The Collegian
Monday, August 03, 2020

Live Blog: Richmond vs. William & Mary

4th Quarter, 0:00- Richmond takes a knee, and the clock runs out, giving Richmond the 31-20 victory, its fourth straight to end the season at 6-6.

4th Quarter, 0:28- The teams showing why they're rivals, as some pushing and shoving commences following the unsuccessful onside kick attempt.

4th Quarter, 0:30- On 3rd and goal, Caprio plunges into the end zone for the meaningless one-yard touchdown, cutting Richmond's lead to 31-20.

4th Quarter, 1:23- A nice catch by McBride at the 2-yard line threatens to ruin Richmond's second-half shutout.

4th Quarter, 1:37- Richmond's punt in tipped, and the ball rolls out of bounds at the UR 25.

4th Quarter, 4:21- Nevermind. The Tribe bring out their kicker, but the kick goes wide right on the 32-yard attempt, conserving Richmond's lead at 31-13.

4th Quarter, 4:27- The Spider defense refusing to give up their second-half shutout so easily, as Wynn gets to Caprio on 3rd and 6 for a 7-yard loss. Looks like the Tribe are going to go for it, with nothing to lose at this point.

4th Quarter, 5:02- The Tribe not following suit, as Caprio remains in the game, completing a deep pass to the 12-yard line, the deepest William & Mary has been in Richmond territory this half.

4th Quarter, 5:29- Lauletta unable to get anything going, and Richmond is forced to punt again. This punt goes short, and the Tribe take over on Richmond's 44.

4th Quarter, 6:33- Freshman Kyle Lauletta has replaced Strauss at quarterback with the game in hand.

4th Quarter, 6:35- With its offense struggling, Richmond's defense is picking up the slack. Kelly gets to Caprio for the second time in the game, sacking the quarterback on third down and forcing another punt. Dominique Miller calls for a fair catch at the UR 15.

4th Quarter, 8:01- Richmond's offense now struggling to move the ball on offense, going three and out. William & Mary takes over in a must-score situation at its own 32.

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4th Quarter, 10:41- On 3rd and 5, Hart almost makes an amazing grab down the field, but the ball slips out as he lands, leading to a Tribe punt. The punt bounces in front of Richmond's returner and rolls to the 18, where the Spiders will take over.

4th Quarter, 11:39- On third and 10, Strauss throws the ball into the hands of a Tribe defender, but Barnette makes a good play to prevent the incompletion. Gulli's punt is taken by McBride for a nice return before he fumbles the ball. William & Mary recovers to take over at its own 32.

4th Quarter, 13:09- Surprise, surprise. It's Fisher bouncing off tacklers for another first down, bringing the ball out to near midfield.

4th Quarter, 13:15- On 3rd and 10, Reggie Barnette makes a great play to break up a pass, bringing up 4th down. The Tribe, down 18, elect to go for it, but Caprio's pass is well overthrown. Spiders take over at their own 36.

4th Quarter, 14:05- William & Mary defense shows its strength, sacking Strauss on 3rd and 9 to bring out Gulli for the second straight possession. Gulli booms it, but doesn't give his coverage team enough time to get down the field, resulting in a deep return to midfield.

3rd Quarter, 0:00- A short carry by Fisher sends this game into the fourth quarter with the Spiders holding a commanding 31-13 lead.

3rd Quarter, 1:02- Strauss keeps the ball on 3rd and 2, picking up four for a first down at the 33. A time-consuming scoring drive here would all but put this game away.

3rd Quarter, 2:21- On a short reception, William & Mary's Zach Fetters tries to pick up extra yards and is hit hard by Wayne Pettus, forcing the fumble. The ball is picked up at the UR 19 by Richmond's Reggie Barnette. Huge blow by the Spider defense there.

3rd Quarter, 2:56- A pair of first-down completions by Caprio has the Tribe threatening at the UR 25.

3rd Quarter, 3:55- On 3rd and 4, Abdul-Saboor takes the direct snap again, this time pushing forward on a run for five yards and first down at the W&M 43.

3rd Quarter, 5:52- On 3rd and 7, Strauss escapes some heavy pressure, but a completion to Ponder is ruled out of bounds, bringing out Joe Gulli for Richmond's first punt of the game. The ball takes a William & Mary bounce, and the Tribe take over at their own 20.

