The Collegian
Saturday, April 13, 2024

Coleman and the Spiders defeat Maine in a record-breaking performance

<p>Freshman Quarterback Camden Coleman during game against Black Bears. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.</p>

Freshman Quarterback Camden Coleman during game against Black Bears. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

Coming off a loss last week against Hampton University, the University of Richmond football team played against the University of Maine Black Bears at Robins Stadium Oct. 7 for breast cancer awareness. 

The Spiders had an all-time series record of 15-14 against the Black Bears entering play. UR looked to tie up its season record coming into this game and reignite the squad with a victory. 

The Spiders started the first quarter quite slow. After a failed Spiders drive, the Black Bears’ quarterback exposed the Spiders' defense for a wide open 73-yard touchdown on the first Maine drive to put them up 7-0. On the Spiders’ following drive, first-year quarterback Camden Coleman was able to connect with junior wide receiver Jerry Garcia for a 27-yard completion down the middle. Unfortunately, they were not able to respond with a touchdown of their own.

Seconds later, the Black Bears completed another wide open catch for a 70-yard completion to bring them to the Spiders’ 24-yard line. Right after that play, the Black Bears completed a trick double pass for a 24-yard touchdown to put Maine up 14-0. 

The Spiders counteracted with a deep touchdown of their own. With 8:21 remaining in the first quarter, Coleman passed deep to the right to redshirt junior tight end Brooks Heagarty for an exciting 75-yard touchdown. This was followed by a successful extra point attempt by redshirt kicker Andrew Lopez to make the score 14-7. Minutes later, the Black Bears scored a 23-yard field goal to extend their lead 17-7. 

As the final two minutes of the first quarter approached, Coleman passed deep right to redshirt junior wide receiver Nick DeGennaro, as he was able to break free from the advancing Black Bears defender, for an electrifying 56-yard touchdown. This made thescore  17-14in favor of the Black Bears as the first quarter ended.

A few minutes into the second quarter, Coleman led the Spiders down the field gradually, with several check down completions, and capped off the drive with a 13-yard touchdown to redshirt first-year wide receiver Quanye Veney to take the first lead of the game 21-17. The Spiders were able to come back on the offensive end during the middle of the second quarter. With 6:37 left in the second quarter, Coleman threw a strike down the middle of the endzone to DeGennaro to give the Spiders a more comfortable lead 28-17. 

About a minute later, the Black Bears completed a deep floater for a 50-yard touchdown. The score was now 28-24 Spiders. 

Toward the end of the second quarter, Coleman completed a pass left to first-year wide receiver Landon Ellis for an 11-yard touchdown. As the Black Bears tried to take advantage of their last opportunity of the first half, their offensive drive came to a halt as redshirt first-year defensive back D’Angelo Stocker came down with an interception to close out the first half 35-24 Spiders.

The Spiders had 408 yards while the Black Bears had 330 yards at halftime. Coleman led the Spiders’ offense in the first half with 313 yards, 5 passing touchdowns and a 70% completion rate.

Coleman was able to move the chains and add another touchdown to the scoreboard as he passed right to DeGennaro for a 2-yard touchdown. With Coleman’s sixth passing touchdown, he officially tied a UR record. At this point, the Spiders were up 42-24 with a little over 6 minutes left in the third quarter. On the subsequent Black Bear drive, redshirt junior defensive back Jabril Hayes intercepted a tipped pass and the Spiders were now in full control.

The Spiders’ defense was making it difficult for the Black Bears in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Donovan Hoilette sacked the Black Bears’ quarterback for a 13-yard loss, and minutes later redshirt junior defensive lineman Zander Barnett got a sack of his own for a 3-yard loss. Coleman threw 2 interceptions in the fourth quarter, but they weren’t enough to give the Black Bears a fighting chance.

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The Black Bears completed a 2-yard touchdown to bring the score a bit closer at 42-31 with 4:37 remaining in the game. As the game clock was under two minutes and the Black Bears were making their final push, Hoilette sacked the Black Bears’ quarterback once again. This marked the end of the game and the final score was 42-31 Spiders.

In the post game press conference, UR Head Coach Russ Huesman acknowledged that next week’s game at the University of Rhode Island is a must win, as he said, “we gotta win … there’s no margin for error right now,” when asked about the team’s mindset going into URI.

The football team is now 3-3 as they prepare to play against the Rams away at Meade Stadium at 1 p.m. Oct. 14.

Contact sports writer Waleed Said at waleed.said@richmond.edu

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