ALBANY, NY (TribeAthletics.com) – The William & Mary football team nearly rallied back from a 15-point deficit in the closing minutes but fell at UAlbany, 39-31, in its conference opener on Saturday night.
After a 6-yard touchdown run by UAlbany’s (3-2, 1-0) Kari Mofor with 1:44 remaining gave the Great Danes a 39-24 lead, the Tribe (2-3, 0-1) quickly answered with an 83-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Kilton Anderson to wideout Kane Everson on the first play of the ensuing drive.
After linebacker Alex Purviance recovered Kris Hooper’s onside kick moments later, W&M marched to the Great Danes’ 24-yard line before Anderson was intercepted in the end zone by safety Josh Wynn as the clock expired.
The Tribe led 24-15 following a 56-yard touchdown run by quarterback Hollis Mathis with 6:51 left in the third quarter, but UAlbany countered with 24 unanswered points before W&M’s comeback bid.
In addition to his 83-yard touchdown, Everson totaled a career-high seven catches for 121 yards.
Bronson Yoder posted a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown – his second of the season – while Kris Hooper connected on a school-record 54-yard field goal. Both big plays helped W&M take a 17-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Anderson came off the bench in the fourth quarter and led the Tribe’s final three possessions, completing 5 of 10 passes for 124 yards with the touchdown strike to Everson.
Defensively, linebacker Arman Jones totaled a team-high nine tackles with 0.5 TFL, while cornerback Corey Parker totaled seven tackles with a TFL and three PBU’s. Cornerback Latrelle Smith added five tackles with 1.5 TFL and two PBU’s.
Inside the Numbers
While both teams gained comparable yardage on the ground (W&M – 184, UAlbany – 185), the Great Danes posted 291 passing yards and outgained the Tribe, 476-376.
UAlbany also won the turnover battle (4-0) and owned a 35:19-24:37 advantage in time of possession.
Although the Great Danes scored on all six of its trips into the red zone, W&M limited UAlbany to just two touchdowns and four field goals.
The Tribe posted a season-high 10 PBU.
Ten different W&M players logged at least one carry.
Quarterback Jeff Undercuffler completed 27 of 44 passes for 291 yards with three touchdowns, while Mofor rushed for 95 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown.
Wideout Jerah Reeves posted nine catches for 92 yards with a score.
Defensively, linebacker Levi Metheny totaled a game-high 11 tackles, while Wynn added nine tackles and a pair of interceptions.
Yoder’s 98-yard touchdown marked the second time in the last three games that he returned a kickoff more than 90 yards for touchdown (93 yds vs. Colgate) … Yoder is averaging 36.8 yards per return this season … Hooper’s school-record 54-yard field goal broke the previous mark of 53 yards held by Steve Christie and Brett Sterba … It also ranks as the third-longest field goal in CAA history … Anderson’s 83-yard touchdown pass to Everson is the longest completion by W&M this season … Mathis’ 56-yard touchdown run is the longest run by a Tribe player this season … W&M and UAlbany are now even in the all-time series, 1-1.
The Tribe will return to action when it hosts No. 8/13 Villanova at Zable Stadium next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are available by clicking here or by calling the Tribe Ticket Office at 757-221-3340.