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Richmond’s Ben Edwards catches 7 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown against VMI.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
RICHMOND — Ben Edwards once again was the itch VMI didn’t scratch.
Richmond’s senior receiver irritated the Keydets for the second consecutive year in a 34-0 win that was delayed by lightning at Robins Stadium on Saturday night.
A sell-out crowd of 8,700 was asked to exit the facility at 7:40 p.m., just before the start of the second half. UR led 21-0 at that point. The game resumed at 9:06 p.m., with a few hundred fans in the stands. Light rain fell during the third and fourth quarters.
Edwards had 11 receptions for 122 yards in UR’s 47-6 win in Lexington last year. He followed that with seven catches for 95 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown reception, all in Saturday’s first half, during which UR outgained VMI 309-60.
Edwards also had 32 rushing yards on five carries. Richmond quarterback Michael Strauss completed 23 of 36 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns.
“I think we played pretty dominating football, but we really didn’t play real well on offense. We were very inconsistent,” Spiders coach Danny Rocco said. “We didn’t really have our rhythm. … Our timing just wasn’t quite right.
“Defensively, I think we were there for 60 minutes. That was extremely encouraging. It’s very, very difficult to pitch a shutout.”
The Spiders (1-0) have beaten VMI (0-1) in 11 straight meetings, and in 21 of the last 23.
In this rare August meeting, Richmond’s plan was to target its receivers on quick routes, and then allow them to try to outmaneuver VMI defensive backs in open areas.
“Their receivers outplayed our secondary, pretty easy to see that,” VMI coach Sparky Woods said.
Seven Richmond receivers caught passes in the first 22 minutes as UR probed for a break-out play to follow a 12-play, 77-yard, game-opening scoring drive. Richmond was gaining yardage, but advancements were retarded by a penalty, turnover or dropped pass.
Richmond, though it was far superior to the Keydets in offensive production, held a 7-0 lead with about 2 1⁄2 minutes left in the first half. Strauss took a quick drop and hit Edwards with a short pass in front of the Spiders’ bench. Edwards broke the tackle attempt of VMI cornerback James Fruehan, and took off down the sideline. Edwards ran out of a diving tackle attempt by safety Alex James and went 59 yards for a touchdown to make 14-0 with 2:19 left in the first half.
That seemed to loosen up the Spiders, and apply pressure to score on VMI.
“Pressing to try to come from behind,” Woods said. “We had to be close to this [Richmond] team all the way to try to have some success against this team.”
A pass went off the hands of Keydets’ running back Derrick Ziglar, and was intercepted by UR linebacker Walt Sparks with 1:26 left in the first half. The Spiders scored five plays later as receiver Stephen Barnette, a former Salem standout, beat cornerback Doug Moore on a crossing pattern in the end zone.
Jacobi Green carried off right tackle for 53 yards on Richmond’s first snap of the second half, and a 29-yard field goal by Brandon Jordi made it 24-0. Jordi hit a 38-yard field goal with 4:25 left in the third quarter, putting UR ahead 27-0. Richmond used reserves, for the most part, in the fourth quarter, and freshman quarterback Kyle Lauletta hit tight end Hunter Westfall on a 10-yard TD pass.
“I know we’re trying hard. I think we have potential to be a better football team than we displayed tonight,” Woods said.
VMI 0 0 0 0 — 0
Richmond 7 14 6 7 — 34
Rich—Green 7 pass from Strauss (Jordi kick), 10:01.
Rich—Edwards 59 pass from Strauss (Jordi kick), 2:19.
Rich—S.Barnette 12 pass from Strauss (Jordi kick), :36.
Rich—FG Jordi 29, 10:09.
Rich—FG Jordi 38, 4:25.
Rich—Westfall 10 pass from Lauletta (Jordi kick), 8:58.
First downs 9 26
Rushes-yards 20-39 37-226
Passing 135 313
Comp-Att-Int 18-32-3 29-45-1
Return Yards 13 48
Punts-Avg. 8-37.0 3-37.7
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 9-78 9-85
Time of Possession 26:07 33:53
RUSHING—VMI, Ziglar 10-21, Turner 2-9, Watts 7-9, Kordenbrock 1-0. Richmond, Green 8-95, Moon 7-44, Edwards 5-32, Broadus 5-31, Fisher 6-29, Strauss 1-2, McKinney 2-2, Boston 2-(minus 2), Lauletta 1-(minus 7).
PASSING—VMI, Kordenbrock 18-32-3-135. Richmond, Strauss 23-36-1-265, Lauletta 6-9-0-48.
RECEIVING—VMI, Ziglar 3-35, Rogers 3-19, Turner 3-8, Forlines 2-20, Watts 2-15, Sanders 1-11, A.Thompson 1-9, M.Thompson 1-8, Patterson 1-6, D.Burton 1-4. Richmond, Edwards 7-95, S.Barnette 6-86, Ponder 4-37, Diggs 4-18, Brown 3-18, Westfall 2-27, Savage 1-17, Roller 1-8, Green 1-7.
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