UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND -- The second of two touchdowns by Kendall Gaskins put Richmond
in front with 4:35 left, but William & Mary scored in the final seconds to
win a wild 25-23 decision in the 121st playing of the South's Oldest Football
Rivalry at Robins Stadium on Saturday.
With the victory, the Tribe (5-6, 3-5) retained the Capital Cup for the second-consecutive season after the Spiders (3-8, 0-8) had won five-straight in the series between 2005 and 2009. William & Mary's lead in the all-time series now stands at 61-55-5.
The Tribe's Nolan Kearney hauled in a two-yard TD pass from Brent Caprio to cap a 17-play, 74-yard game-winning drive that saw the visitors convert on three different third-down plays, and score on fourth-and-goal with two seconds left.
W&M squibbed the ensuing kickoff that was immediately recovered by Ben Bryer at Richmond's 46 with one tick remaining. Senior QB Aaron Corp's Hail Mary was knocked down near the goal line on the final play.
Richmond honored its 12 seniors in a pregame ceremony - QB Aaron Corp, WR Tre Gray, OL Ryan Goss, OL Richard Muldrow, S Colin Pehanick, P Casey Dobyns, FB Ben Bryer, DB Tremayne Graham, DL Corey Jackson, RB Garrett Turner, DL Shaun Quezada and FB Frank Howell - who each played their final career games.
Corp finished 22 of 31 passing for 196 yards and a touchdown, while Gray led the way with 10 catches for 84 yards. Gray, who played his 50th career game, capped his career as the Spiders' all-time leader in catches (243) and yards (3,101) and also set the team's single-season marks in both categories (95 and 1,187). Corp, who played just 16 games at Richmond after transferring from Southern California and injuring his knee midway through last season, threw for 3,327 yards and 20 TDs as a Spider and ranks ninth all-time in both categories.
Junior LB Darius McMillan recorded a career-high 20 tackles, as did sophomore DB Wayne Pettus (14) and freshman DB Mylon Blueford (12). McMillan, who was CAA Football's second-leading tackler coming in, finished his season with a career-best 133 stops - good for eighth on Richmond's single-season list.
Behind Gaskins, Richmond got the ground game rolling in the second half and the junior's six-yard run pulled the Spiders within 19-17 with 11 minutes remaining. Gaskins gained 64 yards on 14 carries and with 21 career rushing TDs, now stands tied for sixth on Richmond's all-time list.
Richmond forced a three-out then worked itself into short field-goal range with just over five minutes left. The 23-yard attempt was blocked by William & Mary, but because the ball went beyond the line of scrimmage, it was live and recovered by Richmond to give the Spiders a new set of downs at the 12.
Gaskins did the rest, rushing for back-to-back gains of five yards before his two-yard burst put the Spiders in front 23-19. It was the second time Richmond led on the afternoon, after Ben Edwards reeled in a picture-perfect 32-yard pass from Aaron Corp late in the first quarter and Richmond's two-point conversion was successful for an 8-7 advantage (John Laub's pass to Stephen Barnette).
D.J. Mangas was on the receiving end of a 17-yard Caprio pass in the second quarter (two-point conversion unsuccessful), putting the Tribe back up 13-8 and the Spiders' answered with a 35-yard field goal from freshman Remington Hinshaw to make the score 13-11 before halftime.
Caprio rushed in from two yards for a 19-11 lead with 2:03 left in the third quarter, but Drake Kuhn's extra-point was no good off the right upright.
Richmond was unable to convert two-point conversion tries after each of Gaskins touchdowns, and William & Mary safely took a knee after its go-ahead TD with two seconds left.
Grimes -- the Tribes' all-time leading rusher -- carried the ball 39 times for 205 yards and a touchdown and was named the 2011 Capital Cup MVP, while Caprio was 16 of 22 for 146 yards for two TD passing TDs and a rushing score.
The game marked the end of Richmond's 2011 season, which began with a 23-21 victory at Duke, but was marked by four gut-wrenching, late-game losses in conference play to then-No. 11 New Hampshire (45-43), at eventual CAA Champion Towson (31-28), to then-No. 9 Maine (23-22) and William & Mary (25-23).
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