Terps Down William & Mary 7-6

The Terps won their season opener against William & Mary in a close 7-6 win.

The Maryland Terrapins squeaked out a 7-6 win against the William & Mary Tribe after trailing for three quarters in what turned out to be a strong defensive game for both sides.

The matchup was the fifth time the two schools have met on the gridiron since they first met in 1905 with the Terrapins winning 17-0. The Tribe won games in 1945 and 1946 and Maryland tied the series up 60 years later with a 27-14 win at home.

The Terps offense got off to a rocky start with Maryland freshman quarterback Perry Hills throwing his first interception on his second collegiate pass when the ball was tipped and intercepted by William & Mary's cornerback DeAndre Houston-Carson, leading to the Tribe's first field goal. Hills threw another interception that floated right into the hands of Tribe safety Brian Thompson who returned inside the Terps' 10-yard line leading to their second field goal. The Terps had their third turnover toward the end of the quarter when freshman running back Albert Reid fumbled the ball.

The second quarter did not go well for the Terps either. After senior defensive end Joe Vellano picked off a pass from Tribe quarterback Greg Caprio, the Terps marched all the way down inside the Tribe's 10-yard line. Hills overthrew a wide open Devonte Campbell in the end zone on third down and freshman kicker Brad Craddock missed the field goal wide left. The Terps still could not do anything, going three-and-out on their next possession and failing to get close to the end zone for the rest of the half. The Terps defense held up to hold the Tribe to a 6-0 lead entering halftime.

The third quarter remained a stalemate with neither team coming close to scoring. Freshman wide receiver and return man Stefon Diggs had a 23-yard punt return to set the Terps up on their own 44-yard line but Hills was intercepted for the third time of the afternoon when his pass to receiver Kevin Dorsey was picked off by Tribe safety Ivan Tagoe.

The Tribe opened the four quarter with a 48-yard field goal attempt by kicker Drake Kuhn that fell short of the crossbar. The Terps took the field on their own 31-yard line. Hills hit Diggs for a 16 yard pass on the second play of the drive and six plays later, Hills threw a screen pass for Dorsey who took the ball 22 yards, dodging defenders along the way. Hills ran for eight on a quarterback keeper and Justus Pickett ran a sweep to his left to score the only touchdown of the game, giving the Terps a 7-6 lead.

The Tribe still had a chance to win the game. Tribe running back Keith McBride had a 25-yard run to his own 44-yard line. A holding penalty forced Tribe quarterback Raphael Ortiz to face a third-and-20 on which he was sacked by Jeremiah Johnson and Marcus Whitfield. The Tribe had another chance after punter Nathan Renfro had a punt that was downed at the two-yard line. Ortiz hit receiver Tre McBride for passes of 31 yards and 6 yards but on fourth-and-3, Johnson came up with another sack which forced a fumble from Ortiz. The fumble was picked up by Demetrius Hartsfield who took it to the 6-yard line. A few kneels by Hills and the Terps wrapped up their first win.

The Terps defense played phenomenally, though cornerback Dexter McDougle blew some coverages and was called for three pass interference penalties. Hartsfield led the Terps in tackles with 13 and solo stops with five along with his fumble recovery. Vellano was second on the team with 11 tackles and also had his interception.

Hills completed 16 passes for 145 yards off of 24 attempts and took one sack while throwing three interceptions. Marcus Leak led the receivers with 37 yards off of three catches and Stefon Diggs was second with 30 yards. Pickett ran for a team-high 45 yards and a touchdown and Reid finished with 20 yards on the ground.

For the Tribe, Ortiz completed seven out of 16 passes for 100 yards while Caprio completed three out of seven passes for 25 yards and one interception. Tre McBride led the team in receiving with 97 yards off of six receptions and Keith McBride ran for 55 yards off ten carries.

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