Scores

Final

Villanova 27

(10-3, 7-1 CAA)

James Madison 31

(12-1, 8-0 CAA)

Coverage: GamePlan

3:30 PM ET, December 6, 2008

Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, VA

1 2 3 4 T
VILL 0 14 0 1327
JMU 7 7 10 731

Top Performers

Passing: R. Landers (JMU) - 157 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: R. Landers (JMU) - 26 CAR, 143 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: B. Harvey (VILL) - 5 REC, 91 YDS, 1 TD

Landers, James Madison rally to beat Villanova 

Associated Press

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Rodney Landers and James Madison beat Villanova again, and this time they didn't need a last play Hail Mary.

Landers threw for three touchdowns and ran for the go-ahead score with 1:38 to play Saturday as top-seeded James Madison rallied to beat Villanova 31-27 in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals.

The Dukes (12-1) trailed only once, after Matthew Szczur's 13-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Pimm out of the Wildcat formation with 6:54 left. But Landers drove James Madison 54 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Marcus Haywood intercepted Chris Whitney to end Villanova's comeback hopes.

The Wildcats finished 10-3, and the Dukes advanced to play Montana, the team they beat to win the 2004 national championship, next weekend.

The game was a rematch of a regular-season contest won 23-19 by James Madison on Landers' 35-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass on the final play.

Landers was the hero again this time around, throwing for 157 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 143 more, including the winning touchdown.

Landers, one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the FCS, is the only one of the three still playing. Herb Donaldson and Western Illinois didn't make the playoffs, and Armanti Edwards and three-time defending champ Appalachian State lost 33-13 to Richmond on Saturday, giving the Colonial Athletic Association at least two of the final four teams. New Hampshire played Northern Iowa later.

Landers' touchdown passes covered 6 yards to Mike Caussin, 26 yards to Bosco Williams and 30 yards to Kerby Long, the last one giving the Dukes a 21-14 lead. Dave Stannard's 23-yard field goal made it 24-14.

Whitney brought them within a score with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brandyn Harvey with 13:51 to play, but a missed extra point left it 24-20.

After Pimm's touchdown, an excessive celebration penalty forced Villanova to kick off from its 15, and JMU returned the ensuing kickoff to its 46. The Dukes converted a fourth-and-2, getting a 22-yard run by Griff Yancey, and a third-and-4 on the drive before Landers took it in.

Whitney was 13-for-20 for 213 yards for the Wildcats, and Szczur had a 2-yard touchdown run. Louis Adeyemi scored on a 1-yard run for Villanova.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
VILL
JMU
1st Downs1523
Total Yards310389
Passing229174
Rushing81215
Penalties5-383-25
3rd Down Conversions6-115-12
4th Down Conversions1-12-2
Turnovers21
Possession22:5337:07

Passing Leaders

VillanovaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Whitney13/2021310.711
James MadisonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Landers14/201577.930

Rushing Leaders

VillanovaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ball9293.208
Whitney13231.809
James MadisonCARYDSAVGTDLG
Landers261435.5116
Holloman15473.1012

Receiving Leaders

VillanovaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Harvey59118.2126
Szczur27135.5059
James MadisonRECYDSAVGTDLG
McCarter24623.0044
Williams34013.3126

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERVILLJMU
TD02:13Mike Caussin 6 Yd Pass From Rodney Landers (Dave Stannard Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERVILLJMU
TD14:54Bosco Williams 26 Yd Pass From Rodney Landers (Dave Stannard Kick) 014
TD13:38Louis Adeyemi 1 Yd Run (Joe Marcoux Kick) 714
TD00:37Matthew Szczur 2 Yd Run (Joe Marcoux Kick) 1414
THIRD QUARTERVILLJMU
TD10:03Kerby Long 30 Yd Pass From Rodney Landers (Dave Stannard Kick) 1421
FG02:46Dave Stannard 23 Yd 1424
FOURTH QUARTERVILLJMU
TD13:51Brandyn Harvey 26 Yd Pass From Chris Whitney (Pat Failed) 2024
TD06:54Stephen Pimm 13 Yd Pass From Matthew Szczur (Joe Marcoux Kick) 2724
TD01:38Rodney Landers 1 Yd Run (Dave Stannard Kick) 2731