By Matt Anderson
9:13 PM EDT, October 6, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Midway through the second quarter of Saturday’s non-conference game at Penn, leading William and Mary rusher Keith McBride II was lost for the game with what Tribe coach Jimmye Laycock called a head injury. Late in the second half, the William and Mary defense couldn’t get a stop and let the Quakers back into the game.
In between the loss of McBride and the late-game breakdowns, however, Tribe wide receiver Tre McBride made a number of impactful plays to help lead his team to its second straight victory, 34-28 over the Quakers at Franklin Field
Tre McBride had seven receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown and played a major role in three consecutive William and Mary scoring drives that helped the Tribe (2-4) keep control of the game before it survived a late Penn rally.
“Keith is a major part of our offense, so when he went down, I knew that might not help us so much,” said Tre McBride, who is unrelated to Keith. “I stepped it up as much as I could to make up for his loss.”
Because of three big Tre McBride plays, William and Mary was able to take a 34-21 lead into the fourth quarter and had enough of a margin to hold off a late Penn charge that ended with Quakers quarterback Billy Ragone’s incompletion into the end zone from the Tribe 29 as time expired.
Two plays earlier, William and Mary defensive end Mike Reilly made a crucial sack of Ragone that meant Penn had to attempt its end-of-the-game desperation heave into the end zone.
Earlier, Tre McBride made three plays that, in the end, were a large part of the reason the Tribe came out with a victory.
As Penn was trying to run out the second-quarter clock, Tribe linebacker Jabrel Mines forced a fumble by Quakers running back Jeff Jack and recovered it himself at the Penn 22. On third-and-10, Tre McBride then made a touchdown catch between two Penn defenders along the right sideline in the end zone to send the Tribe into the half with a 17-point lead.
“It was really big,” Tribe quarterback Brent Caprio said. “That was the difference in the end there, so that was a big touchdown.”
In the third quarter, McBride hauled in a 41-yard reception along the left sideline that set up a 5-yard touchdown pass from Caprio to Sean Ballard that answered a Penn touchdown. McBride later set up a 26-yard field goal by Drake Kuhn with a 34-yard reception from Caprio.
Caprio, making his first start since William and Mary’s season-opening loss to Maryland because of a concussion that kept quarterback Raphael Ortiz out of Saturday’s game, was 18-of-28 for 220 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions
“(I was) a little shaky at the start trying to get my legs back under me, getting back in the game,” Caprio said. “But I thought I got it back together in the second half, and we started to move the ball offensively.”
Thanks in large part to Caprio’s ability to find Tre McBride, the Tribe won its second consecutive game after opening the season with four losses. Even sweating out the final minutes, William and Mary will ride at least a modicum of momentum entering next week’s game at No. 5 James Madison.
“There’s different ways of winning,” Laycock said. “Different games unfold different ways. I think we’ve got to play a lot better defense than what we played, especially in the second half. I don’t think anybody’s satisfied with that.”
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