Washington and Lee Football - Hobart Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Hobart Game Notes

W&L (8-2) at HOBART (10-0)

Saturday, November 17, 2012
Geneva, N.Y. • 12:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: November 17, 2012
TIME: 12:00 pm
STADIUM: Boswell Field (3,000)
TV/INTERNET: Hobart All Access (http://www.hwsathletics.com/showcase/)
RADIO: WLUR 91.5 (http://www.wlu.edu/x37490.xml)


9/1/12 at Franklin & Marshall L, 28-35
7-3 Results
9/8/12 at Sewanee W, 28-6
3-7 Results
9/15/12 Centre W, 34-16
6-4 Results
9/29/12 at Guilford
W, 42-21
5-5, 4-3 Results
10/6/12 Emory & Henry W, 45-28
6-4, 3-4 Results
10/13/12 Randolph-Macon W, 49-14
7-3, 5-2 Results
10/20/12 at Bridgewater L, 14-31
7-3, 5-2 Results
10/27/12 at Catholic W, 41-14
3-7, 2-5 Results
11/3/12 Hampden-Sydney W, 45-42 4 OT
6-4, 4-3 Results
11/10/12 Shenandoah W, 42-23
1-9, 0-7 Results
11/17/12 Hobart 12:00 pm 10-0 Results

Washington and Lee and Hobart have never met on the gridion before this week.  In fact, the Generals have never faced any of the eight teams that comprise the Liberty League.  W&L is 3-6 all-time against teams from the State of New York and has never won a game played in The Empire State.  The Generals’ last game in New York was a 23-8 loss at Alfred to begin the 2004 season.  

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 numerous records for total offense and scoring offense.  As head coach, Abell is 8-2 overall, claiming the ODAC title in his first season.

Hobart is coached by Mike Cragg (Slippery Rock ‘83), who is in his 18th season as the Statesmen’s mentor.  He has complied a 110-51 (.683) overall record, eight Liberty League titles and seven NCAA Tournament berths over the last 12 seasons.

Washington and Lee has played 1,033 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 486-508-39 (.489) 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.

(Thomas More 42, W&L 14 • 11/20/10 • Crestview Hills, Ky.)
Thomas More racked up 523 yards of total offense, including rushing for 432 yards, in defeating Washington and Lee, 42-14, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III football playoffs.  The Saints drove 67 yards on their opening possession and took a 7-0 lead on a 17-yard touchdown run by running back Kendall Owens just 3:08 into the game.  Thomas More then stopped the Generals on a 4th-and-3 from the TMC 37-yardline on the ensuing possession and took a 14-0 lead on another Owens touchdown from 31 yards out nine plays later.  W&L dented the scoreboard at the 3:06 mark of the first quarter when running back Luke Heinsohn capped an 8-play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, but the Saints held the Generals’ scoreless and tacked on two more scores for a 28-7 lead at the break.  The Generals were driving with the opening possession of the third quarter, but fumbled on the TMC 32-yardline and the Saints opened a 35-7 lead on a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Dominique Haydon at 10:15 of the third quarter.  W&L closed to within 35-14 on a 2-yard touchdown run by Heinsohn at the 6:00 mark of the third quarter, but could get no closer as the Saints kept their undefeated record intact.  The Generals notched 323 offensive yards and 253 yards rushing.  Heinsohn rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, while quarterback Charlie Westfal rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries and completed 7-of-18 passes for 70 yards.  Linebacker Rob Look and safety Jake Pelton led the defense with 12 tackles each.  Hayden paced the Thomas More offense with 187 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries.  Quarterback Rob Kues totaled 100 yards and two touchdowns rushing and was 7-of-10 passing for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Owens rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.  Defensive back Aaron Monk led the defense with eight tackles.

