The final score from Robins Stadium is 46-24. The Spiders were explosive offensively and forced turnovers defensively. The Bears were explosive periodically as well, but much less often than Richmond. Thank you for following along today!
Q4, :14 -- The Bears haven't given up, and are still exciting the remaining Morgan State fans with some big plays. They haven't scored again though, so the score remains 46-24.
Q4, 2:24 -- The Spiders make the questionable decision to throw the ball rather than run, and Rocco throws an interception. That will extend the end of this game, as the Bears will throw to try to score again.
Q4, 4:26 -- With mostly backups in for Richmond's defense, the Bears score on an eight-yard pass to the corner of the end zone. They narrow the gap to 46-24.
Q4, 5:58 -- The Bears are driving on offense, but chewing up the clock at the same time. Five minutes is not enough time to make up a 29-point deficit, especially as slow as the Bears are moving right now.
Q4, 8:29 -- After running the ball for about five minutes of play time, Strauss rolls out left and finds Rashad Ponder for a 38-yard touchdown. The Spiders now lead 46-17, and Strauss has four touchdowns today.
Q4, 14:38 -- The Bears started to look solid on offense, but a deep pass is intercepted by Tafon Mainsah. That is the fourth takeaway by Richmond and Mainsah's first career interception.
After three quarters, the Spiders lead the Bears 39-17. Richmond has maintained solid production offensively, and, aside from a few drives, has looked sound defensively as well. The Bears have made some big plays, but three turnovers have hurt them. The Spiders should hold on to win this game.
Q3, :30 -- Strauss attempts a pass into double coverage downfield that is almost intercepted. Peter Yoder makes a 42-yard field goal to make the score 39-17. He moves into first place all-time on Richmond's season field goal list. Richmond's 39 points is the most ever in the team's playoff history.
Q3, 1:27 -- Diggs has been unstoppable today. He catches a 26-yard pass down the sideline, and now has 132 yards today.
Q3, 2:09 -- The Spider defense has been out of character in recent weeks, but in a good way. The Spiders force a turnover as Kelly tips a pass that is intercepted by Eric Wright. That gives Richmond three turnovers in each of its last two games.
Q3, 3:00 -- Morgan State continues to show a groove offensively in the second half. The Bears have a first down at Richmond's 40-yard line.
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Q3, 4:22 -- Richmond has a quick three-and-out after Strauss' third-down pass to Jarmal Bevels is dropped. The true freshman receiver may have let nerves – or the fear of getting popped by a defender – get the best of him.
Q3, 5:40 -- Morgan State attempts a pooch kick between two Richmond players on the kickoff. The ball bounces in bounds, but rolls out of bounds before the Bears can recover it. The Spiders will have possession.
Q3, 5:40 -- The success on the ground sets up Morgan State with an opportunity for a flea-flicker. The Bears are successful using the play, as Andrew King catches a 46-yard touchdown pass downfield from Skillon. The Bears are not backing down despite the 36-17 deficit – that drive was 96 yards and they were able to run and pass against Richmond's defense.
Q3, 7:25 -- Morgan State is running the ball effectively again. The Bears have gained three first downs on this drive and Walker is running with speed and authority.
Q3, 10:00 -- The offense was looking effective, but a personal foul on Fisher kills the drive. DJ Helkowski's punt for the Spiders goes out of bounds at the 4-yard line, setting up the defense in favorable position.
Q3, 11:05 -- The Spiders continue to mix it up at quarterback. Porter Abell takes the snap and gains eight yards, then Broadus comes back in and hands the ball off. Richmond is using the different quarterbacks to mix up the running attack.
Q3, 12:00 -- Richmond forces another three-and-out on defense and will get the ball back on the 50-yard line.
Q3, 13:22 -- On the first play of the drive, Strauss finds Fisher up the middle of the field for a 22-yard touchdown pass. The Spiders lead 36-10. That gives Fisher and Strauss each three touchdowns today. Strauss moves into second all-time on Richmond's career touchdown-pass list with 54. Fisher's 16 touchdowns this season moves him into third place all-time on the season-touchdown list at Richmond.
Q3, 13:27 -- Richmond's defense makes a huge play on the first drive of the half. Evan Kelly chases Skillon down from behind, forces a fumble and recovers it. He is a one-man wrecking machine and has given his offense an opportunity to build on the lead.
After two quarters, the Spiders lead Morgan State 29-10. Richmond has been effective on offense for the most part, and has scored a touchdown on four of six drives. Morgan State has been mostly ineffective, but tore through Richmond's defense on one drive for a touchdown. If Strauss continues to deliver the ball as he has so far, the Spiders will maintain their lead and advance to the next round. Expect continued pressure from Morgan State defensively, because that is what worked against Strauss in the first half.
Q2, :20 -- Richmond threw short pass after short pass on a 15-play, five-minute drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Strauss to Diggs. The Spiders lead 29-10. Diggs and Fisher have both scored twice today, and are both in the top six on Richmond's all-time season touchdown list.
