RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The No. 14/14 Richmond Spider football team fell to the No. 25/RV James Madison Dukes, 55-20, Saturday afternoon on Senior Day in front of sold-out crowd (8,700) at Robins Stadium.
The loss drops the Spiders to 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the CAA, while the Dukes improved to 8-3 on the season and 5-2 in the league.
Although the Spiders limited James Madison to just 93 yards rushing, the Dukes outgained Richmond, 526-403, in total yardage and forced five Richmond turnovers that led to 27 points.
QB Michael Strauss returned to the starting lineup for the Spiders and led the team with 225 yards off 17-of-34 passes and three touchdowns. RB Jacobi Green caught a career-high two touchdowns as the junior collected 36 yards receiving and 23 yards rushing. RB Seth Fisher led the running backs with 124 yards on 14 carries, while WRReggie Diggs led the receivers with 97 yards on five catches.
Defensively, LB Eric Wright led the Spiders with a game-high 11 tackles and three tackles for a loss with one forced and recovered fumble. DB Justin Grant followed with 10 tackles and one tackle for a loss.
After back-to-back touchdowns from James Madison to start the day, the Spiders got things going when they pushed the ball down field 60 yards that resulted in six points. Strauss found Brian Brown (52 yards on five catches) in the end zone for a four-yard TD pass with 3:14 left in the first.
James Madison had the momentum throughout the second quarter until the final minute of the half. With the Dukes up 31-13, the Spiders got back in the ball game with back-to-back targeting penalties that resulted in two Duke ejections that put them in scoring opportunity.
Strauss found Green for a nine-yard pass in the end zone that capped off a four-play, 70-yard drive that cut the JMU lead to 31-20 going into halftime.
After the two teams traded turnovers to start the third quarter, the Spider defense held the Dukes to a 35-yard field goal to make it a 34-20 ball game with 9:31 left in the quarter.
Back-to-back interceptions gave James Madison 14-straight points in the third quarter and a touchdown five minutes left in the contest secured the game for the Dukes.
The Richmond athletics department honored Spider football's 22 seniors prior to the start of the game for the Senior Day ceremony.
The Spiders will be back in action when it travels to William & Mary for the 124th time in "The Oldest Rivalry in the South" Saturday.