The Richmond Spiders looked to take home the Capital Cup and end the season with a win against rival William & Mary Saturday afternoon.
The Tribe opened the game with a steady ground attack from its running backs and quarterback, picking up two first downs before missing a 39-yard field goal wide left on 4th and three.
After redshirt senior quarterback, Kyle Lauletta, fumbled on the first drive, Richmond struggled again to move the ball on its next possession.
The game remained scoreless after one quarter with little action from both teams.
The Spiders eventually found their rhythm. With 4:33 left in the second quarter, running back Xavier Goodall scored an 18-yard touchdown to give Richmond a 7-0 lead. The touchdown capped off a 7 play, 71-yard drive.
As William & Mary tried to answer the Spiders, starting defensive back Micah Keels suffered a serious ankle injury. Medical staff immediately put his leg in an air-cast and carted Keels off the field.
Once play resumed, the Spiders' defense held tough in the red zone, forcing the Tribe to make a 39-yard field goal with 1:02 left in the second quarter.
Richmond led 7-3 at halftime, slightly outgaining William & Mary in total yards.
Richmond stayed locked in on offense and scored in just 12 seconds on a 74-yard touchdown from Lauletta to wide receiver Cortrelle Simpson, giving him over 1,00 receiving yards this season. The Spiders missed the extra point, taking only a 10-point lead.
With 5:28 left in the third quarter, the Tribe answered back as quarterback, Tommy McKee, ran for a 1-yard touchdown, cutting the Spiders' lead to three.
Nevertheless, the Tribe could not stop Goodall. On back-to-back plays, Goodall ran for 46 yards and then another touchdown for 5 yards. The Spiders retook a 10-point lead over William & Mary.
“All this week we’ve been preaching about sending the seniors out with a win, and during halftime they looked at me asking for a big run and I got them,” said Goodall, who finished with 23 carriers for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
The Tribe's defense kept them in the game by intercepting Lauletta at the Richmond 35-yard line. William & Mary’s offense marched deep into the Spiders' red zone, leading to Mckee scoring his second rushing touchdown of the game.
Richmond led 20-17 after three back and forth quarters.
William & Mary continued its strong defensive play in the fourth quarter. On 3rd and 2, Lauletta was intercepted by linebacker Nate Akins at the Richmond 43-yard line. The Tribe capitalized on the pick and tied the game at 20-20 on a 31-yard field goal by kicker, Kris Hooper.
Lauletta and the Spider offense calmly came back out to win the game. A key pass interference penalty on the Tribe gave the Spiders 1st and goal. After two handoffs, Lauletta took matters into his own hands, scoring a 1-yard touchdown and giving the Spiders a 27-20 lead with 3:59 remaining.
Richmond’s defense faced a pivotal 4th and 10 near midfield with just over two minutes on the clock. Defensive lineman Andrew Clyde and defensive end Brandon Waller combined forces to sack the Tribe quarterback Mckee, forcing a turnover on downs.
Needing only one first down to seal the victory, the Spider offense went to the hot man: Goodall. In heroic fashion, Goodall picked up the first down, allowing Lauletta to kneel and secure the rivalry win.
“Our guys, every week, play so hard and gave everything they had,” Coach Huesman said.
Contact sports writer Jacob Taylor at email@example.com.