VMI football was victorious against the visiting Bucknell Bison at Alumni Memorial Field at Foster Stadium for its home opener on a rainy Saturday, Sept. 10. They jumped in front of the Bison 24-0 and ultimately held on for a 24-14 win.
The Keydets now move to an even 1-1 on the season, while Bucknell drops to 0-2. The defense and special teams played major roles in the win, while Rashad Raymond ’24 and Hunter Rice ’25 combined for 177 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“It’s always great to win,” said Scott Wachenheim, VMI football head coach. “I was impressed with how our defense played, [and] also extremely impressed with our special teams. Wet ball. We had perfect snaps, perfect execution on the field goal, punts, and kickoffs.”
- Hunter Rice ’25 rumbles for 107 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries
- Rashad Raymond ’24 scores a touchdown and picks up 70 yards on 13 carries
- Josh Knapp ’24 records first two interceptions of career and Stone Snyder ’23 leads team with 11 tackles
- Alex Oliver ’24, Evan Eller ’24 (1.5 TFL) each record 9 tackles; Christian Dunn ’24 totals six tackles and a sac
- Seth Morgan ’23 totals 138 yards and a TD
- Chance Knox ’24 has 57 yards on eight receptions, while Leroy Thomas ’23, Max Brimigion ’23, and Aidan Twombly ’24 record catches
- Jack Culbreath ’24 punts six times for 219 yards; Jerry Rice ’23 moves into third place all-time in made field goals (39 yarder)
How It Happened
VMI cashed in on its second drive when Seth Morgan ’23 and Aidan Twombly ’24 connected for a 16-yard gain with a roughing the passer penalty tacked on, which set Raymond up for a nine-yard touchdown run. On the next possession, a run fake from Morgan froze the Bucknell defenders, leaving Max Brimigion ’23 wide open as VMI doubled its lead. The Keydets kept their foot on the gas, drawing a pass interference that led to a touchdown run from Rice as VMI went into the break up 21-0.
Early in the third quarter, Jerry Rice ’23 made the lead 24-0 with his 30th career field goal (third all-time, VMI). As Bucknell threatened midway through the third, Stone Snyder ’23 stormed up the middle, forcing a deep throw downfield that led to the second interception of the afternoon by Josh Knapp ’24.
The Bison finally broke through with a touchdown at the end of the third quarter before cutting the lead to 10 with a touchdown and two-point conversion minutes later. The field position battle became crucial as VMI would seal the deal with a stop on fourth and six, running out the clock for the victory.
Catching up with Coach
On Improving Moving Forward
“The biggest stopper today for us was penalties. Penalties and turnovers stopped us from playing a better game and put us in backed-up situations.”
On the Defense
“They played great all game long. And they had their backs against the wall. Very impressed with Coach (Nick) Reveiz and the game plan, and how hard they played.”
On the Run Game
“At the start, Rashad (Raymond) was cooking with the ball. It was a rainy, muddy day, and I felt the run game was the best chance for us to win. I thought Hunter (Rice) was running extremely hard and was not going down.”
VMI remains at home for its next contest, hosting Cornell Saturday, Sept. 17, at 1:30 p.m.
Make sure to purchase your game and season tickets today at vmi.universitytickets.com.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on vmikeydets.com.