VMI Football drops contest at Western Carolina to open SoCon play

VMI falls to Cornell. (Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

The VMI Football team traveled Cullowhee for its SoCon-opening matchup with Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon, falling to the high-powered Catamounts offense 38-17.

Despite forcing two Western Carolina interceptions and blocking a punt for the second consecutive game, the Catamount offense – which entered the weekend second in all of FCS for total offense – was able to total 521 yards on 80 plays, while the Keydets logged 270 yards of total offense on 67 plays.

  • Chance Knox hauls sets career-highs in receptions (9), receiving yards (105) while six players record at least one reception
  • Collin Ironside goes 14-for-27 with a touchdown, 16-yard TD scamper; Korey Bridy totals 70 yards on the ground
  • Six receivers record catches for 194 yards
  • Evan Eller leads team with 15 tackles; Eric Rankin has seven tackles, two sacks while nine players have five or more tackle
  • Austin White, Alex Oliver register interceptions
  • Jerry Rice is now tied for second all-time at VMI with 31 made field goals (Wade Hawkins)

How it Happened The Catamounts got on the board first midway through the opening period with a Terrence Horne 21-yard touchdown reception from Carlos Davis. VMI countered on its ensuing drive with a 16-yard Collin Ironside rush to knot the score at 7-7 with 5:32 on the clock. Western got a 6-yard TJ Jones rushing touchdown with a minute left in the first quarter. After a Jerry Rice field goal, the Catamounts increased their lead to 21-10 with when Davis connected with David White for a 17-yard TD reception.

The schools went back and forth the start the second before Western kicker Richard McCollum converted a short 20-yard field goal to up the WCU lead to 24-10 at the 3:43 mark of the third quarter. Western then took advantage of a sack fumble by VMI’s Ironside which the Catamounts recovered at the VMI 21-yard line, cashing in for a 21-yard scoring reception to make the score 31-10 just moments later.

VMI trimmed the deficit to 31-17 early in the fourth quarter when Ironside connected with tight end Aidan Twombly for a 7-yard TD reception with 14:55 left in regulation. The Catamounts would ultimately put the game out of reach with 10:38 to play when Davis threw a 69-yard touchdown completion to Raphael Williams for the final tally of 38-17.

What’s Next VMI returns home next Saturday to continue Southern Conference action against ETSU at 1:30 p.m. at Foster Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.