Final Score: Richmond 10 – Rhode Island 12
What Happened: Richmond failed to pull out a much needed win at Rhode Island as the Spiders scored its fewest points of the season in a 12-10 loss. Ben Edwards left the game in the first quarter with a concussion he suffered from a violent hit, and Richmond’s offense struggled to get much going from there. The Spiders defense played well, but the offense could not do much without Edwards and Stephen Barntte, who did not play much after suffering a lower back injury last week. A 25-yard touchdown pass to Jacobi Green gave the Spiders a 7-6 lead at the half. A muffed punt from Wayne Pettus, who was filling in for Edwards, early in the third quarter gave the Rams good field position that resulted in a field goal. Richmond took a 10-9 lead into the fourth quarter after Brandon Jordi made a 40-yard field toward the end of the third quarter, but URI responded with its fourth field goal early in the fourth quarter. Rhode Island looked set to win as it had the ball deep in Richmond’s territory with less than three minutes remaining, but Pettus intercepted a 3rd-down pass and returned it to Rhode Island’s 47. Stephen Barnette made a big reception on a 4th-and 5 to put the Spiders in field-goal range, but a fumble by Rashad Ponder on the ensuing play that URI recovered secured the Rams’ victory.
Spider Positives: Richmond’s defense did what it could to give the team a chance to win by keeping URI out of the endzone. The Rams picked up 354 total yards, but the Spiders held them to four field goals and forced quarterback Bob Bentsen into three interceptions. Richmond played great third-down defense, as the Rams went two for 16 on third down. Wayne Pettus had two interceptions in the game, including one late in the 4th-quarter that gave the Spiders a final shot to win.
Spider Negatives: Richmond’s offense, which played most of the game without Edwards or Barnette, could not get anything going against the Rams’ defense. Michael Strauss had his worst game statistically of the season, as he went 23 for 44 for 255 yards. The running game did not do much to make up for the Spider’s poor day passing, as it rushed for just 83 net yards. Richmond’s special teams play was bad today. Joe Gulli averaged 30.2 yards on his 10 punts, and the committee of punt returners filling in for Edwards were shaky. The loss of Edwards is huge for the Spiders, as he leads them in receptions and has been one of the team’s leading rushers this year.
Up Next: Richmond has its hands full next week as it returns to Robins Stadium to take on Towson.