bearkats, Maginley said, “It was the same play exactly, but different people came free, so instead of me instead of me scoring this time, it was me blocking the punt. So, it was kind déjà vu.”

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