WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Sept. 8, 2012) - The William and Mary football team fell to Lafayette, 17-14, in its home opener on Saturday evening at Zable Stadium.
Much of the contest was played in steady rain, as lightning forced an hour and twenty-minute delay late in the first quarter.
While the inclement weather hampered both teams' offensive production, Lafayette (1-0) outgained the Tribe (0-2), 301-197, and controlled the time of possession by nearly 14 minutes (36:58-23:02).
Sophomore wide receiver Tre McBride highlighted the Tribe's individual efforts offensively, as he totaled a game-high five receptions for 91 yards with two touchdowns. Defensively, sophomore linebacker Airek Green posted a game-high 10 tackles with a TFL, while redshirt freshman linebacker Luke Rhodes tallied nine stops and 1.5 TFL.
Lafayette got on the scoreboard first when tailback Vaughn Hebron found the end zone on a 14-yard touchdown scamper with 1:36 remaining in the opening quarter.
Following the lightning delay, W&M evened the score late in the second quarter with a 28-yard touchdown strike from junior quarterback Michael Graham to McBride with 2:11 showing on the clock. The score came just three plays after sophomore defensive end Stephen Sinnott sacked Lafayette quarterback Andrew Shoop, forcing a fumble that he recovered at the Leopards' 34-yard line.
Lafayette marched to W&M's 14-yard line on its ensuing possession, but placekicker Ethan Swerdlow missed a 31-yard field goal attempt with 0:02 remaining in the half.
LC reclaimed the lead, 14-7, on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Shoop to wideout Mike Duncan with 3:30 left in the third quarter. The nine-play, 48-yard drive began after a Tribe fumble near midfield and was keyed by a fourth-and-8 conversion at W&M's 32-yard line.
A 34-yard field goal by Swerdlow with 11:50 remaining in the fourth quarter increased the margin to 17-7.
With time winding down, sophomore quarterback Raphael Ortiz led the Tribe on an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that lasted just 1:34 and culminated with a 32-yard touchdown pass to McBride with 1:48 remaining. The sophomore wide receiver came up big during the quick scoring drive, as he totaled three catches for 57 yards.
Lafayette recovered the ensuing onside kick and was able to run out the clock.
The Tribe will begin its conference slate when it plays at Towson next Saturday.