HARRISONBURG — Maine coach Joe Harasymiak wasn’t surprised when James Madison freshman wide receiver Ezrah Archie made an impact during the Dukes’ 28-10 win over the Black Bears on Saturday.
Archie had a game-high eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s a really good player,” Harasymiak said. “We recruited him for about a second, but then he went [to JMU].
“But he’s a talent. To be able to do that as a freshman, he’s talented.”
The Timber Creek Regional High School (Sicklerville, N.J.) product had scholarship offers from 11 different FCS schools before selecting the Dukes during the week leading up to National Signing Day in February.
“He was a late-offer guy,” JMU coach Mike Houston said. “And [wide receivers coach] Drew Dudzik was recruiting him. We just felt like we wanted to take one more receiver in that class.
“We thought he had a chance to develop, but he came in here and to his credit, he has done such a good job since he got here, we decided last week he was good enough to play this year so we took the redshirt off of him.”
Against Maine, Archie was inserted into the starting lineup as senior wide receiver John Miller was limited due to injury.
“He earned the right to be on the field,” Houston said. “And he’s taken advantage of the opportunities as he’s been out there.”
Targeting Call Upsets Houston
With less than two minutes to play, JMU sophomore linebacker Bryce Maginley was ejected for targeting.
As a result of the penalty, Maginley will have to sit out the first half of next week’s game at Delaware.
Maginley leveled Maine punter Derek Deoul after a low snap forced Deoul to take off with the ball instead of kicking it away.
Initially, there was no penalty called on the field, and it wasn’t until referees called for a video replay after JMU took an offensive snap that they decided to enforce the targeting penalty on Maginley.
“It’s unbelievable,” Houston said. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my entire life. It was reviewed from two plays later, which is in the rulebook and the rule is written that the play has to be reviewed before the ball is snapped for the next play.
“I don’t understand that. That’s not the way the rule was written. It’s a non-reviewable play at that point. I don’t know what happened. Make no mistake; I’m going to take issue with it. I don’t think it was [targeting] on the field, but you look at the video and that’s the reason it’s there and if they needed more time, they buzz it and stop it. I just hate it for the kid because now he’s going to miss the first half of next week.”
Colonial Athletic Association commissioner Joe D’Antonio said Sunday the league reviews every targeting call each week, and this week it included the one on Maginley.
“I have reviewed the matter with our coordinator of officials,” D’Antonio said. “And we are looking into the situation.”
Extending The Streak
With its win Saturday JMU extended the nation’s longest winning streak in Division I to 16 straight victories.
The Dukes’ last loss came more than a calendar year ago on Sept. 17, 2016 at FBS North Carolina.
JMU has also won 11 consecutive Colonial Athletic Association contests, which dates back to the 2015 season. Its last CAA loss came Oct. 31, 2015 at William & Mary.
Blue Hens Up Next
JMU plays its first CAA road game of the season on Saturday at Delaware.
The Blue Hens, led by first-year coach Danny Rocco, who left Richmond for Delaware in the offseason, are 2-1 and coming off a bye week. Delaware knocked off Delaware State 22-3 in Week 1 and Cornell 41-14 in Week 3, but were 27-0 losers at FBS Virginia Tech in Week 2.
The Dukes are expected to get back four players — senior wide receiver Terrence Alls, senior cornerback Justin Bethea, senior linebacker Brandon Hereford and senior offensive lineman Nick Edwards — that were all suspended for the first four games of the year.