HARRISONBURG, Va. – No. 3 seed James Madison rushed for over 300 yards, building a three-score lead, before holding off a feisty VMI squad, 31-24, in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Saturday afternoon at Bridgeforth Stadium.
Down 31-17 with 2:18 left in the game, the Keydets made a furious attempt to rally and completed a 12-play 75-yard drive in 2:09 to cut the deficit to 31-24, but the final onside kick attempt fell into JMU’s hands as the Dukes held on for the victory.
RB Jawon Hamilton rushed for a career-high 171 yards and a touchdown, highlighted by a JMU and FCS-record 99-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. His 171 rushing yards was the fifth-most by a JMU player in the postseason. RB Percy Agyei-Obese joined him over the century mark, tallying 110 yards and a score.
It was the first time this season JMU produced a pair of 100-yard rushers and the first time since the 2019 regular-season finale when the same pair achieved the feat at Rhode Island.
VMI junior WR Jakob Herres finished the game with 13 grabs for 171 yards, marking his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game and 12th of his career. He also had a touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter, which was the 21st touchdown reception of his VMI career to move him past Mark Stock’s all-time program record of 20 from 1984-88.
VMI redshirt freshman QB Seth Morgan ended the contest going 30-for-50 for 286 yards and two touchdown passes, marking his fourth straight game with over 200 yards through the air since taking over the reins of the offense.
- Stadium: Bridgeforth
Location: Harrisonburg, Va.
- Attendance: 6011
- Duration: 3:14
VMI: Seth Morgan (286 PASS); Chance Knox (65 RUSH); Jakob Herres (171 REC);
JMU: Cole Johnson (204 PASS); Jawon Hamilton (171 RUSH); Antwane Wells Jr. (132 REC);