UAlbany, Richmond and Villanova claimed a share of the CAA Football championship with victories on Saturday, with the Wildcats earning the league’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs based on a tiebreaker. Campbell, Elon, New Hampshire and Towson also picked up wins to close the regular season.
UAlbany 41, Monmouth 0
UAlbany (9-3, 7-1 CAA) got four touchdown passes from Reese Poffenbarger and a dominant performance from its defense as the Great Danes defeated Monmouth (4-7, 3-5 CAA), 41-0, to capture a share of their first CAA Football title. Poffenbarger finished 19-of-29 passing for 247 yards and 4 TD’s, with Julian Hicks making five receptions for 71 yards and 3 TD’s. UAlbany’s defense recorded seven sacks, three of them by Brian Abraham, and held the Hawks to 176 yards while recording the shutout.
Hicks had TD catches of 9 and 30 yards to put UAlbany up by 14 in the first quarter and a 5-yard Griffin Woodell scoring run made it 21-0 at the half. Poffenbarger followed with TD throws to Ian Renninger (5 yards), Brevin Easton (75 yards) and Hicks (18 yards) in the second half to put the game away. UAlbany linebacker Dylan Kelly made a team-high 11 tackles and a sack and broke the Great Danes’ record for tackles in a season with 145. For Monmouth, Marquez McCray threw for 105 yards and Dymere Miller had five receptions for 52 yards. Tyrese Wright tallied eight tackles for the Hawks’ defense.
Villanova 35, Delaware 7
Connor Watkins threw for 222 yards, including a pair of TD passes to Jaaron Hayek, as Villanova (9-2, 7-1 CAA) earned a share of the CAA Football championship for the second time in the past three years by beating Delaware (8-3, 6-2 CAA), 35-7, in the Battle of the Blue. The Wildcats’ defense limited the Blue Hens to 296 yards and intercepted three passes, including a 69-yard pick six by Daniel Abraham.
A 5-yard TD run by DeeWil Barlee put VU ahead 7-0 just 53 seconds into the game, but Delaware pulled even on a 39-yard scoring catch by Braden Brose late in the second quarter. The Wildcats went back on top, 14-7, at half on Hayek’s 11-yard catch. Midway through the third quarter, an interception by VU’s Jordan Nelson set up a 10-yard TD run by TD Ayo-Durojaiye five plays later to make it 21-7. The Wildcats tacked on a 51-yard TD catch by Hayek and Abraham’s pick six to close the scoring. Jalen Jackson ran for 130 yards for VU and Hayek finished with 121 receiving yards. Brendan Bell had 12 tackles and a sack defensively. For Delaware, Marcus Yarns rushed for 97 yards on 18 carries. Jackson Taylor had eight tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Richmond 27, William & Mary 26
Richmond (8-3, 7-1 CAA) stopped a two-point conversion attempt with no time on the clock to edge William & Mary (6-5, 4-4 CAA), 27-26, and claim the Capital Cup and its first CAA championship since 2015. The Spiders took a 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter, but William & Mary closed within three on a 16-yard TD catch by JT Mayo. Richmond responded with an 18-yard scoring pass on a trick play as receiver Jasiah Williams hit Connor Deveney with 8:03 left. The Tribe trimmed the deficit with a Caden Bonoffski field goal and then scored a touchdown as time expired when running back Malachi Imoh tossed a 2-yard pass to Colton Turner. The Tribe went for the win but couldn’t convert the 2-point play.
Richmond quarterback Kyle Wickersham passed for 152 yards and ran for 72 yards and a TD. Trae Tomlinson had eight tackles and a forced fumble for the Spiders’ defense. For W&M, Darius Wilson threw for 247 yards and a TD and added 65 yards on the ground. Hollis Mathis had six catches for 106 yards. The Tribe defense got a game-high 14 tackles from Kevin Jarrell.
