HOW IT HAPPENED
Rhode Island (0-3, 0-2 CAA Football) played No. 6/7 James Madison (3-1, 1-0 CAA Football) tough for three quarters before eventually falling 32-7 in the home opener Saturday.
James Madison opened scoring with 22-yard touchdown pass from Justin Thorpe to Brian Barlow, and added a 2-point conversion. The Rams responded with a 56-yard scoring strike from Bob Bentsen to Brandon Johnson-Farrell, the team's longest play from scrimmage this season.
The Dukes added a touchdown run late in the first quarter by DeAndre' Smith to go up 15-7, and it remained a one-score game until a James Madison field goal made it 18-7. The Dukes wound up scoring the final 24 points to break the game open.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak in home openers for the Rams.
IMPRESSIVE DAY FOR JOHNSON-FARRELL
Wide receiver Brandon Johnson-Farrell became the sixth player in school history to eclipse 4,000 all-purpose yards in a career. Johnson-Farrell reached the mark with his 56-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter, and finished the game with 108 all-purpose yards. He now has 4,032 yards, trailing only Cy Butler (5,380), Chris Poirier (4,691), James Jenkins (4,515), Wendell Williams (4,346) and Brian Forster (4,046).
Johnson-Farrell also finished with three receptions, moving into fourth place in school history with 162 career grabs. He moved by his former head coach, Darren Rizzi (160) and needs three more to tie Dameon Reilly for third place in school history.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Sophomore linebacker Andrew Bose led the Rams with a career-high 13 tackles, including 11 solo stops.
- Senior linebacker Doug Johnson returned from injury to tie his career best with 12 tackles, 10 of which were solo stops.
- Free safety Clement Ani had nine tackles for the third game in a row, and now has a team-high 27 stops this season.
- Tight end Joe Migliarese had his first three catches of the season, totaling 25 yards on the day.
- James Madison quarterback Justin Thorpe posted his first career 300-yard passing performance, finishing the day with 340 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to the passing yardage, he set new personal bests in completions (26) and attempts (40) while also rushing for 40 yards.
STAT OF THE DAY
James Madison was 11-for-20 on third down conversions, while Rhode Island was 1-for-10.
Rhode Island travels to Bowling Green Saturday, Sept. 29. The Falcons fell to Virginia Tech 37-0 Saturday and are 1-3 overall.