3rd Quarter, 7:24- Back to the well with Fisher, who picks up 15 across midfield to the 42. Just announced that Fisher surpassed 100 yards today for the first time in his career. Hard to believe that's the first time, given how well he's looked the past few weeks.

3rd Quarter, 7:30- Spiders decide to throw it and Strauss throws incomplete deep over the middle to Reggie Diggs, who is met by a punishing hit, which draws the "defenseless receiver" penalty. Diggs is slow to get up and eventually needs to be helped off by the training staff. First down at the 43.

3rd Quarter, 8:00- This game is quickly becoming the Seth Fisher show, as he takes the ball around the left side of the line for another long gain and first down to the 28.

3rd Quarter, 8:32- A pair of hard runs by Fisher gets the Spiders out from their own end zone for a first down at the 16.

3rd Quarter, 9:23- Trying to be tricky, William & Mary opts for the direct snap to Adbul-Saboor, who pulls up and throws toward the end zone, but the tailback's pass is intercepted by Justin Grant at the 6-yard line.

3rd Quarter, 10:24- On 3rd and 3, Caprio finds Tre McBride for a first down across midfield to the 38.

3rd Quarter, 11:49- Much-needed return by William & Mary, who will begin with the ball at its own 41.

3rd Quarter, 11:57- Tribe defense keeps Fisher from the goal line on first and second down, but can't stop him on third, as he extends the ball past the pylon for his second rushing TD of the game from two yards out. The extra point increases Richmond's lead to 31-13 over William & Mary, who came into today's game with playoff aspirations.

3rd Quarter, 13:30- This offense is a well oiled machine right now. A deep pass to Barnette is caught for a first a goal to the 5. Just announced that Barnette broke the school record for receiving yards in a season with 1,189.

3rd Quarter, 13:35- From the press box via a William & Mary beat writer: "And they're (Richmond) doing this without their best receiver (Edwards)?" Another long gain by Ponder for 19 yards gives Richmond the ball at the 25.

3rd Quarter, 14:54- Rashad Ponder gets in on the receiving game, gaining 26 yards on the first play for a first down near midfield.

3rd Quarter, 15:00- We're officially underway in the final half of Spider football this season. Spiders will begin on their own 25 following the touchback with a chance to blow this game wide open.

Halftime- On defense, the Spiders are missing too many tackles, allowing the Tribe to drive down the field relatively easy on a couple occasions. But, unlike William & Mary's defense, this Spider unit has been able to stand tall in the red zone, limiting the damage by holding the Tribe to field goals instead of touchdowns. Look for a more opportunistic defense in the second half, as Caprio is making mistakes with his throws that could result in an interception against a team that, before last week, intercepted a pass in 20 straight games. Couple his questionable arm strength with the fact that Richmond can afford to take chances with how well the offense is playing, and you should see a big play from the defense. Also impressive from Richmond has been its special teams play -- particularly that of Herlocher. After almost costing Richmond the game last week in Delaware, special teams has been a big plus for the Spiders so far here, with a blocked punt, long return and solid tackling on kickoffs.

Halftime- Now, some analysis: Strauss is doing everything he can these past few weeks to prove he should be the unquestioned starter heading into his senior season. With Michael Rocco, who transferred from UVA but was ineligible this season, set to compete for the spot, it's hard to argue that what Strauss has done these past few games has been anything but outstanding, and he's continuing that today. The big offensive star of the first half may have been Seth Fisher, though. Despite his fumble resulting in the Tribe's only touchdown so far, the junior fullback-tailback hybrid has rewarded his coach's confidence to keep giving him the ball with several bruising runs and key receptions to keep this defense honest. If Richmond can keep this offensive balance in the second half -- and avoid more costly turnovers- -- it won't matter how well William & Mary's offense plays.

Halftime- First, some important statistics: Strauss (16-25, 158 yds, TD); Fisher (58 yds rushing, TD); Richmond outgaining William & Mary, 236-138; Richmond 6 for 8 on third-down conversions; William & Mary 2 for 6 on third-down conversions; Combined, teams are 6 for 6 in red-zone scoring chances.

2nd Quarter, 0:00- Strauss looks for Barnette in the back of the end zone, but the receiver falls down, resulting in the incompletion. Brandon Jordi comes on for the 22-yard field goal and nails it to give Richmond the 24-13 lead heading into halftime.

2nd Quarter, 0:08- Following a Strauss run for no gain, Richmond takes its final timeout. The Spiders will likely try to throw a quick slant or similar route into the end zone to give itself a chance at a field goal if it's incomplete.

