Richmond was able to eke out a victory against Towson on Saturday with a fake field goal, despite costly penalties and inconsistent defense.
Officiating played a major role in the game, as several turnovers were reversed — including an interception by the Spiders at the end of the fourth quarter that would have put the game away earlier.
Richmond’s offense was also heavily penalized. In one instance, three infractions in a row resulted in a first down and 40.
The final points of the game, which put Richmond ahead, came on a fake field goal near the goal-line. kicker Griffin Trau lined up to take the kick, but before the snap David Broadus took the ball and ran into the endzone to put the Spiders up 30-28 with ten minutes left in the fourth quarter. After an extra point, the final score was 31-28.
Taking fewer penalties was a major takeaway for quarterback Kyle Lauletta, who received one himself for a late hit after throwing an interception.
“Something we will emphasize going into next week is cutting down on penalties," Lauletta said. "It puts you in a hole when you get backed up like that and we have to be better there.”
This win put this Spiders team in the record books for the second week in a row. After Brian Brown broke the career record for receiving yards last week, Lauletta became the sixth quarterback in Richmond history to throw for over 5,000 yards this week. He finished the day completing 20 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception. The team also won its tenth consecutive home game, the longest streak in school history.
The records were not the only thing reminiscent of last week's game against Colgate. The Spiders started out slow again and the score was tied entering the second half.
Coach Danny Rocco brought this up to the team during the break. “We were in the locker room at halftime," he said, "and I told the team that this is the same game as last week, which offered calmness.”
The players recognized this as well, and knowing they were capable of winning seemed to help them as they came out stronger in the second half. Brandon Waller, a redshirt-junior defensive lineman, had several tackles and blocked a punt in the second half. “We settled in by the end of the game," Waller said. "We had too many missed assignments in the first half but everyone’s pursuit to the ball became really crisp in the last quarter.”
Next week Richmond is away against Albany. That game will mark the second of three consecutive games the Spiders will play against teams coming off of a bye-week.
Contact reporter Mike Cronin at firstname.lastname@example.org