Richmond holds off Delaware, ensures winning CAA season

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond Spiders football team won its third-straight game Saturday afternoon, defeating the Delaware Blue Hens, 23-17, at a sold-out Robins Stadium.  The victory moves Richmond's record to 7-3 overall and to 5-2 in the CAA, tied for second place in the conference.

FB Kendall Gaskins and LB Darius McMillan made the most of Senior Day on Saturday afternoon, helping lead the Spiders to the win.  Gaskins was a workhorse in the backfield, carrying the ball a career-high 27 times for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Defensively, McMillan led the team with game-high 13 tackles while fellow seniorDarryl Hamilton had a pair of interceptions.

Not wasting any time, the Spiders took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for the game's first score.  Strauss was sharp in the 14-play drive, completing 6-of-8 passes for 43 yards.  Gaskins finished the drive off with an 8-yard touchdown run, giving the Spiders an early, 7-0 lead.

After a 25-yard field goal off the foot of Remington Hinshaw, Gaskins pushed the Richmond lead to 17-0 with his second touchdown of the day.  Finishing off a six-play, 39-yard drive, Gaskins rumbled in from 6-yards out for his 14th TD of the season.

Delaware cut into the Richmond lead on a 2-yard run from Julian Laing, but the Spiders still took a 17-7 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

The story of the second half was the play of the Richmond defense, which continued to force turnovers at an incredible rate.  After intercepting five Rhode Island passes last week, the Spiders picked off four more on Saturday against the Blue Hens while also forcing a fumble.

With Richmond leading 20-7 headed to the fourth quarter, the Blue Hens made a game of it on a 77-yard interception return for touchdown in the fourth.  After the teams exchanged field goals midway through the quarter, Delaware had one last shot to steal the victory away from Richmond.

Two seconds remained on the clock when Delaware heaved a last-ditch pass into the end zone, but the UD attempt was intercepted by senior DB Cooper Taylor, clinching the 23-17 win for the Spiders.

The interception for Taylor capped another stellar day for the Atlanta, Ga., native, as he finished the game with eight tackles, an interception, one sack, one forced fumble, two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry.  JuniorWayne Pettus also had a pick for Richmond, his fourth of the season.

Offensive standouts on the day included QB Michael Strauss and WR Rashad Ponder. Strauss completed 25-of-41 passes for 267 yards, while Ponder posted career highs with five receptions and 84 yards.

The Spiders renew their rivalry with William and Mary when Richmond travels to Williamsburg next Saturday for a 1:30pm kickoff.

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