Sept. 8, 2009

Richmond Athletics

DURHAM, N.C. -- Tyler Kirchoff blocked a punt leading to No. 2 Richmond's first score and the junior back-up running back rushed for another TD as the Spiders knocked off an FBS opponent for the second time in four years with a 24-16 win at Duke Saturday night.

The Spiders (1-0) limited the Blue Devils (0-1) to just 19 yards rushing, while senior Justin Forte racked up 69 yards on the ground and a score. Kirchoff finished the game with seven carries for 20 yards.

Senior QB Eric Ward accounted for 143 yards through the air, rushed for 26 yards and reeled in a 14-yard pass from WR Kevin Grayson. In the game, Ward passed Greg Lilly to take over second-place on the Spiders' all-time passing list now with 6,716 yards. His first career win came against the Blue Devils in 2006.

The victory marked the fourth-ever win over an FBS team for the reigning FCS National Champions. Richmond defeated Virginia Tech in 1985, Arkansas State in 2000 and Duke in both 2006 and 2009. It also extended Richmond's overall winning streak to 10-straight games dating back to last season, which ties a school record originally set in 1972-73.

Kirchoff's one-yard TD plunge midway through the fourth quarter finished off a 12-play, 83-yard drive that ate 6:56 off the clock and put the Spiders up 21-9. Senior Andrew Howard added insurance five minutes later when he split the uprights with a 45-yard field goal.

Duke drove and scored on a Thaddeus Lewis 21-yard pass to Austin Kelly with 2:13 left, but the Spiders' Derek Hatcher snatched the on-sides kick attempt to seal the victory.

Lewis was 34-of-55 passing for 350 yards and two TDs, with Johnny Williams on the receiving end of seven passes for 115 yards and Duke's first TD. The Blue Devils missed two field goal attempts in the game.

Neither team committed a turnover and just six penalties were called. A crowd of 33,311 at Wallace Wade Stadium - Duke's largest since 2001 - witnessed an ACC team fall to a CAA Football team twice in the same night (William & Mary beat Virginia, 26-14, in Charlottesville).

Senior LB Collin McConaghy led the team with eight tackles, including one for loss and broke up a pass. Junior LB Patrick Weldon had seven tackles, while junior NT Martin Parker added six stops and the game's only sack.

Richmond opened the scoring in the first quarter, blocking a Kevin Jones punt with 8:45 left. Kirchoff busted through the line and swatted the kick, the ball rolled loose in the backfield and Jonathan Mayfield scooped it up at the five and ran it in.

Another special teams play resulted in Duke's first score - a safety - as Richmond long snapper Colin Pehanick launched a snap over the head of punter Brian Radford and out the back of the end zone at the 4:56 mark of the first.

The Spiders' first sustained drive of the season resulted in the team's fist offensive touchdown as Justin Forte capped an 80-yard, 13-play jaunt that consumed 6:56 off the clock. A Kirchoff rush of two yards kept the drive alive on fourth-and-one, but it was two big plays - a 34-yard strike from Ward to Garrett Wilkins and a 14-yard WR option pass from Grayson to Ward that highlighted the drive.

The Blue Devils answered back with a big play of their own, a 54-yard TD strike from Lewis to Williams.

A Nick Maggio field goal attempt from 38 yards that would have made the score 9-7 Duke went wide right in the second quarter -- it was the first of two misses by Maggio on the night - and the game went to halftime with the Spiders leading 14-9.