KINGSTON, R.I. (Nov. 5, 2011) - Senior All-American running back Jonathan Grimes rushed for 208 yards and scored two touchdowns, but the No. 19/21 William and Mary football team fell at Rhode Island, 24-21, on Saturday afternoon in Kingston, R.I.
Grimes' rushing total is the third-best single-game performance in school history, while it marked the third-consecutive week he has rushed for at least 100 yards. The Palmyra, N.J., native's touchdown runs included a 60-yard scamper in the first quarter and an 87-yard score in the third quarter.
W&M (4-5, 2-4) outgained the Rams (3-6, 2-4) by nearly 100 yards, 379-289, and piled up 236 yards on the ground. However, the Tribe turned the ball over three times and had two punts blocked - the final of which led to a 27-yard game-winning field goal by Louis Feinstein with 1:39 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Rhode Island jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a 32-yard pass from quarterback Bob Bentsen to tight end Joe Migliarese with 9:55 remaining in the opening quarter. URI converted a fourth-and-1 at W&M's 41-yard line three plays before the touchdown strike.
W&M quickly answered when Grimes broke off a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play of the ensuing drive. However, W&M missed the extra point as the Rams led, 7-6.
Rhode Island had an opportunity to extend the margin on its next drive when it drove to W&M's 6-yard line, but Bentsen's fourth-down pass intended for tight end Alex Frazier fell incomplete in the end zone.
W&M responded by marching to URI's 28-yard line, but the drive stalled when Grimes' was stopped short on fourth-and-one with 12:10 remaining in the second quarter.
The Tribe took its first lead of the game, 13-7, just three plays into the third quarter when Grimes rattled-off a career-long 87-yard touchdown run down the middle of the field on a third-and-17 situation.
After junior linebacker Jabrel Mines recovered a URI fumble caused by sophomore defensive tackle George Beerhalter at the Rams' 46-yard line just a few minutes later, the Tribe marched to the 9-yard line before a Grimes fumble ended W&M's scoring opportunity.
The College moved inside Rhode Island's 30-yard line once again on its next drive, but sophomore quarterback Brent Caprio was intercepted by Clement Ani on a fourth-and-12 situation.
A URI blocked punt early in the fourth quarter gave the Rams starting field position at W&M's 41-yard line, and a 2-yard touchdown run by fullback Chris Mancuso on a fourth-and-1 allowed Rhode Island to reclaim the lead, 14-13, with 10:35 remaining. Prior to the touchdown, URI converted a fourth-and-12 from the W&M 30-yard line with a 19-yard completion from Bentsen to wideout Anthony Baskerville to keep the drive alive.
The Tribe answered with a six-play, 64-yard touchdown drive on its ensuing possession to retake the lead, 21-14, with 7:45 remaining. A 5-yard touchdown pass from Caprio to junior tight end Nolan Kearney capped off the drive, while a 36-yard play-action pass down the middle to junior wide receiver Ryan Moody helped set up the score. The two-point conversion was successful on a pass from Caprio to senior wideout D.J. Mangas in the back of the end zone.
Rhode Island quickly responded with a five-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Bentsen to wide receiver Ty Bynum to tie the score at 21-21 with 5:26 remaining.
After forcing W&M to a three-and-out on its next possession, URI recorded a blocked punt to take over at the Tribe's 26-yard line. Although the Rams were unable to find the end zone, Feinstein's 27-yard field goal attempt sailed through the uprights with 1:39 remaining.
W&M moved the ball to near midfield but eventually faced a fourth-and-12 from its own 44-yard line with just 0:48 remaining. Following a Tribe timeout, Caprio's deep pass down the middle intended for Mangas was broken up by a pair of Rhode Island defenders. After taking over on downs, URI was able to run out the clock.
Defensively, W&M was led by Mines and junior linebacker Dante Cook, who totaled a game-high 12 tackles apiece. Cook also recorded a half sack and two tackles for a loss, while Mines tallied a fumble recovery. Beerhalter also came up big with a career-high 10 tackles to go with a half sack, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Redshirt freshman safety Ivan Tagoe earned his second interception of the season.
The Tribe will return to action next weekend when it hosts Old Dominion for Senior Day on Saturday at noon.