WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis
No quote could better fit the University of Richmond football team who has continually faced adversity throughout the fall was dealt another blow on Saturday, losing their starting QB Kyle Lauletta late in the first half in a tough 34-13 loss to long-time rival William & Mary.
“I’m disappointed in our performance today. Obviously we were dealt another blow with Kyle’s injury, but at those times is when we need to have our composure and execute at the highest level and we weren’t able to do that,” Head Coach Danny Rocco said.
Redshirt freshman Deontez Thompson continued to shine, posting his fifth 100-plus yard performance with a 19-carry, 153-yard day, capped off with his eighth rushing TD of the season. In 10 games, Thompson has piled up 784 yards on 122 carries.
Before his second quarter injury, Lauletta had connected on 7 of his 11 passes for 107 yards. His longest pass was to Brian Brown, who finished the day with 79 yards to increase his career total to 3,897 yards, which ranks 17th all-time in FCS history.
Defensively, Brendan Coniker finished with a career-high and single-game high for a Spider this year with 14 tackles, while senior Omar Howard chipped in six on the day and now sits 12th all-time in career tackles with 326.
“Right now, all we have to focus on is the next day. As a team, we have to regroup and approach everything we do understanding that it could be the last time we do it with this group of guys, our practices, meetings, film sessions, everything we do we have to approach it with a renewed focus,” Howard said.
The Tribe jumped on top early as the Spiders fumbled the opening kick, but the Richmond defense held William & Mary to just a field goal.
Richmond responded with a well-executed seven-play, 76-yard drive that was capped off with Thompson’s five-yard TD run that gave the Spiders a 7-3 lead.
After another defensive stop by the Spiders, Richmond moved down field and set up Griffin Trau for his 17th field goal of the year from 32 yards out to push the advantage to 10-3.
The Tribe would get a field goal, but Lauletta would go down on a run late in the second quarter to put a damper on the offensive attack.
Ricky Segers came on and booted home his second 50-plus yard field goal of the year, drilling a 51-yarder at the end of the half to send Richmond into the break with a 13-6 lead.
William & Mary drove down the field at the start of the second half and scored on a third down pass, but Winston Craig came up with the block on the extra point to make it a 13-12 game.
On the next Tribe drive, the Spiders got what they thought was a defensive TD on a fumble which would have given Richmond a 20-12 cushion, but targeting was called on the play to nullify the play and two plays later W&M scored to grab a lead they would never relinquish.
Kendall Anderson was the star of the game, rushing for 219 yards and two TDs to lead the Tribe to the Capital Cup win.
Richmond will now await its FCS Playoff fate. The FCS Selection Show is set for 11 a.m. tomorrow morning on ESPNU. Stay tuned to RichmondSpiders.com for all playoff information.