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Virginia gets past William & Mary for first win

Tony Muskett passed for two touchdowns and ran for another score as host Virginia withstood a challenge from FCS William & Mary in a 27-13 victory Saturday at Charlottesville, Va.

Perris Jones added a career-high 136 yards on 11 carries and Kobe Pace rushed for 83 yards on 20 attempts as Virginia (1-5) snapped an eight-game losing streak that dated back to last season.

Muskett, a transfer from Monmouth, completed 17 of 26 passes for 232 yards with one interception as Virginia rallied from an early 10-point deficit.

William & Mary (4-2) scored on its first three possessions to take a 13-3 lead before the Virginia defense took command.

The Cavaliers limited the Tribe to 219 yards of total offense and 15 first downs. Kam Robinson led Virginia with 12 tackles.

It was the second straight loss for William & Mary, which reached the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs last year.

Tribe coach Mike London was in search of an upset of his former team. London was head coach of Virginia from 2010-15.

William & Mary’s John Pius helped put Virginia in a hole early when he forced Muskett to fumble, made the recovery and ran 52 yards to the Virginia 4.

Four plays later, on fourth-and-goal, Martin Lucas scored on a 1-yard dive to give the Tribe a 13-3 lead early in the second quarter.

Virginia responded on the ensuing series, going 66 yards on six plays, including a 7-yard touchdown run by Muskett, that sliced William & Mary’s lead to 13-10.

After the Cavaliers’ Will Betteridge kicked one of his three field goals to tie it 13-13 with 2:38 remaining in the first half, Virginia took the lead for good with a quick-strike, 79-yard drive in the final 55 seconds of the half.

Muskett lofted a 26-yard touchdown pass to Malachi Fields with seven seconds remaining before halftime, giving Virginia a 20-13 advantage.

Muskett capped a 90-yard drive with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Malik Washington with 11:11 remaining in the game.

Washington finished with seven receptions for 112 yards as Virginia took a 32-6-1 lead in the series.

Darius Wilson completed 14 of 18 passes for 72 yards for the run-oriented Tribe. Wilson also led William & Mary with 74 yards rushing.

– Field Level Media

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