Washington and Lee Football - Catholic Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Catholic Game Notes

W&L (5-2, 3-1) at CATHOLIC (3-4, 2-2)

Saturday, October 27, 2012
Washington, D.C. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: October 27, 2012
TIME: 1:00 pm
STADIUM: Cardinal Stadium (3,500)
TV/INTERNET: CUA Live Stream (http://r4nm.com/user/cua-cardinals)
RADIO: WLUR 91.5 (http://www.wlu.edu/x37490.xml)
SERIES RECORD: W&L Leads  13-3
LAST MEETING: 10/28/11 at W&L (49-13 W&L)
FIRST MEETING: 11/7/81 at CUA (24-10 W&L)
LAST CUA WIN: 10/11/08 at CUA (48-29)


9/1/12 at Franklin & Marshall L, 28-35
6-1 Results
9/8/12 at Sewanee W, 28-6
3-5 Results
9/15/12 Centre W, 34-16
5-2 Results
9/29/12 at Guilford
W, 42-21
4-3, 3-1 Results
10/6/12 Emory & Henry W, 45-28
4-3, 1-3 Results
10/13/12 Randolph-Macon W, 49-14
4-3, 2-2 Results
10/20/12 at Bridgewater L, 14-31
5-2, 2-2 Results
10/27/12 at Catholic 1:00 pm 3-4, 2-2 Results
11/3/12 Hampden-Sydney 1:00 pm 5-2, 3-1 Results
11/10/12 Shenandoah 1:00 pm 1-6, 0-4 Results

W&L and Catholic will be meeting for the 17th time, with the Generals holding a 13-3 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1981 season.  W&L has won three-straight in the series, including a 49-13 win last season in Lexington.  W&L has averaged 467.5 yards per game over the last two outings against the Cardinals, outscoring CUA by a combined score of 98-27 over that span.

Scott Abell (Longwood ‘92) is in his first season as the Generals’ head coach, having replaced Frank Miriello, who retired after 17 seasons.  Abell had served as W&L’s offensive coordinator for the past four seasons, setting records for total offense and scoring each of the past two seasons.  As head coach, Abell is 5-2 overall.

Catholic is led by seventh-year Head Coach Dave Dunn (San Diego ‘89), who is 30-46 (.395) overall with the Cardinals.  Dunn helped lead CUA to a share of the ODAC title in 2008. He is 1-5 all-time against W&L.

Washington and Lee has played 1,030 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 483-508-39 (.487) overall record.  Only five other schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia have played more games than W&L, which played the first intercollegiate football game in the South, an 1873 matchup with neighboring VMI.

The Generals will hit the road for one final regular season contest, squaring off against Catholic this week.  W&L has already traveled a combined 1,895 miles this season, playing road contests at Franklin & Marshall, Sewanee, Guilford and Bridgewater among its first seven contests.  The Generals are 2-2 in these games.  W&L would much rather be playing at home where it is 12-1 over the last three seasons and carries a 12-game winning streak, the fourth-longest home winning streak in Division III.  Mount Union has the longest home winning streak at 50 games, followed by Trinity of Connecticut (46) and Linfield (21).

(Bridgewater 31, W&L 14 • 10/20/12 • Bridgewater, Va.)
Bridgewater limited Washington and Lee to its lowest scoring total since the 2010 season in defeating the Generals, 31-14, at Jopson Field.  The Generals drove to the BC 28-yardline early in the second quarter, but a fumbled snap thwarted W&L’s first good scoring opportunity.  The Generals drove into the red zone on the very next possession, but the Eagles held on downs at the 1-yardline to preserve a 3-0 lead.  Bridgewater then scored four plays later when quarterback Willie Logan found wide receiver John Lezcano with an 85-yard scoring strike and the Eagles carried a 10-0 lead into the halftime break.  W&L took the opening kickoff of the second half and put together a 12-play, 65-yard drive that resulted in a 13-yard touchdown run by senior running back Brett Murray to make it a 10-7 game with 10:24 left in the third quarter.  The Generals forced a three-and-out the next possession and stopped a Bridgewater fake punt to take over at the BC 46-yardline with 10:12 left in the quarter.  However, W&L could not take advantage, punting it away three plays later.  The Eagles responded with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Logan to tight end Michael Colee two plays later for a 17-7 lead at the 7:17 mark.  W&L countered with a 9-play, 53-yard drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from senior running back Luke Heinsohn to cut it to a 17-14 game with 2:54 left in the third quarter.  The Blue & White forced a BC punt on the next possession and drove to the Eagles’ 11-yardline with just over 10 minutes remaining, but a fumble on a 3rd-and-2 play was recovered by Bridgewater, preserving the Eagles’ lead.  Bridgewater then drove 62 yards on 14 plays, eating up 7:16 from the game clock in scoring to make it a 24-14 game with 3:00 remaining.  The Eagles converted two fourth down plays on the drive, including a 2-yard touchdown pass from Logan to wide receiver Jayme Perry on fourth and goal.  W&L junior quarterback Nick Lombardo was then picked off by defensive back Anthony Moton, who returned it 55 yards for a touchdown and the final margin.  W&L gained 416 yards of total offense in the contest, led by Lombardo, who rushed 21 times for 142 yards and completed 2-of-11 passes for 31 yards (2 INTs).  Heinsohn rushed 15 times for 123 yards and a touchdown, and Murray added 80 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.  Senior linebacker Zach Zoller totaled a team-best 11 tackles.

