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FCS No. 1 James Madison Beats Richmond

James Madison quarterback Cole Johnson (12) winds up a pass as Richmond defensive lineman Darius Reynolds (9) closes in for the tackle during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Harrisonburg, Va., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record Via AP)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — Ethan Ratke kicked three field goals to set a Colonial Athletic Association record and top-ranked James Madison drubbed eleventh-ranked Richmond 23-6 on Saturday, staking a claim for an at-large playoff berth.

The season-finale win wraps up the CAA South Division championship for the Dukes (5-0, 3-0). Elsewhere, Delaware (5-0, 4-0) defeated Villanova 27-20 to win the CAA North Division.

A committee of CAA athletic directors (minus Delaware’s and James Madison’s) selected the Blue Hens as the conference’s automatic qualifier into the FCS playoffs.

James Madison will await an at-large bid into the 16-team post-season tournament.

Ratke kicked a 27-yard field goal to give James Madison a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, establishing a new CAA career record with 65 field goals, eclipsing Towson’s Aidan O’Neill (2016-19).

Ratke then kicked two more, pushing the new career field goal mark to 67.

Cole Johnson passed for 235 yards and ran for a 31-yard touchdown on a fourth-down scramble for JMU’s final points. Percy Agyei-Obese scored the game-opening touchdown with a 1-yard run and surpassed 2,000 rushing yards for his career, gaining 78 yards on 20 carries.

Richmond (3-1, 3-1) was limited to a pair of Jake Larson field goals. Joe Mancuso completed 9 of 24 passes for 125 yards with one interception. Savon Smith was held to 20 yards rushing and one catch for seven yards.

JMU outgained the Spiders 384 total yards to 200.

VMI 31, THE CITADEL 17

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) — Seth Morgan threw three touchdown passes, and No. 15 VMI will enter the FCS playoffs for the first time with its victory over The Citadel on Saturday.

The Keydets (6-1, 6-1), who also collected their first Southern Conference title since 1977, will find out their playoff opponent on Sunday when the Division I Football Championship Committee releases the 16-team bracket.

Morgan has started the last three games since taking over for the Keydets’ all-time passing leader and Maryland recruit Reece Udinski, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear against Samford on March 20. Morgan completed 25 of 34 passes for 328 yards against The Citadel, connecting with 6-foot-4 Jakob Herres on 11 receptions for 123 yards that included a 50-yard touchdown catch.

Michael Jackson and Korey Bridy also caught a touchdown pass for VMI, which has won two straight since ending a 12-game losing streak to the rival Bulldogs (2-10, 2-6).

Quarterback Jaylan Adams had two touchdown runs for The Citadel. Adams had 83 yards rushing on 20 carries and was 2 of 8 passing for 16 yards.

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