Courtesy of Richmond Athletics
UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. -- Senior RB Tyler Kirchoff racked up 126 yards and rushed for four touchdowns, while senior CB Justin Rogers had two interceptions and returned one for a score as No. 11 Richmond pulled away and beat Coastal Carolina, 41-19, Saturday at Robins Stadium.
The victory improved Richmond to 2-2 overall and gives the Spiders, who played Saturday's game without six starters due to injury, momentum heading into a difficult two-game CAA Football road swing at No. 14 New Hampshire and No. 8 Massachusetts on back-to-back weekends.
Bouncing back from last Saturday's setback versus Delaware in a Top-10 showdown, the Spiders improved to 7-0 following an in-season loss since 2006.
Kirchoff's first three touchdowns were the first three scores of the game as the Spiders sprinted out to a quick 20-0 advantage early in the second quarter. But Coastal (1-4) responded with three of the game's next four touchdowns (CCU missed two PATs) and shaved the margin to just 27-19 with 13:52 remaining in the game.
That's when the Richmond defense dug in and intercepted the Chanticleers on three consecutive possessions, including game's pivotal play - the eighth career pick by senior LB Patrick Weldon in the end zone with Coastal knocking at the door and down just eight points with 7:42 remaining in the game.
The team's traded punts and then Kirchoff rambled 27 yards for his fourth TD on the ensuing drive following the first of Rogers' two interceptions. The Buck Buchanan Award nominee put the game away with a 34-yard interception return for touchdown in the closing minutes. They were the first two interceptions of the season for Rogers and the 11th and 12th of his career, moving him to tied for third on Richmond's all-time list.
Three Spiders are nominees for the Buchanan Award, presented annually to the nation's top defensive player in the FCS, and each had big games as Rogers finished with a pair of picks, five tackles, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. Senior LB Eric McBride amassed a career-high 18 tackles, and senior DL Martin Parker had six tackles, his first sack of the season and a pass breakups.
Weldon, senior LB Tyler Sullivan and senior S Max Prokell each collected eight tackles.
Kirchoff and the Spiders out-gained Coastal 228-131 in rushing yards and the senior did his damage on 24 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per rush and becoming the first Spider since Tim Hightower in 2007 to score four TDs in a game.
Sophomore FB Kendall Gaskins carried 12 times for 79 yards, while junior QB Aaron Corp was 10-of-26 passing for 132 yards and a touchdown pass to true freshman WR Ben Edwards. The rookie reeled in three catches for 64 yards, including his first career TD.
Richmond returns to action Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire. The game kicks off at 12 p.m. and will be carried live on Comcast SportsNet.