JMU Wins In OT, 27-26
Posted: October 15, 2012
HARRISONBURG — As Jakarie Jackson left the post-game press conference Saturday night, the James Madison safety politely said “Ya’ll have a good one” to all assembled in the Bridgeforth Stadium press box.
He’d already had one.
Jackson batted down a pass on an attempted two-point conversion in double time to help JMU rally from a two-touchdown deficit to beat William & Mary 27-26 and move into sole possession of first place in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“I got the play from my defensive coach, executed the assignment and came out with the W,” said Jackson, whose team snapped a three-game losing streak in overtime games.
After trading field goals with W&M in the first overtime after regulation ended with the game tied 17-17, JMU (5-1 overall, 3-0 in the CAA and ranked No. 4 in Division I-AA) scored on a 3-yard run by tailback Dae’Quan Scott to go ahead 27-20 to start the second overtime.
The Tribe (2-5, 1-3) answered, scoring on a 7-yard pass from Raphael Ortiz to wide receiver Tre McBride. On the next play, William & Mary opted to go for the win rather than tie the game with an extra point and force another OT.
Ortiz rolled out and looked for McBride — who had seven catches for 79 yards — in the end zone on the two-point conversion, but Jackson, in a crowd of JMU defenders, knocked it away, giving the Dukes the win.
“We practice that every week,” said Ortiz, who went 14-of-23 for 177 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. “They were in zone coverage. It was tough to fit in certain windows. [I tried] moving around in the pocket a little just so that maybe one of the defensive guys would shift and leave one of our three options open. … I just put it up for someone to make a play on it.”
William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock said he went for the win in lieu of forcing a third overtime with an extra point because he thought his defense was tired.
“We’d gone back and forth in the overtime and our defense had been out there so much, and if we kicked the extra point, we were going to have to go back out there again and play defense,” the 33rd-year coach said. “I just felt like it was kind of a gut feeling. I thought we had it; we just didn’t get it.”
Said JMU coach Mickey Matthews: “I certainly don’t blame Jimmye for going for it. I like a guy that plays to win, and he was playing to win.”
The Tribe almost won in regulation.
With one second on the clock, David Kuhn missed a 31-yard field goal wide left. It was his second miss of the afternoon; coming into the game, Kuhn had made five of eight field goals this season. Saturday, the junior went 2-for-4, hitting from 39 and 38 yards, and missing from 43 and 31. Overall, W&M was 2-for-5 on field goals.
Laycock also said Kuhn wasn’t “100 percent,” but when asked what was wrong with the kicker, he refused to say. Still, Laycock said he was confident Kuhn would make the kick for the win.
“I didn’t have any reservations whatsoever - especially when we got that first down there,” Laycock said. “I thought he would make that one. He didn’t.”
Quarterback Justin Thorpe led Madison, throwing for 157 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-20 accuracy. He also ran for a career-high 106 yards on 21 carries.
The fifth-year junior rallied after turning it over twice in the first half, losing a fumble and throwing an interception downfield. The Tribe turned the pick into points, going on a 10-play, 63-yard drive to take a 14-0 lead with 4:27 left in the second quarter.
After that touchdown, JMU locked down. The Dukes forced five straight three-and-outs and scored 17 unanswered points to go ahead 17-14 with 1:23 left in the third quarter.
First, Thorpe completed an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Arlandis Harvey — who had a career game, catching six passes for 113 yards — to make it 14-7 W&M. Then, Scott scored on a 7-yard run to make it 14-14 after Sage Harold blocked a punt on the W&M 7-yard-line. Cameron Starke gave JMU its first lead of the game, 17-14, on a 40-yard field goal.
Kuhn tied it at 17-17 with a 39-yard field goal with 7:52 to play in regulation before he shanked the 31-yarder, sending the game into overtime.
Robertson led JMU with 13 tackles. Free safety Dean Marlowe added 12 and linebacker Chase Williams added 11.
The 22,271 fans at Bridgeforth Stadium saw an up-and-down performance from the Dukes. In addition to the two turnovers, JMU had six penalties for 65 yards (five were for holding), struggled at times to move the ball on offense and lost defensive tackle Sean O’Neill to a knee injury. It is unclear if O’Neill will miss any time.
The Dukes were thin on the defensive line Saturday because tackle Alex Mosley missed the game with the concussion. He should return for next week’s game at Richmond.