Add a spring trophy to the case full of awards, honors and accolades James Madison has gathered during its recent run of success.
The No. 1 Dukes captured the Colonial Athletic Association South Division crown with a 23-6 victory over visiting Richmond on Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg.
JMU is now 33-2 in CAA games since the start of the 2016 season. The Dukes (5-0, 3-0 CAA) beat Richmond (3-1, 3-1 CAA) in what was a de facto South Division championship contest, and with the win are still alive for the CAA’s automatic-qualifying bid into the FCS postseason. A committee of league athletic directors will award the automatic-qualifier later this evening to either JMU or Delaware, which beat Villanova earlier Saturday to win the CAA North.
The top-ranked Dukes jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first eight minutes. JMU used a 46-yard pass from quarterback Cole Johnson to slot receiver Kris Thornton to setup Percy Agyei-Obese’s 1-yard touchdown run which was the game’s first score. The Dukes added the first of kicker Ethan Ratke’s three field goals on their next possession.
Johnson finished 16-of-25 for 235 passing yards and his 31-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach.
The JMU defense turned in another suffocating effort. The Dukes limited Richmond to 200 total yards. Safety Wayne Davis led JMU with seven tackles and cornerback Taurus Carroll recorded the first interception of his career.