(W&L 42, Shenandoah 23 • 11/10/12 • Lexington, Va.)
Washington and Lee scored a pair of touchdowns in the final 43 seconds of the first half to post a 42-23 victory over Shenandoah at Wilson Field.  The Generals led just 7-3 late in the first half before senior running back Sasha Vandalov capped a 6-play, 62-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 43 seconds remaining.  The Hornets fumbled on their own 13-yardline on the first play of the next possession and the Generals assumed a 21-3 lead one play later when junior quarterback Nick Lombardo tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Alex Evans with 26 seconds remaining.  Washington and Lee senior linebacker Zach Zoller intercepted SU senior quarterback Shawn Lloyd two plays into the third quarter and senior running back Brett Murray scored on a 4-yard touchdown run just 1:56 into the quarter for a 28-3 lead.  Shenandoah found paydirt exactly seven minutes later when first-year running back Andrew Smith scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, but the Generals retaliated for a 35-10 lead with 13:03 left in the game when Vandalov scored his third touchdown of the game, this time on a 22-yard run.  The Hornets sandwiched a pair of touchdowns around a 3-yard touchdown run by first-year running back Jimmy Moynahan for the final margin.  W&L totaled 353 yards in the game, amassing just 235 yards on the ground.  Vandalov led the way with 79 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries, while Lombardo gained 59 yards on 15 carries and completed 7-of-9 passes for 101 yards and one touchdown with one interception.  Moynahan totaled 35 yards and a score on eight carries.  Senior safety Jake Pelton, junior safety Walter Ramsey and junior defensive lineman Kevin Travaline paced the defense with six tackles each.  The Hornets were led by Smith, who tallied 112 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.  Lloyd completed 13-of-30 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown (2 INTs), while first-year wide receiver Troy Baldwin snared five passes for 70 yards.  Senior linebacker Jajuan Johnson led the SU defense with 10 solo tackles.

W&L will hit the road for its first round NCAA Tournament game, traveling 863 miles round trip to Geneva, N.Y.  This brings the Generals’ season travel total to 3,142 miles traveled.  W&L has been tremendously successful at home, carrying Division III’s fourth-longest home winning streak at 14 games.  However, the Generals went just 3-2 on the road this season and they are only 5-4 on the road over the last two seasons.

The 2012 season marked W&L’s third-straight winning season and seventh winning campaign in the last nine years.  Since going 3-7 in 2003, W&L has produced a 57-34 (.626) overall record and a 37-18 (.673) mark in the ODAC.  Those numbers improve to 24-7 (.774) overall and 17-2 (.895) in the ODAC over the last three years.

A win against Hobart would tie the school record for wins in a season with nine.  The 1961 and 1914 teams both went 9-0 overall.  Including the 2012 season, W&L has had just 12 seasons of eight or more wins in program history, three of which have happened over the last three years.  The Generals current three-year run of 8-3, 8-2, 8-2 (24-7 overall) is the best three-year stretch since the 1960-62 teams went 25-1-1 overall.

W&L claimed its second ODAC Championship in the last three years two weeks ago with a thrilling 45-42 four-overtime victory over Hampden-Sydney.  It was W&L’s fifth ODAC title and the third in the last seven years.  Below is a listing of all of W&L’s conference championships over the years.

Conference Championships
1914 - South Atlantic Champions
1934 - Southern Conference Champions
1950 - Southern Conference Champions (Played in 1951 Gator Bowl)
1962 - College Athletic Conference Champions
1981 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions
1985 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions
2006 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions
2010 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions
2012 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions  

Hobart is a perfect 10-0 and claimed the championship of the Liberty League to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Playoffs.  The Statesmen have had little trouble producing their perfect record, winning by an average of 24.1 points per game, with their closest contest being a 42-34 win over Union back on October 27.  Hobart features an explosive offense that averages 435.2 yards and 38.9 points per game.  The defense has been equally stingy, allowing a mere 229.8 yards and 14.8 points per outing.  Senior quarterback Nick Strang leads the offense by completing 64.7 percent of his passes for 1,757 yards and 16 touchdowns with just nine interceptions.  He’s also rushed 53 times for 107 yards and six scores.  Strang’s favorite target is senior wide-out Junior Woodard, who has recorded 50 catches for 781 yards and six touchdowns.  Junior wide receiver Yosh Karbowniczak had added 26 catches for 482 yards and five scores as well.  Hobart also features a quality 1-2 punch at running back with senior Bobby Dougherty and junior Steven Webb.  Dougherty has tallied 819 yards and 17 touchdowns on 166 carries, while Webb has 865 yards and seven scores on 149 carries.  Defensively, senior linebacker Andrew Klindera has a team-best 78 tackles and sophomore defensive end Tyre Coleman has posted 47 tackles and 14.5 sacks.  Junior outside linebacker Devin Worthington adds 45 tackles and nine sacks as well.

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 15 times over its last three seasons (31 games).  In those games, the Generals are 15-0, scoring an average of 47.3 points per game with an average margin of victory of 23.1 points per game.  To contrast this point, when W&L fails to rush for 400 yards during the same span, it is just 9-7 with an average of 27.3 points per game and a scoring margin of just +2.9 points per game.

