Match Review: Football |
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Early turnovers put James Madison in a hole, but a furious second-half rally propelled the Dukes to an exciting 42-40 win over Georgia State in Saturday afternoon’s Sun Belt Conference action at Bridgeforth Stadium.
The win put the Dukes up to 7-3 that year and 5-2 in the Sun Belt game, while the Panthers fell to 4-7 overall and 3-4 in league games. JMU also improved to an all-time 2-0 against GSU.
Georgia State used three first-half turnovers from JMU to build a 27-7 lead in the second and later a 34-14 lead at the break. The third quarter was all JMU, however, as they bested GSU by a 171-5 lead and scored three touchdowns to go 35-34 into the fourth.
The Dukes extended their lead to 42-34 with just over 10 minutes remaining on a 16-yard streak Todd Centio to Krist Thorntonthat was the fourth passing touchdown for Centeio in the game.
The Dukes then got a stoppage, but a fumble put possession-ball GSU up 6-10 in JMU territory. The Panthers capitalized, scoring on a touchdown run by Marcus Carroll to make it 42-40 by 2:30. JMU’s defense forced an incomplete attempt on the two-point attempt to maintain the lead. After recovering the onside kick a second later, JMU converted for third place with a 10-yard gain from Centeio against a keeper to end the clock.
Centeio had another outstanding day in the air, finishing 21 of 27 for 274 yards and four touchdowns. This included 15 straight deals to open the game. He added 12 rushing yards for a total of 286.
Thornton made four catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns for his ninth career multi-touchdown game. Devin Ravenel had a career-high five receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown while Terrance Greene Jr. caught two balls for 81 yards. That included a season-long 62-yard close by Centeio in the third quarter. Kaelon Black also added a reception score and made four grabs for 26 yards.
On the ground, Percy Agyei-obese rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns as he has now found the end zone 39 times in his career.
The defense of the JMU carried out with six duels each Isaak Ukwu and Jamare Edwardsas Ukwu tied game-high honors with 1.5 sacks. Jamree Kromah was active in the backfield and finished with 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks while Devyn Coles had a sack, forced fumbling and fumbling.
GSU was pushed forward by Darren Grainger, who threw for 176 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 25 and a score. Jamari Thrash had four catches for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Overall, JMU won Georgia State by a margin of 425-257, which included a 271-62 second-half lead.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The JMU struck first when Centeio darted across the middle to hit Thornton, who bounced off a defender into the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown with 5:22 in the first.
- GSU scored 10 straight goals in 16 seconds as Michael Hayes drilled a career-long 51-yard field goal. In the ensuing game, Centeio was sacked and Javon Denis picked up a fumble and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 10-7 lead after one.
- After a stop, Grainger propelled the Panthers across the field and met a 28-yard keeper to extend the GSU lead to 17-7 with a 10-12 lead at halftime. The Dukes fumbled on kickoff and the Panthers recovered at the JMU Four but opted for a 22-yard field goal to make it a 20-7 game.
- Another offensive miscue immediately turned into points for Georgia State. A fumble from Agyei-Obese led to a 31-yard scoop-and-score by Terrell Gordon to give the visitors a 27-7 lead midway through the second game.
- JMU ended the drought just before halftime, walking 75 yards and finishing the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Centeio to Ravenel to put the Dukes 27-14.
- GSU wasn’t done yet, going 75 yards on the next play with a scoop pass to extend their lead to 34-14 at the break.
- On his first possession of the second half, Centeio hit a wide open Greene Jr. for a 62-yard catch, a season for both Dukes to set up Agyei-Obese’s one-yard touchdown.
- Black caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Centeio with a 6:18 left in the third to close within a score at 34-28. After a strip and a recovery from Coles, Agyei-Obese broke through the line for a 36-yard touchdown, putting JMU ahead 35-34 after three.
- In the fourth, JMU extended play and converted a fourth down in GSU territory to set up Centeio’s second TD pass to Thornton, this time with a 16-yard catch in the corner of the end zone.
- GSU scored a six-yard rush from Carroll at 2:30 to the left, but the two-point conversion was stopped when the JMU defense was all over Grainger in the backfield to force the incompletion.
- JMU recovered the onside kick, and with GSU running out of timeouts, the Dukes secured the win with a first down carry from Centeio.
- JMU won six games against FBS opponents in its first 50 football seasons and achieved those overall wins in its first year in the subgroup.
- JMU led in both passing (274-176) and rushing (151-81) for the second straight week.
- JMU had a season-high seven fumbles and lost four to GSU, while the visitors had a turnover on a lost fumble.
- JMU was strong in third place, going 9-on-14 offensively and limiting GSU to just 3-of-13.
- JMU’s defense produced five sacks, as opposed to GSU’s three. However, the Panthers had a 9-8 lead in tackles for loss.
- A total of 13 Dukes had two or more tackles, with six having at least a half TFL.
- GSU scored two defensive touchdowns, both from fumble recoveries, marking the first time an opponent had two defensive scores since October 2, 2021.
- JMU has conceded just 19 points in the first quarter this season, despite conceding just 10 from the Dukes’ defense.
- Thornton moved to second all-time at JMU with 23 career touchdowns, passing Riley Stapleton (2016-19). He’s two away from tying Macey Brooks (1993-96), who had 25. Thornton also slipped to third in career receptions, with 162, as he surpassed Brandon Ravenel’s 160 (2013-16).
- Agyei-Obese’s 39 career touchdowns is now just two shy of Khalid Abdullah’s (2013-16) record of 41.
- Centeio’s first-half finishing numbers were flawless for the second straight game, going 13-on-13 against Georgia State. Last week at the Old Dominion, he started 11-on-11, 24-on-24 overall in the first half of the last two games.
JMU closes out the 2022 season on Saturday, November 26 when it hosts Sun Belt East-leading Coastal Carolina (9-1, 6-1 SBC). Kickoff for Seniors’ Day is scheduled for noon at Bridgeforth Stadium and will be televised nationally on ESPNU.