Q2, :58 -- The offense stops running the ball and resorts to short pass-and-catch yardage from Strauss' receivers. This strategy is working, as the Spiders have had the ball for more than four minutes and are inside Morgan State's 20-yard line.
Q2, 5:26 -- Richmond's defense adjusts to the Bears' rushing attack and forces a punt. The Spider offense will have another opportunity to find some success again.
Q2, 7:27 -- The Bears have found an answer for the Richmond offense: pressure. The blitz has been neutralizing the Spiders and getting the ball back for the Morgan State offense, which has found success of its own.
Q2, 9:10 -- The Bears' potent running game gets going, and quarterback Moses Skillon runs it in from three yards out. It was a matter of time until the Bears found success on the ground – they've been great at running the ball all year. Herb Walker has 75 yards on just eight carries for the Bears.
Q2, 10:20 -- Morgan State has found life. The offense is driving through Spider territory, currently facing a first and 10 from the 21-yard line.
Q2, 11:27 -- The Bears blitz on third and 11, and Strauss is forced to deliver a bad pass toward the sideline. His pass is intercepted by DeShaun Summers, and the Bears take over on offense in Richmond territory.
Q2, 12:41 -- Richmond's defense stiffens up and holds Morgan State to a field goal. Chris Moller's 29-yard field goal makes the score 22-3.
Q2, 14:46 -- Morgan State's Herb Walker takes the handoff and flies for 31 yards to the Richmond 20. The Bears are threatening to score for the first time today, and Walker's run nearly matched the team's production in the entire first quarter.
After one quarter of play, Richmond leads 22-0 and has been dominant on offense and defense so far. The Spiders have out-gained Morgan State 176 to 34 in terms of offensive yards. Richmond has also shut out an opponent in the first quarter for the eighth time this season, and has already scored more points in this half than any Richmond playoff team ever has.
Q1, :51 -- Richmond goes with the jumbo package on third down from the 1-yard line. All of the big guys come in and block for Fisher, who dives into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. The Spiders now lead 22-0.
Q1, 2:36 -- The Spiders use their third quarterback of the game. David Broadus comes in on another third and short and picks up seven yards for a first down to Morgan State's 6-yard line.
Q1, 4:05 -- The Spiders continue to earn yards but are doing it in short spurts. Rocco comes in again and runs for two yards on third and one to give Richmond a first down at the Bears' 22-yard line.
Q1, 5:10 -- No signs of slowing down yet from Richmond's passing game. The Spiders open the drive with a 26-yard pass from Strauss to a wide-open Diggs in the middle of the field.
Q1, 6:00 -- Richmond's defense is looking equally as dominant as the offense. Morgan State is forced to punt after a three-and-out. The Spiders are flying to the ball defensively and making tackles in the open field.
Q1, 7:24 -- Michael Rocco joins Strauss in the lineup. Rocco takes the snap and delivers a short pass to Green, who jukes defenders and is pushed out of bounds at the 1-yard line. On the next play, Seth Fisher dives into the end zone for the one-yard touchdown, and a successful two-point conversion to Brian Brown gives the Spiders a 15-0 lead. Richmond's offense is operating smoothly and effectively, and it doesn't appear that Morgan State has any answers for stopping Strauss.
Q1, 9:15 -- The magic of Michael Strauss lives on. On third-and-8, he avoids pass rushers and delivers a perfect pass to Diggs for 21 yards and a first down. The catch by Diggs was equally impressive, because he was covered tightly by multiple defenders.
Q1, 10:00 -- After about five anti-climactic plays from Morgan State's offense, pressure from Richmond's defensive line forces an under-thrown pass that Justin Grant intercepts for the Spiders. Richmond's offense will take over at its own 40-yard line.
Q1, 12:03 -- Strauss continues to have as much time as he wants in the pocket. After two false start penalties puts the Spiders in a first down and 20, Strauss finds Brian Brown for 10 yards and Reggie Diggs for 16 yards and a touchdown. The Spiders are up 7-0 fewer than three minutes into the game.
Q1, 13:45 -- The Spiders have picked up two first downs and are at the Bears' 16-yard line. Strauss dropped back to pass and had all day to throw on the previous play – it could be a long day for the Morgan State secondary.
Q1, 14:52 -- Jacobi Green provides a spark for the Spiders from the start, as he returns the kickoff 56 yards to set the offense up inside Morgan State's 40-yard line.
Q1, 15:00 -- Richmond has won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Michael Strauss and his offense will have a chance to build an early lead.
Hello everyone, I'm Charlie Broaddus, and I'll be providing updates and analysis throughout today's playoff game between the Richmond Spiders and the Morgan State Bears. NCAA regulations prohibit play-by-play updates during the playoffs, so today's blog will be composed of big play updates and plenty of analysis of how the teams are playing. Kickoff is only about 30 minutes away. Stay tuned!
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