Gameday Coverage: Dukes stun the Sun Belt with 32-28 win over App State
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - James Madison pulled off a major comeback against App State in the Dukes’ Sun Belt debut on Saturday night.
The Dukes trailed 28-3 in the second quarter but scored 29 unanswered points to overcome the Mountaineers 32-28.
“This one was really special because we got down and our guys persevered,” said JMU head coach Curt Cignetti. “Then the tide turned and we had all the momentum and won.”
JMU outgained App State by 109 rushing yards while limiting App State to 63 rushing yards on 34 attempts. The Dukes held the ball for 7 more minutes than the Mountaineers.
Dukes graduate quarterback Todd Centeio went 16-of-28 for 204 yards and two touchdowns while throwing no interceptions. Redshirt freshman running back Kaelon Black led the Dukes’ rushing attack with 85 yards while Reggie Brown led receivers with four catches for 81 yards.
“You’ve got to be poised. Anything can happen. Football is a long sport, a long game,” said Centeio. “There have been a bunch of crazy comebacks this season and tonight we had one of them.”
JMU redshirt senior Jamare Edwards had a big day on defense with five solo tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2.5 tackles-for-loss. Sophomore Jailin Walker made one of the biggest plays of the game in the fourth quarter when he intercepted App State quarterback Chase Brice, leading to the winning touchdown for the Dukes.
“We knew that if we did our jobs it would be a good run,” said Walker. “When we came out in the third quarter, we started stopping the run, stopping the pass, and playing as a team.”
JMU (4-0 overall) returns to action next Saturday when the Dukes host their second Sun Belt opponent, Texas State, for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.
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