Apprentice School gained its first victory of the season Saturday, escaping with a 39-34 victory over Coppin State’s club team behind junior quarterback Jonathan Whelan’s big day.
The Builders (1-4) scored twice in a 2:30 span of the fourth quarter to construct a 39-22 lead before weathering a comeback by the Eagles (2-2). In the fourth quarter, the teams combined for 33 points.
Whelan accounted for five touchdowns, three passing and two rushing. His connection with Kyle Elmore on an 11-yard pass with 20 seconds left in the first half gave the Builders a 26-14 lead.
Coppin State cut the deficit to 26-22 on a 3-yard Marquis Benjamin run and 2-point conversion from Dominique Jackson with 12:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Apprentice responded with a 36-yard pass from Whelan to Tylee Smith to make it 32-22 with 10:02 left. They had teamed on a 61-yard scoring pass in the first quarter.
Apprentice’s Marlon Lane blocked a punt, and the Builders took over on the Coppin State 10. On fourth down, Whelan pushed his way in from the 1 to put the Builders up 39-22 with 7:32 left.
But Jackson connected with Stephon Fowlkes on a 27-yard scoring pass with 4:34 left to trail 39-28. After recovering the ensuing kickoff, the Eagles covered 35 yards on three plays as Aaron Kittrell scored on a 4-yard run with 3:14 left to make it 39-34.
But the Builders got a first down on their final series and ran out the clock.
Norfolk State 26, Savannah State 24
Cameron Marouf kicked a 33-yard field goal with 1:10 left to give the Spartans (2-3) a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victory over Savannah State (1-5) before 6,272 at Dick Price Stadium.
Norfolk State linebacker Lynden Trail, who had 10 tackles, tipped a potentially winning 49-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds by SSU’s John Barron, and the ball fell well short, into the end zone. Barron had made 26- and 30-yard kicks. Trail caught a 3-yard touchdown pass just before the halftime horn, putting the Spartans ahead 10-9.
Rolandan Finch paced NSU with 134 carries on 23 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown run for a 23-15 lead with 14:38 remaining. The Spartans’ Tyler Clark was 16-of-26 for 163 yards
JMU 40, Albany 13
Isle of Wight Academy graduate Daniel Brown tied James Madison’s single-game record with three touchdown receptions as the Dukes (4-2, 1-1 Colonial Athletic Association) beat CAA newcomer Albany (1-5, 0-2) in Harrisonburg in their first meeting.
Heritage High graduate Khalid Abdullah, in his third JMU game as a true freshman, ran for 87 yards and a touchdown. Dae’Quan Scott also ran for 87 yards and scored two touchdowns, giving him a JMU-record 240 all-time points. That broke the school record of 231, set by former kicker David Rabil.
Will Fiacchi threw for 214 yards and a touchdown for Albany, which has lost four straight. The Great Danes tied for first place in the more lightly regarded Northeast Conference last season.
Towson 44, New Hampshire 28
Terrance West rushed for 238 yards and three touchdowns as FCS No. 3 Towson (7-0, 3-0 CAA) rallied from a 17-point deficit, beating No. 19 New Hampshire at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Peter Athens was 22-of-33 for 343 yards and two touchdowns and Spencer Wilkins and Leon Kinnard each went over 100 yards receiving for the Tigers, who rolled up a school-record 731 total yards.
Andy Vailas rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown and completed 18-of-29 passes for 194 yards for UNH (1-4, 0-2), but he was intercepted twice in the second half. The Wildcats’ streak of nine consecutive FCS playoff appearances is in jeopardy.
East Carolina 24, Middle Tennessee 17
Shane Carden was 43-of-57 for 365 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing score as the Pirates fended off the Blue Raiders in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Justin Hardy caught eight passes for 85 yards and a touchdown and Vintavious Cooper rushed for a score for East Carolina (4-1, 2-0 Conference USA), which piled up 511 yards of offense. Carden guided an 11-play drive over the final 5:16 and completed three third-down passes to seal the win.
Logan Kilgore passed for 245 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice, including with 5:16 left to set up the Pirates' game-ending drive. Jeremiah Bryson added a rushing touchdown for Middle Tennessee (3-3, 1-1).
Navy 28, Air Force 10
Quarterback Keenan Reynolds rushed for 126 yards and three touchdowns and Demond Brown added a scoring run as the host Midshipmen rallied for a non-conference victory before a stadium-record crowd of 38,225.
In a game that was in jeopardy until Thursday because of the partial government shutdown, Brown scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 38-yard run early in the second half, and Reynolds scored on a 2-yard dive in the fourth quarter as Navy (3-1) overcame a three-point, first quarter deficit.
Reynolds finished 6-of-10 for 54 yards, including a key 12-yard completion to Shawn Lynch on a third-and-8 at the Air Force 21-yard line that led to his touchdown run.
Air Force’s Anthony LaCoste had an 18-yard touchdown run in the first half and Will Conant kicked a 45-yard field goal as the Falcons (1-5) built a 10-7 halftime advantage.
CIAA (Division II)
Justin Thorpe passed for 211 yards and rushed for 65 as Virginia State (4-1, 2-0 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) beat Shaw 14-10 in Raleigh, N.C., dropping the Bears to 2-3.
Thorpe, a James Madison graduate in a rare sixth year of collegiate eligibility -- he missed about two JMU seasons because of injury -- passed and ran for a touchdown, both in the first half for the Trojans. ...
Damon Kelly ran for 95 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries as Virginia Union (1-4) ended its skid with a 32-25 victory at Livingstone (2-3). Kelly's 1-yard TD with 5:54 remaining erased Livingstone's 25-24 advantage. ...
Elizabeth City State (1-4) broke through with a 26-25 triumph at St. Augustine’s (2-3), thanks in part to Petey Boone's 129 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. ...
Host Fayetteville State beat Chowan 36-29 in two overtimes on Derek Bryant's 10-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Moye.
Chowan standout Robert Holland, a Woodside High graduate, caught a TD pass in the fourth quarter and in overtime for the Hawks.
Brady Macko rushed for 171 yards and Nash Nance rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two to help Hampden-Sydney (3-1) defeat Old Dominion Athletic Conference foe Catholic 39-27.
Nance was 24-of-43 for 294 yards, though he was intercepted twice. The Cardinals fell to 3-1. ...
Will McGhee ran for 218 yards and two TDs on 28 carries to help Randolph-Macon (3-1) cruise past visiting ODAC rival Emory and Henry 45-20, the Wasps’ first defeat in four games. ...
Justin Neff threw two TD passes to help Shenandoah (2-2) win 29-20 vs. Bridgewater (3-1) in Winchester. ...
In the USA South, Maryville (4-1) dusted Averett 48-0 in Tennessee as Trenton Shuler rushed for 110 yards and two scores on 16 carries. Averett (1-4) had just nine first downs. ...
Tae Gilbert rushed for 160 yards on 30 carries as Ferrum (1-4) beat visiting Greensboro 31-21. ...
Joe Callahan passed for 334 yards and four touchdowns as No. 10 Wesley (4-1) rallied to a 38-28 victory over USA South team Huntingdon (3-1) in Dover, Del.