Hamilton’s record-breaking run kick-starts JMU in FCS Playoff win

Jawon Hamilton led the Dukes in the backfield in Saturday's win over VMI.
Jawon Hamilton led the Dukes in the backfield in Saturday's win over VMI.(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 25, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Arguably the play of the game in JMU’s FCS Playoffs opening round win over VMI came in the first quarter when Jawon Hamilton broke free for a 99-yard touchdown run.

It was the first score of the game that kick-started the Dukes to a 31-24 win, advancing to the FCS quarterfinals.

After VMI’s quarterback Seth Morgan punted the ball away himself on fourth down to the James Madison one-yard line, the Dukes opened up the drive in a two-back set.

Jawon Hamilton lined up to quarterback Cole Johnson’s left and took the handoff, found a hole and kept going all the way to the endzone.

“I want to applaud the offensive line,” JMU redshirt senior running back said. “I was able to get the ball, just press it in there and then I looked to the right and see all this space to run, so I’m like ‘oh man let’s go.’ Then I just hit it and just kept running. Then I looked up on the big screen and saw all the space.”

It was the longest play in JMU football history and the longest play in FCS Playoff history. 99-yard plays are not something you see everyday.

“That was a huge play,” JMU head coach Curt Cignetti said. “I’ve only seen another 99-yard touchdown run one other time in my life. That was Tony Dorsett on Monday Night Football against the Vikings. That was a long time ago.”

JMU would like Hamilton to break free for another big play next week when it plays North Dakota in the FCS quarterfinal round Sunday at 6 p.m.

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