7-4 , 5-2
10-1 , 6-1
10-1 , 6-1
Game Recap: Football |
HARRISONBURG, Va. – #18 James Madison erased a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit on Saturday afternoon, but App State scored an eight-yard touchdown in overtime to hold on for a 26-23 win in front of a sold-out Bridgeforth Stadium.
The Dukes fell for the first time in 2023, dropping to 10-1 on the year and 6-1 in Sun Belt Conference play, while the Mountaineers improved to 7-4 overall and 5-2 in league games.
The loss ended the nation’s fourth-longest win streak, at 13 games, dating back to last season. App State also improved to 13-5 all-time against the Dukes. The game was hosted in front of 25,838 fans, the sixth-largest attendance in Bridgeforth Stadium history.
Trailing 17-5 early in the fourth, JMU put together a pair of 75-yard touchdown drives, with Jordan McCloud rushing for one score and finding Elijah Sarratt on the game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion in the final minute.
After Camden Wise knocked down a 25-yard field goal in overtime, Joey Aguilar found Kaedin Robinson on an eight-yard touchdown to seal the App win.
Aguilar finished 28-of-46 for 318 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. Robinson caught four passes for 68 yards and a pair of scores while Eli Wilson had four grabs for 61 yards and a score. Nick Ross led the Mountaineers with nine tackles and a fumble recovery, while Nate Johnson and Michael Fletcher each recorded two sacks.
For JMU, McCloud was 27-of-46 for 289 yards and a touchdown with an interception while also rushing for another score. Sarratt had a huge fourth quarter and turned in his fourth 100-yard game of the season, tallying 128 receiving yards and a touchdown and two-point conversion on eight receptions. Ty Son Lawton also contributed 87 total yards, with 37 rushing and 50 receiving on five catches.
Defensively, D’Angelo Ponds led the team with seven tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery and a pass breakup. Four Dukes had six tackles, as Jailin Walker made six stops with a PBU, while Jamree Kromah had six tackles and a sack, which resulted in a safety. Mikail Kamara added a TFL and Aiden Fisher produced a half TFL and breakup.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- App State opened the scoring with 2:55 to go in the first, as it got down to the JMU two before a TFL by Fisher and Trent Hendrick held the Mountaineers to a 22-yard field goal from Michael Hughes.
- After a diving catch by Ty Son Lawton deep in App territory, Wise knocked home a 35-yard field goal, his 15th of the season.
- JMU took a 5-3 lead on an intentional grounding in the endzone by Aguilar after a Kromah pressure.
- After a takeaway for App State, Kaedin Robinson caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Aguilar, giving the visitors a 10-5 lead with 5:16 to play in the half.
- In the third quarter, JMU forced a fumble but a sack and missed Wise field kept the score the same with just over five minutes to play in the quarter.
- On the first play of the fourth, App extended its lead to 17-5 on a 16-yard touchdown strike from Aguilar to Eli Wilson.
- JMU finally found the endzone, as it put together a 16-play, 75-yard drive covering over six-and-a-half minutes, which was capped off by a six-yard touchdown run from McCloud, his seventh of the year. JMU pulled with 17-12 with 8:20 to go.
- App threatened again but was held to a Hughes 30-yard field goal to make it 20-12 with 3:55 remaining.
- On the ensuing drive, Sarratt made multiple highlight-reel catches, including one on a 4th-and-18, setting up his 11-yard touchdown with 57 seconds to go.
- Trailing 20-18 and after a timeout, McCloud found Sarratt one more time, as he tiptoed in to tie the game.
- The Mountaineers drove downfield, but a Ponds interception with seconds left forced OT.
- Sarratt had an 18-yard catch on the first play of overtime, but three straight incompletions had JMU settle for a Wise 25-yard field goal, giving them a 23-20 lead – its first since 5-3 in the second quarter.
- App answered, going for 17 yards on the first play and scoring on Robinson’s eight-yard catch three plays later.
- JMU set a single-season attendance record, averaging 25,372 fans per game. A total of 152,234 spectators attended JMU’s six home games.
- App State out-gained JMU 387-350, which was just the second time a team has gained more yards than the Dukes this season.
- Both teams turned the ball over twice, with an interception and fumble apiece.
- The Mountaineers were 7-of-16 on third down, while JMU was held to 6-of-16.
- Teams combined to score on nine of 10 red-zone chances, with App going 5-for-5 and JMU 4-for-5, with a missed field goal being the only time a team didn’t put up points.
- App State had five total sacks, while JMU was limited to one.
- App State’s 3-0 lead after one marked the first time this season the Dukes trailed after the opening quarter. The 10-5 deficit at the break was also JMU’s first game this year trailing at half.
- JMU’s first takeaway in the third quarter was the first career forced fumble for James Carpenter and first career recovery for Ponds.
- Wise moved into fourth place in JMU single-season history with 16 field goals.
- Adding in his eight catches, Sarratt now has 68 receptions this season, which is fifth in JMU single-season history.
- Sarratt and Brown both moved up on JMU’s season receiving yards chart, as Sarratt is sixth (969) and Brown is eighth (952).
- McCloud became the fifth quarterback ever to throw for 3,000 yards and for the sixth total time, as he sits at 3,089 yards.
JMU closes the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 25 when it travels to Conway, S.C., to take on Coastal Carolina. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
First appeared on jmusports.com