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All-purpose back becomes W&M's all-time rushing leader
Saturday’s contest against the visiting University of New Hampshire (4-2, 2-1) was all about breaking records and streaks.
Not only did the Tribe (4-3, 2-2) pick up a much-needed 24-10 win, but two seniors earned both Colonial Athletic Association honors and national recognition for standout performances.
Entering senior All-American running back Jonathan Grimes needed just 145 yards to break William & Mary’s all-time rushing record of 3,744 set by Derek Fitzgerald. On Saturday, fans watched as he amassed a career-high 169 yards on 28 carries to extend his career total to 3,768.
His receiving game included three catches for 126 yards with two touchdown receptions. On the day, Grimes totaled 323 all-purpose yards.
On Monday, Grimes was named The Sports Network/Fathead.com Offensive Player of the Week.
On the defensive side of the ball, fellow senior Marcus Hyde set a program record of his own, registering a single-game team-high five sacks. The previous record was 3.5 sacks set in 1996.
Now leading the CAA with 6.5 sacks, Hyde’s performance set a CAA Football-Era single game record and earned him a nod as a College Sporting News National All-Star.
William & Mary entered Saturday’s contest at Zable Stadium looking to wreck the Wildcats’ four-game win streak. With an offense led by sophomore quarterback Brent Caprio and senior tight end Jonathan Grimes, the Tribe accomplished that goal.
While the Wildcats outgained William & Mary 517-429, they committed two fumbles and two interceptions.
Despite a scoreless first quarter and near scoreless second, it was a very productive first half as Grimes and Hyde worked their way toward top performances.
UNH saw a scoring opportunity early in the first quarter, but placekicker Mike MacArthur missed wide left.
With under five minutes to play in the half, MacArthur redeemed himself with a 37-yard field goal to put the Wildcats ahead first.
But Grimes quickly responded with a 72-yard drive off a screen pass from sophomore quarterback Brent Caprio. Drake Kuhn’s kick was good and the Tribe led 7-3.
With 14 seconds left on the clock, UNH ended an eight-play, 90-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kevin Decker to R.J. Harris. Harris jumped high in the air and landed just inches in the endzone for the scoring play.
Grimes struck again after the half, hauling in a 50-yard pass from Caprio. Kuhn’s kick gave the Tribe a 14-10 lead. The completion gave Grimes a single-game career-high 126 receiving yards. His previous record was 105 yards set in 2008. Grimes’ touchdown was the only scoring drive of the third quarter.
As the clock ticked down in the third, Ivan Tagoe intercepted a UNH drive to stop the Wildcats in the red zone. Six plays and 79 yards later, Keith McBride posted a 50-yard rush into the endzone for another Tribe touchdown and a 21-10 lead.
William & Mary’s final score came from Drake Kuhn’s 45-yard field goal with 6:06 left in the game.
In the 24-10 victory, Caprio completed 7-of-11 passes for 167 yards. McBride rushed for 68 total yards on nine carries.
Defensively, Jabrel Mines had a team-high 13 tackles and posted a fumble recovery. Tagoe and Jerome Couplin III each recorded interceptions.
Before Saturday’s game, the Tribe’s season had just one play of 40 plus yards and the longest rush was 23 yards. Kuhn’s final field goal was also the longest of his career.
William & Mary hosts CAA rival Towson (5-1, 3-0) on Saturday, Oct. 22. Kickoff for the Tribe Homecoming is 3:30 p.m.
By Sara Bonovitch, Virginia Gazette