All photos by Suzanne Velasco
The University of Richmond football team opened the 2019 season in impressive fashion, scoring 31 first half points on its way to a 38-19 victory against Jacksonville Thursday night at Robins Stadium. The Spiders have won 14th straight home openers dating back to 2005, the ninth longest streak in the NCAA FCS level.
Redshirt-junior quarterback Joe Mancuso(Blairsville, Ga.) finished with 208 total yards and scored two touchdowns. He rushed for a career-high 77 yards on the ground while also passing for 14-for-19 with 131 yards passing.
The Richmond offense ran for 320 yards, including four touchdowns from Mancuso (two) and one each from redshirt freshman running backs Aaron Dykes (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Milan Howard (Charlotte, N.C.). The Spiders opened the game with a 10-play 80-yard drive capped off by a four-yard touchdown rush by Mancuso.
The Spiders made it 14-0 after senior Maurice Jackson (Levittown, Pa.) scooped up a fumble recovery going 56 yards for the touchdown. Redshirt junior defensive lineman Colby Ritten (Orlando, Fla.) forced the fumble on a tackle for loss and the ball leaked out to Jackson
Freshman linebacker Tristan Wheeler (Bethlehem, Pa.) led the defense with 12 tackles in his first career collegiate game. Junior linebacker Tyler Dressler (Covington, Va.) added nine tackles, most in the first half, while Ritten and Jackson each finished with a tackle for loss in the win.
The Spiders took a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter when Dykes scampered in from 44-yards out. Howard made it a 28-6 advantage with a five-yard run in the second as well. Freshman kicker Jake Larson(Baltimore, Md.) connected on his first career field goal from 31-yards out, giving the Spiders a 31-6 lead at the halftime break.
Mancuso gave Richmond a 38-6 lead in the third quarter, scoring on a three-yard run and ending the night for most of the Spiders’ starters. Jacksonville would score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the game was rounding out.
Richmond returns to action next weekend when it travels to Atlantic Coast Conference foe Boston College. Game time Sept. 7 is set for 3:30 p.m. in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra and on ESPN Richmond radio