HARRISONBURG, Va. — Ben DiNucci threw for four touchdowns and ran for another and James Madison defeated Rhode Island 48-31 on Saturday.
DiNucci tossed three TD passes in the first half, two to Riley Stapleton. Tyler Gray added a pair of field goals, including one as time expired, for a 27-14 halftime lead. DiNucci was 18-of-25 passing for 227 yards along with two interceptions.
A 6-yard JaJuan Lawson pass to Cranston's Marven Beauvais got Rhode Island (5-5, 3-4 Colonial Athletic Association) within 34-24 after three quarters before DeNucci capped an eight-play, 66-yard drive with his 1-yard score.
After Lawson's third TD pass to Beauvais midway through the fourth quarter, DiNucci passed to Kyndel Dean for 15 yards for an insurance touchdown with 4:28 remaining.
Lawson was 22 of 37 for 255 yards with his three TD throws to Beauvais plus an interception. Lawson became the second URI quarterback to throw 16 touchdown passes in one season, joining Tom Ehrhardt, who had 42 in 1985 and 36 in 1984.
Beauvais finished with seven catches for 74 yards. His first catch of the game was the 100th of his career.
URI safety D.J. Stewart led the defense with nine tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.
James Madison (7-3, 5-2) is ranked 10th in the FCS coaches poll.