The Generals have got the running game rolling over the last six weeks, averaging 416.4 rushing yards per game across those contests.  Included in that total is a conference-record 503 rushing yards against Emory & Henry. W&L led all NCAA Divisions in rushing offense heading into last week’s game against Shenandoah, but slipped to third after rushing for just 235 yards against the Hornets.

NCAA Rushing Offense Leaders
1. Georgia Southern (FCS Division)    401.2
2. Lenoir-Rhyne (Division II)    384.4
3. Washington and Lee (Division III)    381.3
4. Carson Newman (Division II)    378.4

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. Hampden-Sydney, 2012    451
8. Washington and Lee vs. Alma, 2011    444
8. Washington and Lee vs. Bridgewater, 2011    444
8. Bridgewater vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 1987    444
11. Washington and Lee at Catholic, 2012    442
12. Bridgewater vs. Lebanon Valley, 1990    441
13. Washington and Lee vs. Catholic, 2011    439
14. Washington and Lee at Bridgewater, 2010    438

This week’s game will mark the Generals’ fourth post-season game in program history.  W&L has yet to win a post-season game, falling in the 1951 Gator Bowl to Wyoming (20-7) and dropping first round NCAA Division III Tournament contests to Wilkes (42-0 in 2006) and Thomas More (42-14 in 2010).  As a conference, the ODAC is 10-15 all-time in the NCAA Division III Tournament.  Bridgewater advanced the furthest as it fell in the 2001 Stagg Bowl to Mount Union by a score of 30-27.

Senior running back Luke Heinsohn has had one of the finest seasons of any General in history.  He currently ranks second nationally in scoring (18.67 ppg) and 27th nationally in rushing (116.8 ypg).  His 180 points this season are the most in all of college football.  As a running back, Heinsohn has carried 169 times for 1,168 yards and 21 touchdowns.  He also serves as the team’s placekicker, going 2-for-2 on field goals and 46-of-49 on PATs.  His signature performance came in a 45-42 four-overtime win over Hampden-Sydney on November 3 when he rushed for 192 yards and four touchdowns and totaled 33 points, a new school record.  His 37-yard field goal in the fourth overtime proved to be the game-winner.  For his career, Heinsohn has rushed for a school-record 3,432 yards and he has crushed the previous school record for scoring with 336 points, a total which ranks second in conference history.  He is currently 159 yards away from breaking the school’s single-season rushing record of 1,325 yards set by Marc Watson in 2000.  In addition to being an All-ODAC football player, Heinsohn is an all-conference member of the W&L men’s lacrosse team.

Senior slotback Brett Murray is also having a fantastic senior season, totaling 733 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns on just 116 carries (6.3 avg.).  He also ranks second in the ODAC with an average of 128.0 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 (5,023) and is just 162 yards away from moving into third place.  He is also fifth all-time with 2,541 career rushing yards, while his 36 career touchdowns are tied for second all-time.  Murray’s 216 career points are third, but are just five shy of second place, a total which would have been the record if not for Heinsohn’s record-setting season. 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 780 yards on the ground over the last six weeks.  His 170 yards against Hampden-Sydney 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 183 times for 994 yards and four touchdowns.  He has also completed 44.3 percent of his passes for 654 yards and six touchdowns with five interceptions.  He can become the first W&L quarterback with a 1,000-yard rushing season with just six more yards.

Senior running back Sasha Vandalov has proven to be another valuable runner out of the Generals’ backfield this season.  Over the last six weeks, Vandalov has totaled 513 yards and eight touchdowns on just 54 carries for an average of 9.5 yards per carry.  During that span, he has rushes of 21, 22, 22, 35, 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 six 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 37 times.  Senior running back Luke Heinsohn leads the way with 12 runs of 20 yards or more, but beyond Heinsohn, there’s plenty of balance.  Junior quarterback Nick Lombardo has 11, while senior running back Sasha Vandalov has seven.  Senior running back Brett Murray has four, sophomore running back Austin Eisenhofer has two and junior quarterback/slotback Luke Terna also has one.

Why not throw some random numbers out there for the last note.  First, W&L ranks third nationally in third down conversion percentage (70-131, .534).  When the Generals don’t convert on third down, they generally go for it on fourth down, averaging 3.3 fourth down attempts per game.  W&L converts its fourth downs at a 66.7 percent clip (22-33), 15th-best in Division III.  The 2012 Generals have tied the 2010 team for the most games of 40 or more points at six.  The 2011 team scored better than 40 points four times in 10 contests.  The Generals feature balanced scoring throughout the game, but the highest scoring quarter has been the second quarter, where W&L averages 10.7 points per game.