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JMU falls in FCS semifinals at Sam Houston 38-35

Cole Johnson was 16-for-26 passing for 271 yards to go with 3 touchdowns and Percy Agyei-Obese gained 98 yards on the ground on 24 carries in the loss.
Credit: JMU Athletics

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Sam Houston engineered a 28-point turnaround over a five-minute stretch of the second half to down James Madison 38-35 in the semifinal round of the 2020 NCAA Division I Championship on Saturday afternoon at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium.
 
JMU ended its 2020-21 spring season at 7-1 overall while Sam Houston advanced to its third FCS title game appearance, improving to 9-0.
 
James Madison led 27-10 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter when momentum turned Sam Houston's way. The Bearkats connected on a 69-yard touchdown pass, an 80-yard punt return, a quarterback keeper following a botched kick return for the Dukes and another quarterback touchdown following a JMU interception.
 
With 12 minutes remaining, the Dukes had time for a comeback as Percy Agyei-Obese carried four times to start JMU's drive, and Cole Johnson found Scott Bracey for a 36-yard touchdown strike. Johnson's keeper on the two-point attempt made it 38-35, still with 10:14 remaining.
 
After a defensive stop, JMU got the ball back at its own 15 and orchestrated a six-minute drive into Sam Houston territory. Facing fourth-and-long, the Dukes turned to their deep kicker for the 51-yard attempt into the wind to tie and came up wide left.
 
JMU outgained SHSU 430-332 for the game, ran 77 plays to 59 for the Bearkats and led time of possession 36 minutes to 24, but it was the big momentum plays in the middle portion of the second half that turned the tide for Sam Houston.
 
Johnson was 16-for-26 passing for 271 yards and three touchdowns for JMU. Agyei-Obese gained 98 yards on the ground on 24 carries while Jawon Hamilton added 61 yards on 12 rushes. Antwane Wells continued his strong playoff push with 89 receiving yards on seven catches and a score.
 
Jequez Ezzard led Sam Houston with 107 yards receiving and a score, in addition to the 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. Quarterback Eric Schmid was 13-for-27 passing for 218 yards and two interceptions, but added two scores on the ground to go with one in the air.