HAMPDEN SYDNEY, VA (WWBT) - Randolph-Macon rushed for 281 yards, held possession for over 44 minutes, and the R-MC defense caused a pair of key turnovers as the Yellow Jackets topped arch rival Hampden-Sydney, 41-31, in the 118th edition of "The Game."
With the win, R-MC finishes the season 7-3 overall. With a 5-2 ODAC record, the Jackets finish in second-place in league play. Saturday's win over H-SC marks the first back-to-back victories over the Tigers since 1999 & 2000. Hampden-Sydney finishes the season 6-4 and in a tie for third-place in the ODAC with a 4-3 mark.
Will McGhee ran the ball a career-high 34 times and tied a career-best with 186 yards for the second consecutive week. Vance Hendren also ran for 50 yards on eight carries, while Drake Sanders chipped in with 39 yards on nine attempts.
Quarterback Zac Naccarato was an efficient 16-of-19 for 154 yards and one touchdown. Naccarato completed passes to four different receivers with Luke Sellers leading the way with seven grabs for 60 yards.
Randolph-Macon, which was 10-of-16 on third-down for the day, was 3-of-6 in the fourth quarter and 2-of-2 on fourth down, helping R-MC hold the ball for 13:21 of the decisive final period.
R-MC's defense came up big on the fourth play of the game when linebacker Tom Solak picked off H-SC quarterback Nance Nash and returned the ball down to the Tigers' 31 yard line.
The Yellow Jackets proceeded to keep the ball on the ground on each of the next six plays with Naccarato running for the final eight yards for the score to put R-MC up 6-0. A Josh Storm PAT would extend the R-MC lead to 7-0
H-SC got on the board on its ensuing possession on a Max Antwerpes 20 yard, chip shot field goal. R-MC would respond on its next possession with a nine play, 68 yard drive that was capped by a Naccarato 12 yard touchdown toss to Zach Midulla.
After the Jackets' defense held the Tigers to a three and out on its next possession, the R-MC offense seemed poised to extend the Randolph-Macon lead, driving down to to the H-SC nine yard line. But on third-down, H-SC's Kenny Fryman forced a fumble that went into the end zone and was recovered by the Tigers for the touchback.
Hampden-Sydney took advantage of the miscue, going 75 yards in just under two minutes, cutting the R-MC lead to 14-10 with 10:25 to go in the first-half.
The R-MC offense took control of the tempo once again when it got the ball back, stringing together a 14 play, 69 yard drive that spanned just under seven minutes. The Jackets drove down to the H-SC 28 before the drive stalled. On fourth down, R-MC attempted a fake field goal where the holder Kyle Norton threw a pass that was incomplete but the Tigers were flagged for pass interference, giving R-MC an automatic first-down. R-MC scored three plays later on a Naccarato plunge to go up 21-10.
H-SC was able to score on a one-yard run by Nash with just under a minute to play in the half, sending the teams to the locker room with R-MC in front 21-17.
In a game that had a total 72 points and 920 yards of total offense, the third quarter saw neither team able to score.
A McGhee 21 yard run on the third play of the final quarter put the Jackets in front by a score of 27-17. Storm's extra point missed, leaving it a two score lead for the Jackets.
H-SC needed one play to cut its deficit to three points as Nash went 79 yards on the first play of the Tigers' next possession, making the score 27-24.
The Randolph-Macon offense got the ball back and put together a key drive to give R-MC a two score advantage once again. R-MC chewed six minutes off the clock, running 11 plays for 69 yards. The Yellow Jackets ran the ball on 10 of those 11 plays for 54 yards, the final 16 coming from a Hendren run up the middle for a touchdown.
With the score 34-24, the R-MC defense sealed the win, stripping Nash at the H-SC 35 to get the ball back for the offense that scored nine plays later to make it 41-24 and ice the win.
Nash finished the day with 412 yards of total offense. The Tigers' signal caller ran for 119 yards and was 17-of-30 for 293 yards through the air.
Randolph-Macon's defense was paced by Akeem Hardy's eight tackles. David Fetter had five stops for R-MC.
R-MC ran 87 plays to just 50 for H-SC. The Jackets also took advantage of six Tiger penalties for 81 yards.