(W&L 49, Catholic 13 • 10/28/11 • Lexington, Va.)
Washington and Lee jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back in claiming a 49-13 win over Catholic at Wilson Field.  The Generals took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards in five plays to assume a 7-0 lead on a 17-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Charlie Westfal just 1:42 into the game.  Westfal then found tight end Alex Evans with a 25-yard scoring strike to end a 92-yard drive with 8:24 left in the opening quarter for a 14-0 lead.  
Quarterback Nick Lombardo capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a 3-yard plunge with 1:06 left in the first quarter for a 21-0 lead.  Catholic got on the board with an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Greg Cordivari to running back Mike Pitsenberger with 4:04 left in the first quarter, but the Generals got the 21-point lead (28-7) right back on an 82-yard kickoff return for a score by running back Brett Murray with 3:50 to play in the half.  Westfal then gave W&L a 35-7 lead at the break when he drove the Generals 63 yards in 1:34 and found Evans with a 3-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the first half.  Running backs Luke Heinsohn and Sasha Vandalov both found the end zone with second-half touchdown runs as W&L built a 49-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter.  The Generals racked up 552 yards of total offense, including 439 yards on the ground, led by Westfal, who rushed 12 times for 75 yards and a touchdown and completed 7-of-8 passes for 100 yards and two more scores (1 INT).  Lombardo rushed 12 times for a team-best 79 yards and a touchdown, and Vandalov had 71 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.  Murray tallied 185 all-purpose yards and Heinsohn finished with 50 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushes.  Evans snared four passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns.  Senior linebacker Rob Look paced the defense with 10 tackles.  Cordivari completed 26-of-44 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns, while Pitsenberger rushed 10 times for 74 yards and caught four passes for 21 yards and one touchdown.  Wide receiver Andrew Ouellette hauled in six balls for 107 yards and one score as well.  Linebacker Conor Stueckler led the CUA defense with 16 tackles, while senior defensive back James Fucillo notched 13 tackles.

Catholic is 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the ODAC following a 15-14 loss at Emory & Henry on Saturday.  The Cardinals jumped out to a 14-0 second quarter lead after a pair of touchdown runs by junior running back Mike Pitsenberger, but the Wasps scored the final 15 points of the game, including 12 points in the final 8:43 to claim the win.  E&H’s first lead came on a game-winning 22-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining.  Senior quarterback Greg Cordivari completed 24-of-35 passes for 251 yards and one interception, while Pitsenberger rushed 22 times for 80 yards and the two scores.  Junior linebacker Conor Stueckler led the defense with 12 tackles and an interception.  For the year, Catholic averages 355.4 yards and 27.1 points per game led by Cordivari, who has completed 59.6 percent of his passes for 1,441 yards and 12 touchdowns (8 INTs).  Pitsenberger has carried 105 times for 467 yards and eight touchdowns, while junior running back Nick Cortese has 311 yards and three touchdowns on 79 rushes.  Senior Alonzo Cook is the team’s top receiver with 32 catches for 430 yards and five touchdowns.  Junior wide-out Tanner Keefe has 17 catches for 258 yards and three touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Wes Stringfield has caught 15 balls for 133 yards and two touchdowns.  Stueckler leads the team with 71 tackles, one sack and one interception, and senior linebacker Kevin Ross has 48 tackles and two interceptions.  Senior defensive tackle Vinny Cortese claims a team-best 5.5 sacks to go along with 30 tackles.

Prior to the 2010 season, you could count the number of 400-yard rushing performances during the ODAC’s history on one hand.  While this number continues to be a lofty goal, the Generals have begun to set it as the magic number.  W&L has managed 400 rushing yards in a game 13 times over its last three seasons (28 games).  In those games, the Generals are 13-0, scoring an average of 47.9 points per game with an average margin of victory of 24.4 points per game.  To contrast this point, when W&L fails to rush for 400 yards during the same span, it is just 8-7 with an average of 26.2 points per game and a scoring margin of just +1.8 points per game.

The Generals have got the running game rolling over the last four weeks, averaging 446.8 rushing yards per game across those contests.  Included in that total is a conference-record 503 rushing yards three weeks ago against Emory & Henry. With those rushing efforts, Washington and Lee leads Division III in rushing with an average of 383.5 yards per game this season.

The Generals have re-written the ODAC record books for team rushing yardage over the last three seasons, culminating with the 500-yard effort against E&H a few weeks ago.  Below are the top single-game rushing performances in ODAC history.

