WILLIAMSBURG, Va.—The William & Mary football team concluded its non-conference slate with a 30-9 victory against Bucknell in its home opener at Zable Stadium on Saturday evening. Although the Tribe (2-1) led by just a point at halftime, 10-9, it posted three unanswered touchdowns during the third quarter en route to pulling away for the lopsided victory.
W&M was dominant defensively during the final 30 minutes, as it held the Bison (1-2) scoreless and allowed just 42 total yards. Additionally, one of the Tribe’s three second half touchdowns came on a defensive play when sophomore safety Corey Parker scooped up a fumble caused by sophomore linebacker Nate Atkins and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown. In addition to allowing just 226 total yards, including just 23 on the ground, the Tribe’s defense posted 6.0 sacks and 9.0 TFL.
Freshman running back Nate Evans rushed for a game-high 89 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, while redshirt freshman running back Noah Giles also found the end zone on the ground and finished with 31 yards on eight carries. Both touchdowns were the first of their careers.
Junior quarterback Tommy McKee provided W&M’s other offensive score with a 4-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman fullback Tyler Crist late in the third quarter and completed 12 of 17 passes for 105 yards. The Virginia Beach, Va., native was especially effective during the second half when he completed 7 of 8 passes for 65 yards and the touchdown.
Atkins and junior linebacker Josh Dulaney both posted seven tackles apiece with sacks, while Atkins forced fumble midway through the third quarter led to Parker’s defensive score. Also recording sacks were senior defensive tackle Isaiah Stephens, senior defensive tackle Bill Murray, senior defensive end Matt Ahola and freshman defensive tackle Will Kiely. Murray also added a blocked extra-point, the second of his career. Sophomore Jalen Christian came up big on special teams and recorded a 48-yard punt return and a 33-yard kickoff return.
Inside the Numbers
In addition to outscoring Bucknell in the second half, 20-0, W&M outgained the Bison in the second half, 160-42, and finished the contest with a 281-226 advantage in total yards. The Tribe was especially dominant on the ground, 176-23. W&M held BU to just 5 of 16 on third downs and stopped the Bison on both its fourth down conversion attempts.
Bucknell quarterback Matt Muh completed 15 of 20 passes for 155 yards with a touchdown, while Jack Horan posted a game-high seven catches for 69 yards. Joey DeFloria led the ground attack and rushed for 62 yards on 18 carries.
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