Rhode Island beats ranked Delaware 21-19 in season opener

NEWARK, Del. (AP) — JaJuan Lawson threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Burke late in the third quarter and Rhode Island held on to beat Delaware 21-19 on Thursday night, their first win over an FCS-ranked team since 2011 and their first season-opening victory since 2009.

Aaron Parker bulled in from the 1-yard line to give Rhode Island a 14-10 lead midway through the third quarter. Frank Raggo’s 48-yard field goal pulled the 15th-ranked Blue Hens to 14-13 before the Lawson to Burke TD-pass capped a six-play, 75-yard drive with 39 seconds left in the third.

Lawson was 13-of-21 passing for 170 yards with one interception.

Pat Kehoe connected with Joe Walker on an 11-yard touchdown pass with 6:45 left to pull Delaware to 21-19. The Blue Hens forced a three-and-out on Rhode Island’s ensuing series, but Justin Hogan forced Kani Kane to fumble the ball on the next play.

Kehoe was 12 of 22 passing for 202 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Kane had 20 carries for 106 yards.