NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware football team hung tough with top-ranked James Madison throughout the day, but some missed opportunities and a key fumble return for a touchdown in the first half was the difference as the Blue Hens dropped a 20-10 Colonial Athletic Association verdict Saturday at Delaware Stadium.

Delaware (2-2, 0-1 CAA), which entered its CAA opener having won both home games earlier this season, took a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter and was on the Dukes' heels the entire game but could not complete the upset.

JMU defensive end Andrew Ankrah returned what appeared to be an incomplete pass into a 23-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 6:53 left in the first half to take the lead for good and used two field goals by Tyler Gray to preserve the win, the 17th straight for the defending NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision national champions.

Delaware's defense held strong throughout the day, holding the high-powered James Madison offense to just 347 total yards and one touchdown, well below their CAA-leading averages of 47.3 points and 560.0 total yards per game. The Dukes (5-0, 2-0 CAA) entered the game having outscored its four previous opponents 189-48.

Blue Hen junior quarterback Joe Walker (above) hit on 5 of 11 passes for 47 yards and hit Jamie Jarmon with a 15-yard scoring pass with 12:07 left in the second quarter that gave Delaware its final lead at 10-7. Walker also rushed for 46 yards while junior Kani Kane led the running attack with a career-high 81 yards.

Defensively for Delaware, junior linebacker Troy Reeder (at right) recorded 12 tackles and intercepted a pass, junior defensive tackle Blaine Woodson made 12 stops, and senior linebacker Jalen Kindle, seeing extensive action after starter Charles Bell went down with an injury, had 10 tackles, including a sack.

Delaware junior kicker Frank Raggo (below) gave the Hens an early 3-0 lead and made some history in the process as he booted a UD record 55-yard field goal with the wind at his back six minutes into the game. His kick, which was also the fourth longest in CAA history, broke the Delaware record of 54 yards by Steve Leo vs. Navy in 1992.

James Madison quarterback Bryan Schor, the 2016 CAA Offensive Player of the Year, was held in check most of the day as he hit on just 10 of 19 passes for 93 yards and an interception. Trai Sharp led the JMU offense with 36 carries for 185 yards rushing, including a six-yard scoring dive with 6:57 left in the first quarter.

Delaware head coach Danny Rocco
"This is a game that was hard to process. We didn't play well offensively but we played a really good football team and we were very much in the game well into the fourth quarter. We played hard and fought to the end and we had a few moments today when we had the momentum and thought we might be able to push through but it never happened. Hats off to James Madison. They find ways to win games and they didn't waver and stuck to who they are today. No doubt the fumble recovery for the touchdown was the biggest play of the football game."

Delaware junior linebacker Troy Reeder
"I was proud of the way our guys (on defense) stepped up and held our ground today. I think it says a lot about our guys. We had intensity and we faced some adversity but we fought through it."

Hen Scratchings
• Delaware continues CAA play next weekend at Stony Brook. Kickoff from Long Island is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game marks Delaware's first ever trip to Stony Brook.
• James Madison was the first No. 1 ranked team the Hens have played since 2014 and was the first to visit Delaware Stadium since the 2009 season when top-ranked Richmond edged the Hens 16-15
• Senior wide receiver Diante Cherry caught three passes for 28 yards and became just the 19th player in UD history to reach 100 career receptions.
• Junior punter Nick Pritchard averaged 41.4 yards on five punts and had a season-long 52-yarder
• Delaware extended is scoring streak to 224 straight games at home since 1983 and 125 straight conference games at home
• James Madison put together a 21-play, 74-yard drive that consumed 9:35 in the third quarter but the Blue Hens came out unscatched when Gray missed a 28-yard field goal

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