2nd Quarter, 0:20- A pair of completions to Brown and Barnette give the Spiders a first and goal at the 5-yard line.

2nd Quarter, 0:31- Herlocher comes up with another big special teams play, tipping the William & Mary punt. Howard recovers the ball seven yards past the line of scrimmage, giving Richmond the ball at the Tribe's 21.

2nd Quarter, 0:37- Richmond defense starting to feel it, as the Tribe offense look rattled, picking up a false start penalty to force a 3rd and 19. A short pass then loses yards, and Richmond calls a timeout.

2nd Quarter, 1:49- First sack of the game for Richmond, as DL Evan Kelly sprints through the middle of the line for an 8-yard loss. Kelly leads the team with 4.5 sacks on the season.

2nd Quarter, 2:32- Tribe will try to answer, starting with the ball at their own 27.

2nd Quarter, 2:39- On 3rd and goal, Strauss finds the freshman Brian Brown in the back corner of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown. Brown, who came in for the injured Ben Edwards last week, is quickly establishing himself as a player to watch on next year's squad. Spiders bump the lead back up to 21-13.

2nd Quarter, 3:55- A 13-yard gain by Fisher on 3rd and 3 gives Richmond a first and goal at the 8.

2nd Quarter, 6:02- Fisher is bouncing back nicely from the early fumble, running over several Tribe defenders for a 21-yard gain. First down at the 28.

2nd Quarter, 6:10- Green coming up with another big play for the Tribe, sacking Strauss seven yards deep, but Strauss stands in the pocket on second down and finds Barnette deep for a first down right across midfield. Great catch by Barnette who was hit as he caught it.

2nd Quarter, 7:17- A rare run to the outside by Fisher results in some open space and a 12-yard gain.

2nd Quarter, 7:25- Ball kicked into the end zone results in the touchback, giving Richmond the ball at the 25. Spiders have yet to punt in the game.

2nd Quarter, 7:25- On 3rd and 8, linebacker Omar Howard makes a big-time tackle on Abdul-Saboor following a catch across the middle. Tribe bring on Carpenter again, and the kicker splits the uprights for a 26-yarder. Spiders keep the lead, 14-13.

2nd Quarter, 9:53- Missed tackles are hurting the Spider defense in this first half. A missed tackle here results in a long gain for a first down to Richmond's 37. That play is followed by a bubble screen that results in another first down at the 16.

2nd Quarter, 12:39- After a long time off, Tribe offense takes the field at their own 28.

2nd Quarter, 12:45- That was an important answer for Richmond's offense, which has been known to stall for long periods of time early in the game following any sort of problems this season. This is a different team than the one that was 2-6 four weeks ago.

2nd Quarter, 12:45- Mistake doesn't cost them, as Fisher picks up 8 yards on a pass, then plunges into the end zone from one yard out on second down. Richmond re-takes the lead, 14-10, following the extra point.

2nd Quarter, 13:36- Silly mistake by the Spiders moves them back five yards on the delay of game. Those are the type of mistakes that have plagued this team all season.

2nd Quarter, 13:58- On 3rd and 6, a short pass to Fisher across the middle only nets 3 yards. Spiders decide to go for it, and Strauss finds Barnette deep across the far sideline for a 24-yard gain and first down at the 4.

1st Quarter, 0:00- A four-yard run by Moon brings us to the end of the first quarter here, with Richmond trailing, 10-7, but threatening with a 2nd and 6 from the W&M 31.

1st Quarter, 0:42- On 3rd and 2, Fisher gets a shot at redemption and picks up five yards for a Spider first down at the 35.

1st Quarter, 1:19- That's Strauss's fourth designed QB sneak. I don't think he's had that many all season. Rocco must've seen a weakness in the Tribe defense.

1st Quarter, 1:40- On 3rd and 1, Strauss takes it himself, picking up the first across midfield to the 48.

1st Quarter, 2:31- Fisher clearly not on Coach Rocco's good side now, with freshman TJ Moon in the backfield.

1st Quarter, 2:49- William & Mary's kickoff goes out of bounds at the 41, where Richmond will look to capitalize on great field position.

1st Quarter, 2:49- And there's worst-case scenario for Richmond. Tribe linebacker Airek Green strips HB Seth Fisher and takes it back 40 yards for a William & Mary touchdown. That's the Tribe's fifth defensive touchdown of the season. 10-7 W&M.

