Final Score: Richmond 46 – Stony Brook 43
What Happened: Reggie Diggs caught Michael Strauss’ fifth touchdown pass of the game to give the Spiders a 46-43 win at Delaware. Delaware took its first lead of the game with 45 seconds remaining, but Richmond responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive in 41 seconds to take back the lead for good. Richmond played some of its best football of the season in the game’s first 20 minutes as it raced out to a 22-3 lead. Delaware could not stop the Spiders’ balanced offensive attack, and Richmond’s defense did not yield much other than one long pass play that led to the field goal. Delaware responded with two consecutive touchdowns, cutting the Spiders lead to 22-17, but a 50-yard touchdown reception by freshman Brian Brown late in the half gave the Spiders a 29-17 lead at the half. Richmond and Delaware traded touchdowns in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter – Richmond’s came on 23-yard reception by Hunter Westfall – but an 80-yard Delaware touchdown pass cut the Spiders’ lead to 36-31 heading into the fourth quarter. Brandon Jordi hit a 34-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. Delaware responded with a touchdown, but missed its two-point conversion that would have tied the game. The Blue Hens, trailing by two, got the ball back with 3:55 left and scored a touchdown on an 11-yard run with 45 seconds remaining. Delaware’s fans seemed to had think the game was over, but Richmond’s final drive left the stadium stunned.
Spider Positives: Strauss played his best game as a Spider as he carried the Spiders’ offense to a season-high 46 points. Strauss threw for a Richmond single-game record 543 yards and 5 touchdowns passes while completing 35 of his 46 passes. Strauss played great for the entire game, and orchestrated the Spiders’ final 75-yard touchdown drive that led to their victory. Richmond’s receivers, which did not have Ben Edwards for three quarters because of an injury, played great as well. Brian Brown, Stephen Barnette and Rashad Ponder each had over 100 yards receiving; the first time three Spiders have eclipsed that mark in the same game in school history. Five Richmond receivers had touchdown receptions today. Richmond’s running game, which totaled 136 yards, gave the offense balance and set up play-action passes. Seth Fisher rushed for 74 rushing yards on 15 attempts. Richmond’s offense totaled 680 yards.
Spider Negatives: Richmond led by 19 points in the second half, but allowed Delaware to come back. Had it not been for the last drive, Richmond would have added another disappointing loss to its already extensive list. Delaware won the field position battle today thanks to some poor punting and kickoffs. Two kickoffs went out of bounds and one punt was blocked. Richmond lost Edwards, its most dynamic offensive player, midway through the second quarter on what looked to be some sort of leg injury. The Spiders managed to do fine without him today, but they struggled in previous games without him. He will miss next week’s game.
Up Next: Richmond plays William and Mary at Robins Stadium on Saturday in the Spiders’ final game of the season.