Jones, Rams Run Over William & Mary, 21-10

Photo Credit: Mikayla Gempp
Photo Credit: Mikayla Gempp

How it Happened:
Rhode Island (5-3, 3-2 CAA Football) snapped its two-game losing streak on Saturday, downing William & Mary 21-10 in a battle against Mother Nature  at Meade Stadium. 

Both teams struggled with the slippery conditions in the first minutes of play. Junior linebacker Branyan Javier-Castillo intercepted a pass from the Tribe's (3-5, 2-4 CAA Football) Ted Hefter, but was stripped at the 29-yard line by Nate Evans, who returned the fumble 71 yards for the first touchdown of the day.

The Rams responded minutes later with their own fumble recovery when William & Mary muffed a punt, and redshirt junior defensive back Momodou Mbye fell on the ball in the Tribe's end zone, helping Rhody tie the score. Rhode Island continued to put the pressure on William & Mary's offense in the first quarter. Freshman defensive lineman James Makszin had an interception that sparked a Rhody drive, which ended in a rushing touchdown by Naim Jones to put the Rams up 14-7.

From there, the Rams never conceded their lead. William & Mary got on the board again with a 34-yard field goal, but a 67-yard touchdown pass from Vito Priore to junior wide receiver Aaron Parker in the third quarter solidified Rhode Island's victory. 

Inside the Box Score:

  • Junior running back Naim Jones had a career-high in both carries (37) and rush yards (152). He also added his fifth touchdown of the season. 
  • Jones' 37 single-game carries put him into Rhode Island history books. He is now tied for fourth all-time in single-game attempts with Cy Butler, who had 37 carries against Brown on Oct. 2, 1993.
  • The last time Rhode Island had over 100 rushing yards by an individual was the Nov. 12, 2016 match-up at Elon, where Harold Cooper finished the game with 155 rush yards. 
  • William & Mary's 101 total yards are the fewest number of yards allowed by an opponent as far back as Rhode Island's record indicate. 
  • Redshirt junior defensive back Momodou Mbye recorded the first touchdown of his career. The fumble recovery was the fifth of his career.
  • Freshman defensive lineman James Makszin recorded the first interception of his career, as well as the first two sacks of his career. He finished the game with three solo stops and a forced fumble. 
  • Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Andre Bibeault added 1.5 sacks of his own. Junior defensive lineman Brandon Ginnetti (5 tackles) combined with Bibeault on one of the sacks. 
  • Junior linebacker Branyan Javier-Castillo recorded his first career interception. He finished the game with one pass breakup and six tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss. 
  • Junior safety Brian Campbell had his first career interception. 
  • Redshirt sophomore quarterback Vito Priore recorded his career-long pass (67 yards). He was effective in limited passing attempts due to the weather, completing 7-of-12 for 94 yards and the touchdown.
  • Freshman offensive lineman Evan Lovell earned the first start of his career, getting the nod at left guard. 
  • Senior linebacker Miles Gardea forced his first fumble of this season. 
  • Both teams entered today's game averaging over 200 passing yards. Neither team was able to break 100 yards in today's conditions. 
  • For the first time since 2011, the Rams have a winning record at Meade Stadium (3-1). 
  • Today's win gives Rhode Island its most CAA Football victories since 2010, when Rhody was 4-4 in conference play. 
  • Junior offensive lineman Kevin Lawrence was the anchor bearer. 
  • Attendance for the game was 1,688.

What's Next:
The Rams head to North Carolina to take on Elon in a CAA conference match-up Saturday, Nov. 3. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.