CHENEY, Wash. – Many years from now, Spider fans will be telling their children about this year’s University of Richmond football team.
But for now, the incredible 2016 season came to a close after a second straight trip to the FCS Quarterfinals and a second straight season with 10 wins came to a close with a tough 38-0 defeat at the hands of #2 Eastern Washington on a cold, snow-covered Saturday at Roos Field.
“We’re obviously very disappointed in today’s outcome and how we played, but I’m incredibly proud of the resiliency and toughness this group of young men showed throughout this entire season, ” Head Coach Danny Rocco said.
Senior Brian Brown finished his rewriting of the Richmond record books with four catches for 44 yards. He concludes his career as the program’s all-time leader in career yards (4,203), single-season receiving yards (1,485), single-season receiving TDs (11), career receiving TDs (22) and catches (247). He also will finish with the eight-most career receiving yards in FCS history with 4,203.
Freshman Deontez Thompson wrapped up his incredible season with 1,001 yards, the most-ever by a Richmond freshman. In the loss, Thompson had 21 carries for 74 yards. He is just the 12th player in program history to reach 1,000 yards in a single-season.
Senior LB Omar Howard concludes his illustrious career with 349 tackles, the ninth-most in program history.
“Today obviously hurts, we didn’t play anywhere close to how we’re capable of playing, but when I look back there is no other group of guys that I would have rather spent my senior season,” Howard said.
The Spider defense flexed their muscles early, holding the potent Eagles offense without a score for the first 12 minutes of the contest until EWU was aided by a tough pass interference call which led to a 7-0 first quarter lead.
EWU’s defense and the blustery weather was a battle all day for the Spider offense, who had four turnovers in the first half, which led to a 21-0 Eagle lead at halftime.
In the midst of the first half, Brown became the program’s all-time leader in receptions with her 244th catch.
The Eagles started the second half with their fourth TD drive of the game to extend the lead to 28-0.
Thompson and Brown tried to get the offense going, but the Spiders had two drives into Eagles territory that weren’t able to come away with points.
Richmond concludes the season with the fourth-most wins in school history and just the second time in school history with 10-plus wins in consecutive seasons.
The Spiders senior class will go down with the third-most wins by any class in program history with 35.