1st Quarter, 3:16- Westfall again, picking up 7 yards on 3rd and 5 with a terrific one-handed grab, defender draped all over him.

1st Quarter, 3:57- Strauss stands in the pocket for a long time, given great protection, but takes a hard hit after completing a 5-yard pass to Barnette.

1st Quarter, 4:46- Richmond will look to keep momentum on offense, beginning on its own 23.

1st Quarter, 4:52- Never great to give up long drives that result in points, but it's encouraging to see this Richmond defense keep the Tribe out of the end zone that deep in Spider territory.

1st Quarter, 4:52- Spiders force some pressure on 2nd and goal, forcing a throw through the end zone. On third and goal, Caprio's pass is high of his intended target. John Carpenter comes on and nails the chip-shot field goal, cutting Richmond lead to 7-3.

1st Quarter, 6:12- Not sure about Caprio's numbers this season, but his arm strength looks suspect early on, missing a pair of open receivers, looking like he's putting everything he has into 20-yard throws. On 3rd down, though, he finds an open recevier short, who takes it 32 yards to the UR 16.

1st Quarter, 7:27- Wynn just manhandled W&M's running back, pushing him back about 10 yards in the backfield to stop forward momentum.

1st Quarter, 8:00- Caprio finds receiver Kevin Hart deep across the middle to right about midfield.

1st Quarter, 8:46- The Tribe will begin their second drive from their own 32.

1st Quarter, 8:57- That was a huge drive for Richmond to establish itself against this Tribe defense, which has been holding its opponents to 15, 10, 0 and 7 points, respectively in the past four weeks.

1st Quarter, 8:57- In comes Richmond "Bulldozer" in quarterback David Broadus, who runs through a hole in the right side of the defense for the 4-yard touchdown. Couldn't have asked for a better start if you're Richmond. 7-0 Spiders following the extra point.

1st Quarter, 9:09- Strauss showing off his rarely seen mobility early on with a few runs and escaping pressure to find an open receiver. This time he finds Stephen Barnette for a first and goal at the 4.

1st Quarter, 10:15- On 3rd and 7, Strauss finds last week's hero Rashad Ponder on a short crossing route for a first down. On the following play, Strauss hooks up with Westfall again for a 1st down at the 14.

1st Quarter, 12:00- On first down, Michael Strauss finds tight end Hunter Wetfall for a big 29-yard gain down to the W&M 36. Strauss and Westfall have developed a solid connection the past few weeks.

1st Quarter, 12:07- On 3rd and 5, Caprio throws a pass that looked like it was intended for Richmond DB Justin Grant. Grant drops the interception, but the Tribe are still forced to punt. A nice 21-yard return by David Herlocher gives the Spiders their first possession, starting on their own 35.

1st Quarter, 12:58- Abdul-Saboor is looking good here in the early going, bouncing off some arm tackles to pick up extra yards.

1st Quarter, 13:16- A pair of runs by Mikal Abdul-Saboor and a short toss by QB Brent Caprio gives the Tribe a first down.

1st Quarter, 15:00- William & Mary will begin on its own 25 following the touchback.

1st Quarter, 15:00- Richmond has won the toss and elected to defer. The Tribe will receive to begin the contest. Interesting to see what Richmond defense shows up here early in the game -- the one that held Delaware down in the first half last week or the one that nearly imploded in the second half.

Pregame- On Senior Night, the senior football players are being walked out onto the field in celebration of the Spider careers. As a senior myself, this group is particularly special to me, looking out onto the field seeing key contributors over the years such as Kerry Wynn, Ben Edwards, Jacob Pierce, Sam Roller and Mark Speir. I've been covering this team for more than three years -- this year mostly just as a photographer, expect for my unfortunate prediction after the NC State game -- and I've felt the ups and downs of these players' careers. From two years ago (3-8) to last year (8-3) to coaching changes and off-the-field issues, this group has accomplished a lot in the face of adversity and, though this season hasn't turned out the way many had hoped, let us use this game to watch and celebrate these players' hard work for 4-5 years.

Pregame- Hello, folks and welcome to the final Spider football live blog of the season. For those of you expecting my colleague, Jack Nicholson, sorry to disappoint, but he was off in Connecticut covering the Richmond-UNC basketball game. Not before he wrote his weekly PREVIEW, though, which you should definitely check out. Kickoff is set for just more than 17 minutes away now in Robins Stadium.

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