New Hampshire 44, Maine 25
Max Brosmer passed for 271 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a score as New Hampshire (6-5, 4-4 CAA) topped Maine (2-9, 1-7 CAA), 44-25, to claim the Brice-Cowell Musket. Brosmer threw all three of his scoring passes in the opening 18 minutes of the game, connecting with Logan Tomlinson (2 yards), Kyle Lepkowski (56 yards) and Myles Thomason (10 yards) to go ahead 20-7. The Black Bears pulled within six a 14-yard TD reception by Trevin Ewing, but the Wildcats got scoring runs from Brosmer and Isaac Seide to move ahead 34-14 late in the second quarter. An 89-yard punt return for a TD by Thomason late in the third quarter gave UNH a commanding lead.
Tomlinson finished with eight catches for 121 yards for the UNH offense and Joe Eichman had six tackles and an interception defensively. For Maine, Derek Robertson was 32-of-51 passing for 315 yards and 3 TD’s and Trevin Ewing made seven catches for 79 yards and a TD. Izaiah Henderson contributed five tackles, 3.0 TFL’s and two sacks for the Black Bears’ defense.
Towson 31, Rhode Island 30
Christopher Watkins’ 12-yard touchdown run with 41 seconds remaining lifted Towson (5-6, 4-4 CAA) past Rhode Island (6-5, 4-4 CAA), 31-30. A 70-yard fumble return by Tylen Wallace put the Tigers ahead 6-0 early, but the Rams got a 42-yard TD catch from Marquis Buchanan and a 10-yard scoring run by Ja’Den McKenzie to go up 17-6. Towson pulled within 20-18 early in the third quarter after TD runs of 43 yards by Watkins and 10 yards by Devin Matthews. The teams traded TD’s before URI took a 30-25 lead on a 40-yard Ty Groff field goal, his third of the day, with 6:02 left. Towson then put together a 10-play, 66-yard drive, capped by Watkins’ run, to win it.
Watkins finished with 77 yards rushing and Carter Runyon had three catches for 101 yards and a TD to lead Towson offensively. Jamal Gay contributed 12 tackles and an interception defensively. For Rhode Island, Kasim Hill passed for 359 yards, with Kahtero Summers making seven grabs for 163 yards. McKenzie rushed for 143 yards and 2 TD’s. Evan Stewart had 10 tackles and a forced fumble for the Rams defense.
Elon 51, Hampton 14
Matthew Downing passed for 261 yards and four touchdowns as Elon (6-5, 6-2 CAA) secured a winning season with a 51-14 triumph over Hampton (5-6, 3-5 CAA). The Phoenix defense held the Pirates to 192 yards, recorded three sacks and contributed a pair of scores.
Downing threw TD passes to Jamarien Dalton (33 yards) and Chandler Brayboy (60 yards) for a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter, but Hampton cut the deficit in half on a 43-yard scoring reception by Paul Woods. Elon blew the game open with a 30-point second quarter. A 33-yard TD catch by Christian Da-Silva got things started before Elon got a 34-yard pick six by Bo Sanders and a 23-yard scoop-and-score from Marco Patierno. A 53-yard TD grab by Johncarlos Miller II gave the Phoenix a commanding 44-7 halftime advantage. Elon got 89 rushing yards and a TD from Wayne Dixie III, while Brandon Tyson paced the defense with 11 tackles, 2.0 TFL’s and a forced fumble. For Hampton, Chris Zellous threw for 129 yards and a TD and Qwahsin Towsel recorded nine tackles.
Campbell 28, North Carolina A&T 14
Campbell (5-6, 4-4 CAA) sprinted out to a 28-0 lead and held off North Carolina A&T (1-10, 0-8 CAA), 28-14. Hajj-Malik Williams threw touchdown passes to Jalen Kelsey (10 yards) and Tai Goode (9 yards) in the first quarter and then caught a 24-yad pass from Brandon Fitez to go up 21-0 early in the second quarter. The Camels added 1-yard TD run by Lamagea McDowell before A&T closed within 28-7 at the half on a 1-yard Eli Brickhandler run. The Aggies added a 3-yard scoring reception by Wesley Graves in the fourth quarter.
Williams threw for 188 yards and McDowell ran for a team-best 70 yards. CJ Tillman made 10 tackles for the Camels’ defense. For A&T, Alston Hooker was 11-of-15 passing for 159 yards and a TD and Shimique Blizzard rushed for 79 yards. Joshua Iseah tallied a game-high 13 tackles and a TFL.