Daily Press (Sunday)

Tribe keeps playoff hopes alive


WILLIAMSBU­RG — William & Mary kept its FCS playoff hopes alive with a scintillat­ing 31-28 victory against Monmouth on Saturday afternoon at Zable Stadium, ending the Tribe’s three-game losing streak.

Freshman defensive lineman Gent Veizi sealed the victory when he blocked a potential tying 27-yard field-goal attempt by Monmouth’s Vincenzo Rea with just eight seconds remaining.

The Tribe (5-3, 3-2 Coastal Athletic Associatio­n) scored the go-ahead touchdown on its prior possession when quarterbac­k Darius Wilson connected on a 10-yard pass to wideout JT

Mayo with 6:14 left.

W&M led 21-7 at halftime, but the Hawks (3-5, 2-3) charged back with a trio of touchdowns, highlighte­d by scoring runs of 45 and 75 yards by Jaden Shirden, to take a 28-24 advantage early in the fourth quarter. Marquez McCray’s 16-yard TD pass to Dymere Miller with 9:20 remaining put Monmouth ahead.

Shirden, one of the nation’s best FCS running backs, had 251 yards on 21 carries despite the efforts of Tribe defenders such as Isaiah Jones and John Pius.

W&M posted one of its best offensive performanc­es of the season. It piled up 438 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns in all four of its trips inside the Monmouth 20.

Wilson completed 24 of 33 passes for a career-high 283 yards with two touchdowns, while he also added 28 yards rushing.

Running back Malachi Imoh scored a pair of touchdowns, on a rush and a reception, as he rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries and recorded three catches for 27 yards.

Tight end Sean McElwain totaled a career-high six receptions for 113 yards, while Mayo finished with a career-best seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.

W&M, which likely needs to win its remaining three games to gain a playoff bid, will return to action when it plays at Albany at 1 p.m. next Saturday.

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