The Tribe's Steve Cluley looked left, hesitated, then threw up a low, hard pass. David Herlocker tipped it. David Jones intercepted it in the back of the endzone with 104 yards between him and the opposite goal line.
Jones started in one endzone and ended in the other, then it felt as if the game was over with more than nine minutes left in the second quarter. William & Mary was threatening to score and creep to within four points of the Spiders, who led 14-3. But after Jones' touchdown, Richmond led 21-3, and it simply felt that the Spiders would, for the second time in three weeks, be too much to handle.
"Right when I caught it I looked and I was like, 'There's nobody over there,'" Jones said. "Then I saw Cluley running over and I was like, 'I have one man to beat.'"
Jones cut inside of Cluley and outran him to the opposite corner of the endzone. He said if he had been tackled by Cluley, he "would have heard it from everybody."
The interception was Jones' ninth of the season him, giving him Richmond's record for most in a season and placing him in a tie for first place in the FCS.
On the next drive, Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw an interception that translated into an easy touchdown a few plays later for the Tribe. The score at that point was 21-10, then the Spiders took control and scored 27 of the game's final 31 points to win 48-13.
Richmond's running game was simply too versatile and powerful. Jacobi Green had his sixth straight 100-yard game with 141 and three touchdowns. David Broadus replaced Lauletta often and finished with 60 yards and a touchdown of his own. Lauletta also ran for 37 yards and two touchdowns.
Altogether, the Spiders rushed for 302 yards and six touchdowns. It didn't matter that Lauletta threw for just 146 yards, or that he threw two interceptions. He contributed on the ground and that's all Richmond needed.
"We had a quarterback draw and then a running back draw that we had put in," Lauletta said. "The flows of the game, just opportunities where we had a couple good times to call quarterback runs. We knew their linebackers, in those passing situations, were really getting out of there quick. The chips aligned."
Brian Brown was relatively quiet with just four catches for 41 yards, but he did break Richmond's record for most receiving yards in a season with 1221 yards.
The defense deserves as much credit as the offense for this win. Ayo Ogunniyi and Jarriel Jordan joined Jones with one interception each and otherwise smothered the Tribe's receivers all day, allowing just 122 yards passing.
The run defense was equally impressive. After allowing 77 yards on the ground in the first half, the Spiders' front seven limited the Tribe to just 15 second-half yards. The contrast between Richmond's running game and the Tribe's lack of a running game contributed to a 16-minute edge in time of possession for the Spiders.
Richmond's all-around performance in Saturday's win has coach Danny Rocco feeling confident and optimistic.
"I think we're a hard team to prepare for in a week's time," Rocco said. "Defensively we're a little bit unique in our alignments, our configurations. Offensively, I think because we have three really really good skill players in Jacobi, Brian and Reggie (Diggs)."
The Spiders looked as strong on Saturday as they have since their win at James Madison six weeks earlier. They'll face a tough test next week though, as they travel to Illinois to face second-seeded Illinois State.
Contact sports editor Charlie Broaddus at firstname.lastname@example.org