Centeio leads JMU in 47-7 romp of No. 23 Coastal Carolina

Nov 25, 2022, 10:44 PM | Updated: Nov 26, 2022, 3:08 pm

James Madison tight end Drew Painter (89) hauls in a touchdown pass during the second half of an NC...

James Madison tight end Drew Painter (89) hauls in a touchdown pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Coastal Carolina in Harrisonburg, Va., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)

(Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — James Madison knew when it made the jump to the Bowl Subdivision this season that conference championships would not be available right away because of NCAA transition rules.

So the Dukes turned their final game of the year into a bowl game and came away with no doubt about who the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division champion is, routing No. 23 Coastal Carolina 47-7 on Saturday.

“You know, we’re champions. Everybody knows we’re champions of the East. I mean, come on. Across the country. You know, this was a major statement across the country,” JMU coach Curt Gignetti said “This was an exclamation point. … Going to a bowl game would have been nice, but this was our bowl game.”

Todd Centeio threw for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth and James Madison (8-3, 6-2) dominated in every phase, outgaining the Chanticleers 502 yards to 183.

When the game ended, Queen’s “We Are the Champions” blared through the stadium.

“Everyone knows who JMU is now,” said wide receiver Kris Thornton, who became the first in school history to go over 1,000 yards receiving twice. “We won the East.”

The Chanticleers (9-2, 6-2) were the first visitor in the AP Top 25 to ever play at Bridgeforth Stadium, but they did so without starting quarterback Grayson McCall. Their only score came on their second drive on Jarrett Guest’s 34-yard pass to Tyson Mobley.

“We lost badly mentally because we let the game get bigger than what it was supposed to be,” nose tackle Jerrod Clark said.

James Madison trailed 7-6 before Centeio hit a wide open Reggie Brown for a 34-yard TD on its second drive of the second quarter to put the Dukes ahead. He then hit Devin Ravenel in the back of the end zone from 26 yards on the next drive. On the play, Ravenel made a dazzling catch over the top of the defender in very tight coverage.

A 17-yard strike to Drew Painter just over two minutes into the third quarter and Latrele Palmer’s 13-yard run made it 33-7 midway through the quarter, and an 8-yard pass to Ravenel with 16 seconds left in the quarter gave Centeio his fourth game with at least four touchdown passes this season. He added an 11-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.


Coastal Carolina: The Chants, with McCall, were the only team in the Group of Five with one loss, but they are a different team without him and his 21 TDs vs. just one interception. They gained 75 yards on their scoring drive and only 109 the rest of the game.

“We can’t let this game roll over into the championship game,” Clark said.

James Madison: Cignetti said the recruiting period doesn’t open until Dec. 5, but “this ought to be a catalyst to help us recruit and, you know, attract attention across the country. … You can talk to grad transfers right now and you can talk to transfers right now. And we’ve been doing that, but we’ve been really focused on our season.”

JMU won Football Championship Series national titles in 2004 and 2016 and appeared in two other title games.


Coastal’s stay in the AP Top 25, like James Madison’s earlier, will last only one game. The Chants were ranked last week, when their game against Virginia was canceled.


The Chanticleers will face either Troy or South Alabama for the Sun Belt championship next Saturday.

The Dukes’ season is over because of their FBS transition. They will be eligible for a conference title and bowl bid in 2024.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Centeio leads JMU in 47-7 romp of No. 23 Coastal Carolina