1. Washington and Lee vs. Emory & Henry, 2012    503
2. Washington and Lee at Catholic, 2010    496
3. Emory & Henry vs. Greensboro, 1998    483
4. Washington and Lee vs. Randolph-Macon, 2012    473
5. Washington and Lee at Sewanee, 2010    467
6. Washington and Lee at Guilford, 2010    463
7. Washington and Lee vs. Alma, 2011    444
7. Washington and Lee vs. Bridgewater, 2011    444
7. Bridgewater vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 1987    444
10. Bridgewater vs. Lebanon Valley, 1990    441
11. Washington and Lee vs. Catholic, 2011    439
12. Washington and Lee at Bridgewater, 2010    438

The Generals are one win away from securing their seventh winning season in the last nine years.  Since going 3-7 in 2003, W&L has produced a 54-34 (.614) overall record and a 34-18 (.654) mark in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.  Those numbers improve to 21-7 (.750) overall and 14-2 (.875) in the ODAC over the last three years.

Senior running back Luke Heinsohn has been having a tremendous season on top of an already impressive career on the gridiron.  This season, Heinsohn has rushed for 872 yards and a school-record tying 16 touchdowns on just 120 carries (7.3 avg).  Not only is Heinsohn tied for the Division III lead in scoring with an average of 18.9 points per game, but he has already broke the W&L season and career records for both touchdowns and scoring.  He currently has 132 points this season and 288 points for his career.  Heinsohn is also just five yards away from becoming W&L’s all-time rushing leader.  He currently has 3,136 career rushing yards, just four shy of the 3,140 yards amassed by Chris Sullivan from 1999-02.  Heinsohn’s 124.6 rushing yards per game average ranks 16th in Division III this season.

Senior slotback Brett Murray is also having a fantastic senior season, totaling 597 rushing yards and five touchdowns on just 85 carries (6.9 avg.).  He also ranks fourth in the ODAC with an average of 123.1 all-purpose yards per game.  Like Heinsohn, Murray is also moving up the school’s career charts in several categories.  He is fourth all-time in all-purpose yards (4,605) and sixth all-time with 2,396 rushing yards.  He can move past Kevin Weaver ‘87 for fifth-place on the all-time rushing list with 42 more yards.  Murray’s 31 career touchdowns rank sixth all-time as do his 186 career points. A tremendous student, Murray was named the 2011 ODAC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a Capital One Second Team Academic All-America selection.  He also earned First Team All-ODAC honors as an all-purpose back and First Team All-South Region honors as a special-teamer during the 2011 season.

Junior quarterback Nick Lombardo has been settling in as the Generals’ trigger man, totaling 383 yards and two touchdowns on the ground over the last three weeks.  He gained 164 yards against Emory & Henry and 77 yards against Randolph-Macon and 142 yards last week against Bridgewater.  His 164 yards against E&H was the second-highest rushing total ever amassed by a quarterback at Washington and Lee.  Former great Gil Bocetti ‘52, ‘54L holds the record with 175 yards against Davidson in 1949.  This season, Lombardo has rushed 121 times for 597 yards and four touchdowns.  He has also completed 44.4 percent of his passes for 422 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions.

Senior running back Sasha Vandalov has proven to be another valuable runner out of the Generals’ backfield this season.  Over the last three weeks, Vandalov has totaled 309 yards and three touchdowns on just 18 carries for an average of 17.2 yards per carry.  During that span, he has rushes of 21, 22, 37, 68 and 86 yards.  Vandalov amassed 199 yards and two scores on just six carries against Randolph-Macon, averaging an astounding 33.2 yards per rush.  Mostly known as Heinsohn’s backup over the last two seasons, Vandalov had totaled just 440 yards and five touchdowns for his career before the last three weeks.

The W&L offense can be known as a grind you down running game, but it also has its share of big plays in the running game.  So far this season, the Generals have ripped off runs of 20 or more yards 26 times.  Senior running back Luke Heinsohn leads the way with 10 runs of 20 yards or more, but beyond Heinsohn, there’s plenty of balance.  Senior running back Sasha Vandalov and senior quarterback Nick Lombardo both have five, while senior running back Brett Murray has three.  Sophomore running back Austin Eisenhofer has two and junior quarterback/slotback Luke Terna also has one.

Another secret to the Generals’ success this season has been their conversion rates on offense.  W&L ranks second nationally in third down conversions, converting 54.6 percent (48-88) of its attempts.  The Generals also rank fifth in Division III in fourth down conversions, making good on 77.8 percent of their attempts (14-18).

Washington and Lee’s prolific offense and successful conversion rates are due, in large part, to the play of the Generals’ offensive line.  Together, the line of senior Mike Stefanelli (6-0, 250), juniors Bobby Jones (6-3, 270), Lee Cummings (6-1, 255) and Connor Hollenbeck (6-5, 250) and sophomore Micah Fleet (6-3, 275) average 6-2 and 260 pounds.  Hollenbeck was a Second Team All-ODAC selection a year ago, while Jones earned third team all-conference laurels.