The Collegian
Saturday, April 13, 2024

Spider Football Struggles on Family Weekend

<p>Football competes against Hampton University Pirates, &nbsp;Saturday in the Robins Stadium. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.&nbsp;</p>

Football competes against Hampton University Pirates,  Saturday in the Robins Stadium. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics. 


The University of Richmond Spiders hosted one of their state rivals, the Hampton University Pirates,  Saturday in Robins Stadium. UR  hosted Spider families for family weekend and they came in large numbers to show their Spider pride and to cheer on the football squad. 

The football team is coming off a resilient and hard-fought victory over Stony Brook University last week. The Pirates’ football team was 2-1 prior to this anticipated clash. 

In the football weekly press conference on Sept. 27, UR Head Coach Russ Huesman knew coming into this game that Hampton was “gonna be a huge challenge … just because they do have playmakers on both sides of the ball,” he said.

During the first quarter, both sides had trouble moving the chains. After multiple punts from both teams, Hampton’s quarterback was finally able to rush up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown to put them ahead 7-0.

The Spiders had a hard time initiating any momentum. The Spiders’ defense slowly began to crumble as it gave up several mid to long completions. Soon after, the Pirates’ running back ended up scoring a 2-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 14-0. 

The Spiders continued to struggle on the offensive end, as redshirt freshman quarterback Ashten Snelsire threw an interception in the middle of the second quarter. To close out the first half, Hampton scored a 24-yard field goal to make the halftime score 17-0. At the end of the first half, the Pirates had 292 total yards, while the Spiders had only 53 yards. 

With 10:01 remaining in the third quarter, junior defensive back Angelo Rankin was able to come down with a pouncing interception to revitalize the home crowd. On the following Spiders drive, first-year quarterback Camden Coleman connected with redshirt junior tight end Brooks Heagarty for a seven yard touchdown. With a successful extra point by redshirt junior kicker Andrew Lopez, the score was 17-7, and the Spiders were back in the game. 

Minutes later, Hampton completed a 5-yard reception for a touchdown, with 09:47 left in the fourth quarter. The score was now 24-7 Hampton. The Spiders were able to respond with a 25-yard sideline floater in the back of the endzone, from Coleman to redshirt junior wide receiver Nick DeGennaro, for a touchdown. At this point, the score was 24-14 with 08:10 left in the fourth quarter. There was still a fighting chance for the Spiders to come back and make the game interesting. The Spiders’ kickoff unit then attempted an onside kick which was unsuccessful.

Three minutes later, Hampton gradually moved the ball up the field and finished the drive with a quarterback run for an 8-yard touchdown to put the Pirates up 31-14. Shortly after, the Spiders brought the ball well into the redzone. Unfortunately, Coleman overthrew his intended wide receiver, redshirt senior Isaiah Wilson, on the left side of the endzone which resulted in a Hampton interception. 

This marked the end of UR’s comeback and the game came to a close with a final score of 31-14 Hampton.

The Spiders were dominated in the running game. The Pirates rushed for a total of 241 yards and the Spiders rushed for only 30 yards.

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When Huesman was asked about how the quarterback situation affected the offense in the postgame conference, he replied by saying that in order to keep the pressure off of the young quarterbacks, there should be an effective rushing attack. He said that the Spiders “couldn’t run the ball today. [They] didn’t block them very well.”

The football team is now 2-3 as they prepare to play against the University of Maine Black Bears at Robins Stadium at 3:30 p.m.  Oct. 7.

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

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