Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
No. 20/23 Spiders Run Over Liberty, 30-21
Courtesy:Richmond Athletics
Release:09/21/2013
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UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – The No. 20/23-ranked Richmond Spider football team put out the Liberty Flames, 30-21, Saturday night at Robins Stadium in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

DB Wayne Pettus led both squads with two blocked field goals, two pass breakups and an interception, while LB Walt Sparks had a career-high 14 tackles, a tackle for a loss and one forced fumble.

On the offensive side, RB Jacobi Green registered a career day. The sophomore totaled 181 yards off of 24 carries.  WR Ben Edwards led the receiving corps with 101 yards on nine receptions, while RB T.J. Moon rushed for 38 yards, including his first two career touchdowns.

QB Michael Strauss continued his great start to the 2013 season, as he connected on 20-of-34 of his attempts for 210 yards and one touchdown.

After both teams punted it away on their first possessions, the Spiders got on the board early with a career-high 41-yard field goal from K Brandon Jordi at the 6:27 mark. The 69-yard, seven-play scoring drive was highlighted by a 53-yard run by Green to the Liberty 40, which tied his career high.

Following a Liberty touchdown with just over three minutes left in the opening quarter, Richmond reclaimed the lead off a two-yard touchdown run by Moon with 52 seconds left in the first. 

The Spiders increased their lead on the next possession when Strauss found FB Seth Fisher for an eight-yard touchdown pass in the end zone to complete a seven-play, 46-yard scoring drive.

The Flames came within four off a nine-yard run from QB Josh Woodrum with 3:46 left in the half, but the Spiders responded with a touchdown of their own. Richmond found the end zone off Moon’s second rushing touchdown of the day, capping off a seven-play, 75-yard drive that was highlighted by four plays over 10 yards.

With Richmond leading, 23-14, at halftime, Liberty started the third quarter with a 46-yard rush touchdown run to come within two, 23-21, 54 seconds in the half. But the Spiders retaliated with an eight-yard rushing touchdown from Edwards to make it a 30-21 ball game after the Richmond defense forced a Liberty fumble on its 15-yard line.

The Spiders kept the nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter as Pettus halted a 42-yard Liberty drive with a blocked field goal at the Richmond 45. That marked thefirst blocked field goal for the Spiders since DL Jacob Pierce’s on Nov. 19, 2011 at William & Mary.

With 11:33 remaining in the game, Pettus was there again as the senior stopped his second field goal of the game. The Flames pushed the ball to the Richmond 22-yard line on eight plays and 53 yards, but the Spider defense remained strong to force the field goal squad to come out.

The Spiders got the ball back with 3:48 on the clock when Pettus recorded his second interception of the season to put Richmond on its 39-yard line. The Spiders ran two-minutes off the clock which was enough to help the defense hold the Flames out of the end zone on their final drive of the game.

Defensively, DB Reggie Barnette totaled 10 tackles, while LB Eric Wright followed with eight of his own and 0.5 tackles for a loss.

Richmond will return to the field next Saturday, Sept. 28 to host the Maine Black Bears for its CAA conference opener at Robins Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

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