Charleston, SC – Hunter Rice ran for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns and his 19-yarder with 4:42 left was the game-winning score in VMI’s 17-13 victory over The Citadel on Saturday.
Rice, who ran it 11 times (6.2 yards a carry), gave VMI (3-3, 2-1 Southern Conference) its first lead at 7-0 when he ran it in from the 1 to end a 13-play, 75-yard game-opening drive that lasted 6:48.
The Keydets win in ‘The Military Classic of the South’ returns the Silver Shako trophy to Lexington after a two year absence. VMI is now 3-3 on the season. The Citadel is 0-7.
“It means an awful lot, this was a great atmosphere, and it was obvious how important it was to a lot of people,” said head coach Danny Rocco on the Silver Shako win. “Our alumni, our cadets, our comms staff, Major General Wins, our athletic department and obviously my staff and our football team.”
Key Stats - Hunter Rice rushes for 111 yards and two touchdowns, marking his third career multi-touchdown game and second this season - Chance Knox has season-high 98 yards on nine receptions, the most receiving yards since logging 114 last season against The Citadel - Summey registers second interception of career - Josh Knapp leads the way with 9.0 tackles; Eller registers 8.0
- Jack Culbreath punts three times, including a 49-yarder and twice pins the Bulldogs inside their own 20
- Caden Beck earns a new career-high with his 50-yd. field goal in second quarter
Catching up with Coach (Rocco) On setting the tone with a touchdown on first drive
“We wanted to be very aggressive today. We went for it on fourth down on that first drive which led to a touchdown. We had our mind made up that we were going to be aggressive today. It would have been nice to duplicate that in the second quarter, but we got one in the end when we really needed it.”
On the play of Hunter Rice and other veteran leaders
“The seniors played really hard and I saw how much it meant to them. At the end of the day, it was a team win. We made some plays in the kicking game. Jack had some big kicks that flipped the field and give us good field position. We’re excited to get home and build on this one and be home for the next two games.”
After the squads traded field goals, The Citadel (0-7, 0-4) tied it at 10 when Graeson Underwood ran it in from the 3 with 4:38 before halftime. The Bulldogs used 12 plays to go 75 yards in just under seven minutes. They posted their lone lead when Colby Kitner made a 38-yard field goal with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
Underwood threw for 118 yards and ran for 57 yards.