BY: ROB HAGAN
This past Saturday marked the home opener for the William and Mary Tribe football team. Over 8,000 fans came to Zable stadium, selling out the student section to watch the #20 team in the nation, fresh off a Week 1 victory over FBS Charlotte.
William and Mary won the toss and chose to receive. Right out of the gate, William and Mary continued the trick plays from last week with a reverse flea flicker, as quarterback Darius Wilson completed a 32-yard pass. The first drive resulted in William and Mary scoring three points. The defense then took the field and stopped Campbell cold, inflicting a big sack on the Campbell quarterback and forcing them to punt.
The second drive was equally impressive, with William and Mary quickly moving up the field and scoring a touchdown. William and Mary inflicted another huge sack for the last play of the first quarter, and led 10-0. Reigning CAA Rookie of the Year Darius Wilson had an impressive first quarter, completing four of six passes for 67 yards as well as gaining 12 yards rushing. William and Mary got off to a quick start in the second quarter with a Jalen Jones interception, and Wilson continued his impressive performance with another brisk drive down the field for a second touchdown. This made it 17-0. However, Campbell retaliated with a quick touchdown of its own, making it 17-7.
Campbell regained its footing in the third quarter. A mistake by the William and Mary punter put Campell deep inside William and Mary territory. When Campbell capitalized on the error, the game was a competitive 17-14. William and Mary regained momentum with Bronson Yoder contributing first downs and Malachi Imoh running the ball into the endzone for a third Tribe touchdown. Jalen Jones then picked off another errant pass, and Malachi Imoh broke open a big fifty five yard scoring run, ending the third quarter at 31-21. It stayed 31-21 for the majority of the fourth quarter until Jalen Jones, having one heck of a game, got his third interception with four minutes remaining. From that point on, Campell never really threatened the Tribe again, and the Green and Gold picked up their second win of the season in front of a raucous crowd inside Zable Stadium. This marks the first time since 2009 that the Tribe started a season 2-0.
This week, the Tribe jumped to an impressive 15th in the FCS National rankings, and will look to continue that momentum on the road against Lafayette. The Leopards currently sit 1-1, after a week 1 victory over Sacred Heart. It will be the tale of two completely different offenses, as Lafayette averages 111.5 yards per game, while the Tribe averages 475.5 yards per game. Tribe fans can catch all the action on ESPN+, with kickoff slated for 3:30 pm. LET’S GO TRIBE.