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Tribe thunders past Central Connecticut

  • Tribe gets out of the gate fast vs. Central Connecticut
    Tribe gets out of the gate fast vs. Central Connecticut  W&M rolls to 33-14 victory in its home opener.  Photo by Bob Keroack
  • W&M defense on the ball
    W&M defense on the ball  Tribe thrills home crowd with suffocating play  Photo by Bob Keroack
  • Burying Central Connecticut's hopes
    Burying Central Connecticut's hopes  In winning for the second straight week, the Tribe dominated from the start  Photo by Bob Keroack
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A history-making performance by an offensive player.

Another spectacular effort turned in by the defense.

Another resounding victory.

The seventh-ranked William & Mary football team continued to roll Saturday night in the home opener at Zable Stadium, easily handling Central Connecticut State, 33-14.

In helping the Tribe improve to 2-0, sophomore running back Jonathan Grimes became the fastest player in school history to total 1,000 career rushing yards. Grimes did it in just 13 games, eclipsing the previous mark of 15 games held by Derek Fitzgerald and Jon Smith.

As it did in the season-opening triumph over Virginia, the William & Mary defense held its opponent scoreless in the second half. The Tribe outgained CCSU, 372-237, rushing for 243 yards and six yards per carry. Central Connecticut, meanwhile, ran for just 78 yards.

Senior quarterback R.J. Archer threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another. Grimes finished as the game's leading rusher with 80 yards on 19 carries, while junior Courtland Marriner rushed for 48 yards on four
carries and scored a touchdown.

Senior wideout D.J. McAulay led the receivers with three catches for 70 yards and a score, while junior fullback Jimmy Hobson hauled in three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Jake Trantin recorded a double-digit tackle total for the second straight week with 10 stops and 1.5 tackles for a loss. Senior All-American defensive end Adrian Tracy tallied nine tackles and a sack.

The Tribe wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, as it logged a 13-play, 86-yard drive on the game's opening series that culminated with a 1-yard touchdown run by Archer with 7:56 showing. The senior quarterback keyed the drive with 37 yards rushing on just three carries.

W&M increased its advantage to 9-0 when senior defensive end C.J. Herbert caused CCSU's quarterback to fumble in the end zone, where a Central Connecticut player fell on the ball and was covered by redshirt freshman cornerback B.W. Webb.

The College extended its lead to 16-0 with less than two minutes left in the first quarter when Marriner raced 37 yards down the right sideline into the end zone.

In addition to outgaining the Blue Devils, 153-7, in the opening quarter, the Tribe held a 108-(-9) advantage on the ground.

The Tribe quickly answered a CCSU touchdown by covering 65 yards on just two plays. After Archer connected with McAulay on a 48-yard strike down the middle of the field, Hobson hauled in a short catch and raced into the end zone from 17 yards out.

Later, McAulay answered another Central Connecticut score with a leaping 21-yard grab over a CCSU defender with just 36 seconds remaining in the half to give the Tribe a 30-14 advantage.

W&M scored touchdowns on four of its five possessions in the opening half and outgained the Blue Devils, 281-110. Individually, Archer was very efficient, as he completed 6-of-9 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns to go with 60 yards rushing on five carries and a score.

The lone score in the second half was senior kicker Brian Pate's 42-yard field goal.

The Tribe looks to go 3-0 for the first time since 1998 when they play at Norfolk State Saturday. Kickoff is 6 p.m.