October 12, 2019 / 11:44 PM / a month ago

Hooker throws 3 TDs as Va. Tech beats Rhode Island

EditorsNote: minor fixes

Oct 12, 2019; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies line backer Alan Tisdale (34) attempts to block a pass by Rhode Island Rams quarterback Viti Priore in the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Hendon Hooker threw for three touchdowns as the Virginia Tech Hokies defeated the Rhode Island Rams, 34-17, on Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.

Hooker, who replaced Ryan Willis as Virginia Tech’s starting quarterback, enabled the Hokies (4-2) to remain one step ahead of the Rams (1-5) throughout the game.

Rhode Island kept the game close, but when the Rams pulled within one score of the Hokies, Hooker and the Virginia Tech offense responded.

Rhode Island kicked a field goal early in the second quarter to cut the Virginia Tech lead to 10-3. On the next drive, the Hokies scored to push their lead to 17-3. Hooker found Damon Hazelton — who scored two touchdowns on Saturday — for a 37-yard scoring strike.

URI scored the game’s next 11 points to pull within 17-14 early in the third quarter. Rams quarterback Vito Priore found Ahmere Dorsey on a nine-yard touchdown pass and then made the 2-point conversion.

Virginia Tech scored on the next drive when Hooker led a 93-yard touchdown march. He hit Dalton Keene on a 3-yard touchdown pass to give the Hokies a 24-14 lead.

The pattern of URI staying close and Virginia Tech promptly answering the visitors continued.

The Rams again moved within one score late in the third quarter. A 10-play drive produced a 41-yard C.J. Carrick field goal to make the score 24-17 in favor of Virginia Tech.

The Hokies responded to the challenge by scoring on the next possession.

Deshawn McClease rushed for a 1-yard touchdown run to restore a two-score lead at 31-17 with 13:41 left in the fourth quarter. Rhode Island was not able to answer, and Virginia Tech was not threatened again.

Hooker completed 16 of 27 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for the Hokies.

Priore finished 26-of-47 for 286 yards and one touchdown with no picks for the Rams.

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