James Madison spoils Virginia’s UVA Strong celebration 36-35 on touchdown pass with 55 seconds left

James Madison spoils Virginia’s UVA Strong celebration 36-35 on touchdown pass with 55 seconds left
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 6:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jordan McCloud hit Kaelon Black with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 55 seconds to play, capping a fourth-quarter rally and James Madison beat Virginia 36-35, spoiling the Cavaliers’ first home game since three players were fatally shot last November.

The Dukes (2-0), playing Virginia for the first time in 40 years despite being just 58 miles away, trailed 35-24 before thunderstorms and lightning forced a suspension of play for an hour, 12 minutes. When play resumed, the Dukes put together a pair of 80-yard drives.

The Cavaliers (0-2), who celebrated the lives of Lavel Davis Jr, Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry just before kickoff, fell behind 14-0 quickly, but stayed true to their pledge to play to honor the legacy of those teammates and rallied behind freshman quarterback Anthony Colandrea and running back Mike Hollins, who survived the shooting last November 13th.

Colandrea was 20 for 26 for 377 yards and two touchdowns, Hollins scored on runs of 4 and 9 yards and Clemson transfer Kobe Pace had a 75-yard scoring catch and 3-yard TD run.

But it was McCloud and the Dukes that seized the momentum after the delay. Ty Son Lawton capped their first drive with a 27-yard run to make it 35-30 when JMU’s 2-point conversion try failed. Virginia’s ensuing drive stalled at the Dukes’ 43, and after the punt was nearly stopped at the 1-inch line, JMU took over at its 20 again and drove for the winning score. A roughing the passer call and defensive pass interference call aided their winning march.

The Dukes used the trickery of a wide receiver pass to go ahead 7-0 on their opening drive, then got a break when Virginia was called for holding to negate a 76-yard run by Perris Jones on the Cavaliers’ first play. Another holding call and a sack by Jalen Green pinned Virginia at its 8, and Daniel Sparks’ punt was blocked in the end zone by Aiden Fisher and recovered for a touchdown by D’Angelo Ponds. After just 7:47, the Cavaliers trailed 14-0.

Colandrea brought them back two plays later with a mid-range pass to Malik Washington, who juked defenders and changed directions on a 63-yard pass play that made it 14-7.


James Madison: The Dukes may have gotten a bad deal on an apparent fumble by Pace on the Cavaliers’ fifth scoring drive. Pace appeared to lose the ball at the JMU 9, but a lengthy replay was not sufficient to overturn the ruling and Hollins scored on the next play.

Virginia: Starting QB Tony Muskett warmed up before the game, but was in shorts and no pads when he came back out. Muskett injured his non-throwing shoulder taking a sack last weekend aganst No. 9 Tennessee and may have to win his job back after Colandrea’s game.


The Dukes play at Troy next Saturday.

The Cavaliers are on the road against longtime rival Maryland.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll