WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Sept. 24, 2011) - The No. 6/5 William and Mary football team had its 11-game regular-season home winning streak snapped with a 20-14 loss against No. 12/10 James Madison in both teams' conference opener on a rainy evening at Zable Stadium on Saturday night.
A late touchdown pass from W&M (2-2, 0-1) sophomore quarterback Michael Graham to senior tight end Alex Gottlieb closed a 13-point margin to just six points with 1:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Tribe was unable to recover the ensuing onsides kick and JMU (3-1, 1-0) held on for the win.
JMU outgained the Tribe, 340-252, and piled up most of its yardage on the ground (271 yards).
Making his first career start in front of a sold-out crowd, Graham finished the contest 14-of-26 for 215 yards with a pair of touchdowns. The Charlottesville, Va., native was especially effective in the second half when he completed 12-of-18 passes for 204 yards with both of his scores.
Senior wide receiver D.J. Mangas led the Tribe with six catches for a career-high 102 yards with his first career touchdown, while junior wideout Ryan Moody came up big in his first action of the season with three receptions for 82 yards. Senior running back Jonathan Grimes led the ground attack with 70 rushing yards on 23 carries.
Defensively, junior linebacker Jabrel Mines led the College defensively with a game-high 13 tackles and a sack, while senior linebacker Jake Trantin and senior defensive end Marcus Hyde both registered eight stops apiece.
After neither team was able to put any points on the scoreboard in the first quarter, JMU took a 7-0 lead on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Justin Thorpe to Kerby Long down the Tribe sideline on the first play of the second quarter.
After forcing a three-and-out on W&M's next possession, the Dukes increased the lead to 10-0 with a 26-yard field goal by Cameron Starke midway through the second quarter.
JMU outgained the College 210-64 in the first half and piled up 141 yards on the ground. Mines posted 11 of his 13 tackles, as well as his sack, in the opening 30 minutes.
The Tribe put together a 13-play drive to open the second half and looked as if it would get on the scoreboard with a 29-yard field goal attempt, but a high snap prevented sophomore placekicker Drake Kuhn from taking the kick.
W&M responded on its next possession with a seven-play, 99-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Graham to Mangas down the JMU sideline. Graham engineered the drive, as he completed three of his four passes for 98 yards. In addition to his touchdown reception, Mangas also hauled in a 26-yard catch while Moody had a 34-yard grab.
After a fumble by Tribe redshirt freshman running back Keith McBride gave JMU starting field position at the W&M 24-yard line, the Dukes found the end zone five plays later on a 3-yard rush by Dae'Quan Scott to push the margin to 17-7 early in the fourth quarter.
Following a W&M three-and-out, the Dukes added to the lead with a 34-yard field goal by Starke. The time-consuming drive lasted 7:07 and covered 60 yards on 12 plays.
Despite trailing by 13 points with just 4:17 remaining, Graham led the Tribe on a 12-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown strike to Gottlieb with 1:25 left.
However, JMU's Daniel Brown recovered the ensuing onsides kick, and the Dukes picked up one first down before running out the clock.
The Tribe will return to action when it plays at Villanova next Saturday at noon.