There will be at least one more week of playoff football in Harrisonburg.
Third-seeded James Madison racked up 511 yards of total offense and topped the visiting VMI, 31-24, in the opening round of the FCS postseason on Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium.
It’s the Dukes’ 10th straight victory in a home playoff game, dating back to the 2016 season.
JMU (6-0) struck first when senior running back Jawon Hamilton turned a handoff from his own 1-yard line into the longest play in the subdivision’s postseason history. His 99-yard touchdown run gave the Dukes a 7-0 lead.
He finished with a career-high and game-best 171 rushing yards.
Fellow senior running back Percy Agyei-Obese chipped in with 110 yards and a score. His 2-yard scoring run in the second quarter pushed JMU’s advantage to 14-3. And before half, quarterback Cole Johnson separated the Dukes further from VMI with a 10-yard touchdown throw to Kris Thornton, who began his career as a member of the Keydets ahead of transferring to JMU.
That was plenty of offense for the Dukes’ defense, which held VMI to 286 passing yards, which is below the 312 yards through the air it averaged per game entering Saturday.
VMI, which made its first playoff appearance ever on Saturday, finishes its storybook season with a 6-1 mark.
JMU advances to the national quarterfinals to host the winner of the first-round game between North Dakota and Missouri State, which is currently ongoing.