WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (TribeAthletics.com) – The William & Mary football team rushed for a school-record 462 yards en route to earning a 55-19 victory against in Rhode Island in its “Be The Match Game” at Zable Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The exciting home victory punctuated an emotional weekend for Tribe Football, as senior captain all-conference offensive lineman Mark Williamson, a bone marrow donor in 2016, met his recipient, Rusty Plemons, for the first time at Friday’s practice. Plemons was a special guest for Saturday’s game and joined W&M’s team captains at midfield for the opening coin toss.
W&M (4-6, 2-4) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and answered URI’s (2-8, 0-6) lone score of the first half with a pair of touchdowns in the final 1:31 of the second quarter to take 35-6 lead at halftime. Four of the Tribe’s first five touchdowns came on the ground and were scored by different players – Albert Funderburke (8 yards), Hollis Mathis (15 yards), Zach Burdick (32 yards) and Bronson Yoder (12 yards), while Donavyn Lester scored on a short pass that he took 58 yards for a score.
Owen Wright’s 59-yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage in the third quarter increased W&M’s lead to 42-6. Although URI scored a pair of second half touchdowns, the Tribe answered with scores each time en route to securing its second consecutive conference victory.
Turnovers played a big role in the contest, as the Tribe generated 21 points off URI’s four turnovers.
Yoder led the Tribe with a career-high 144 rushing yards on 14 carries with a touchdown, while Wright added 123 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. It marked the first time two W&M players rushed for more than 100 yards in the same game since Troy Keen (158) and Derek Fitzgerald (140) accomplished the feat versus URI in 1995.
Yoder’s memorable afternoon also included becoming the program’s single-season record holder for kickoff return yards (847), as he broke the previous mark set by Jonathan Grimes (817) in 2011.
W&M’s rushing total broke the previous record of 453 that was set against Ohio Wesleyan in 1970, the Tribe’s 55 points are the program’s most since scoring 63 at VMI in 2007 and their 580 total yards are the program’s most since posting 616 versus Richmond in 2010.
The Tribe will return to action when it hosts No. 21 Towson for Senior Day at Zable Stadium next Saturday at 1 p.m. Tickets for the contest are available by clicking here or by calling the Tribe Ticket Office.