How It Happened
Rhode Island fell at No. 9/10 James Madison in a shootout, 48-31, Saturday.
Rhode Island (5-5, 3-4 CAA Football) got off to a great start, taking its opening possession 75 yards in eight plays for a touchdown. JaJuan Lawson hit Marven Beauvais for a 14-yard strike for the first points of the game, as Rhody went up 7-0 just 2:49 into the game.
James Madison (7-3, 5-2 CAA Football) went on to score 21 unanswered points to establish a 21-7 lead just four seconds into the second quarter. Riley Stapleton's second touchdown catch of the day put the Dukes up 14. Rhode Island did not go away, pulling within one score after JaJuan Lawson's 1-yard touchdown run with 5:27 left in the half. However, James Madison got two field goals in the final 1:08 of the half to go into the break ahead, 27-14.
Rhody got a turnover on the opening drive of the second half when D.J. Stewart picked off his second pass of the season. The Rams turned it into points when C.J. Carrick hit a 38-yard field goal to make the score 27-17. James Madison responded with a touchdown on its next possession, using a Cardon Johnson 14-yard touchdown run to go up 34-17.
Beauvais hauled in his second touchdown pass of the day at 1:57 of the third to get the Rams back within 10 points at 34-24. However, that was as close at things got in the second half. Ben DiNucci scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to extend the score to 41-24 early in the fourth. Beavais' third touchdown of the game made it 41-31, but JMU scored again with 4:28 to go to end any last comeback chances.
Inside the Box Score
- Senior safety D.J. Stewart led the defense with nine tackles, one interception and a forced fumble.
- Senior linebackers Nas Jones and Justin Hogan combined for 12 tackles.
- Jones also tipped a pass that was picked off by junior linebacker Branyan Javier-Castillo, who had his second pick in as many weeks.
- Junior wide receiver Aaron Parker had seven catches for 99 yards, just missing his sixth 100-yard game of the season.
- Redshirt senior Marven Beauvais had a career-high three touchdown catches. He finished the game with seven grabs for 74 yards.
- His first catch of the day was the 100th of his career.
- Redshirt senior quarterback JaJuan Lawson was 22-of-37 for 255 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 29 yards and a touchdown.
- It was the third time this season Lawson has both passed and rushed for a touchdown.
- Lawson became just the second Rhode Island quarterback to throw 16 touchdown passes in one season. Tom Ehrhardt had 42 in 1985 and 36 in 1984.
- Senior tight end Tyler Burke had five catches for 66 yards.
- Senior wide receiver Khayri Denny served as the anchor bearer.
- The attendance for the game was 24,199.
Rhode Island hosts New Hampshire in its regular-season finale Saturday, Nov. 17 when New Hampshire comes to Kingston. Before the games, the Rams will honor its senior class.