Hamilton leads top-ranked James Madison past VMI 31-24

College Sports

VMI running back Korey Bridy (1) gets wrapped up by James Madison defensive lineman Mike Wilcox (47) during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA FCS football playoffs Saturday, April 24, 2021, in Harrisonburg, Va. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — Jawon Hamilton rushed for a career-high 171 yards and scored an FCS playoff-record 99-yard touchdown as top-ranked James Madison defeated post-season newcomer VMI 31-24 in the first round.

Cole Johnson passed for 204 yards and two touchdowns, James Madison added 305 yards and two more touchdowns rushing to compile 509 yards of total offense.

The 11th-ranked Keydets, making their first appearance in the FCS playoffs, scored with nine seconds left to pull within seven points, but JMU recovered the onside kick to seal the win.

Seth Morgan threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.

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