Richmond football battled Liberty University on Saturday in a nail-biter that featured a homecoming for head coach Danny Rocco and a few members of his coaching staff, broken records for Liberty and a stellar performance from a Richmond running back.
The Spiders edged Liberty by a score of 46-39. Nevertheless, it took two overtime periods and a spectacular defensive play for Richmond to earn the victory.
Richmond’s running back Seth Fisher caught two touchdown passes during regulation, and added two more touchdowns rushing to his stat line during overtime. He rushed for 132 yards and was the go-to man for the Spiders.
“I’ve been waiting for this season to have a breakout game, and I told my teammates this was going to be the best game of my career so far,” Fisher told SpiderTV after the game. He said he felt “phenomenal” because he helped his team earn an important victory.
Despite Fisher’s performance, there were a few players that made even more impactful plays.
After the Spiders kicked a field goal to lead by three points with just under 15 seconds remaining in regulation, Liberty responded with a 60-yard field goal as time expired to send the game to overtime. That field goal was the longest in the history of Liberty and the Big South conference.
Fisher secured a 46-39 lead for Richmond as Liberty got its chance in the second overtime period. Linebackers Eric Wright and Omar Howard made the game-winning play, as Wright blitzed and hit the quarterback, causing the ball to soar into the diving arms of Howard for an interception.
The Spiders’ victory was a very emotional experience for head coach Danny Rocco, he told SpiderTV after the game. Rocco coached at Liberty for six years before coming to Richmond, and he said he used his time at Liberty as a reference to prepare his players for the noisy environment at Williams Stadium.
Richmond had many positives to take away from its win at Liberty. The continual emergence of receiver Brian Brown as a reliable target for quarterback Michael Strauss will bode well for the Spiders as they continue their season. Brown led all Richmond receivers on Saturday with nine catches for 125 yards. His biggest play was a 32-yard catch near the end of regulation to put the Spiders in position for a short field goal.
Turnovers were a positive for the Spiders this week, which was a change of pace from previous weeks. The team, which came into this week having turned the ball over 13 times, did not commit any turnovers, and ended the game with an interception by the defense.
Richmond’s play near the end of the game made Rocco proud, he told SpiderTV. “Our kids finished, that’s what it’s all about,” Rocco said. “We took the ball away too at the end, so that was exciting,” he said.
This road win, which forced the Spiders to battle through tough situations, will give the team confidence as they go on the road next week against Albany to continue conference play, Rocco said.
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Contact staff writer Charlie Broaddus at charlie.broaddus.richmond.edu
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