Washington and Lee Football - Sewanee Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Sewanee Game Notes

W&L (0-1) at SEWANEE (1-0)

Saturday, September 8, 2012
Sewanee, Tenn. • 1:00 pm CDT

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: September 8, 2012
TIME: 1:00 pm CDT
STADIUM: Harris Stadium (3,500)
TV/INTERNET: ATW Sportscast (http://www.atwsportscast.com/)
RADIO: No W&L Radio this week
SERIES RECORD: W&L Leads  38-22
LAST MEETING: 9/10/11 at W&L (31-14 W&L)
FIRST MEETING: 1892 at W&L (22-16 UOS)
LAST UOS WIN: 9/20/03 at UOS (37-13)


9/1/12 at Franklin & Marshall L, 28-35
1-0 Results
9/8/12 at Sewanee 1:00 pm CDT
1-0 Results
9/15/12 Centre 7:00 pm
1-0 Results
9/29/12 at Guilford
7:00 pm 0-1 Results
10/6/12 Emory & Henry 1:30 pm
1-0 Results
10/13/12 Randolph-Macon 1:00 pm 0-1 Results
10/20/12 at Bridgewater 1:00 pm 1-0 Results
10/27/12 at Catholic 1:00 pm 1-0 Results
11/3/12 Hampden-Sydney 1:00 pm 1-0 Results
11/10/12 Shenandoah 1:00 pm 1-0 Results

W&L and Sewanee will be meeting for the 61st time, with the Generals holding a 38-22 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1892 season.  W&L has won each of the last seven meetings, the longest winning streak by either team in the 120 years these two teams have played.  W&L won last season’s meeting by a score of 31-14 at Wilson Field.  The Generals have enjoyed success while playing at Sewanee in recent years, winning each of the last three games at Harris Stadium by a combined score of 82-36.

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.  His record is currently 0-1.

Sewanee is led by second-year Head Coach Tommy Laurendine (Lenoir-Rhyne ‘90), who is 6-5 with the Tigers.  Laurendine engineered an impressive turnaround last season, guiding Sewanee from a 1-9 season in 2010 to a 5-5 campaign last fall.  He is no stranger to W&L after having served as the Generals’ offensive coordinator for the 2007 season.

Washington and Lee has played 1,024 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 478-507-39 (.486) 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.

After playing four of their first five games at home to start the 2011 season, the Generals are already becoming familiar with the road early in 2012.  Following this week’s game, W&L will have traveled 1,481 miles roundtrip for its first two contests of the season.  To put this in perspective, consider that the Generals will travel just 799 miles for the remainder of the season.

(Franklin & Marshall 35, W&L 28 • 9/1/12 • Lancaster, Pa.)
Running back Lamont Jackson scored on a 9-yard run with 0:15 left in the game to lift Franklin & Marshall to a 35-28 victory over Washington and Lee on Saturday. The Generals knotted the game at 28-28 with 2:40 remaining when junior quarterback Nick Lombardo capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run on fourth down. W&L held a 21-14 lead at halftime, but committed two costly turnovers in the third quarter, allowing the Diplomats to capture a 28-21 lead early in the final period. Senior safety Jake Pelton picked off F&M junior quarterback E.J. Schneider on the Diplomats’ first play of the second half, returning the ball to the F&M 25-yardline.  However, W&L fumbled a pitch on the next play and the Diplomats recovered to remain within one score. Jackson capped a 10-play, 62-yard drive to tie the score at 21-21 when he scored from 1-yard out with 2:14 left in the third quarter.  W&L senior running back Luke Heinsohn rumbled 58 yards to the F&M 27-yardline on the next possession, but senior running back Brett Murray coughed up the ball following a 12-yard run to the Diplomats’ 15-yardline on the next play and the score remained tied at 21-21. Franklin & Marshall pushed out to a 28-21 advantage with 9:44 left in the game as Schneider engineered a 13-play, 93-yard drive that ate 6:44 off the game clock.  The signal-caller’s 6-yard touchdown run capped the drive for the Diplomats, setting up the game-ending dramatics. The W&L offense gained 366 yards (331 on the ground) led by Heinsohn, who carried 15 times for 130 yards and one touchdown.  Murray rushed 11 times for 85 yards and two scores, while Lombardo rushed 17 times for 47 yards and one touchdown, and completed 3-of-6 passes for 35 yards.  Pelton paced the W&L defense with nine tackles and a career-high three interceptions, including a pair inside the W&L 5-yardline in the final minute of the second half. The Diplomats gained 444 yards of offense, due in part to the play of Schneider, who completed 26-of-39 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns (3 INTs) and rushed 12 times for 110 yards and one touchdown.  Jackson rushed 14 times for 42 yards and two scores, while sophomore wide receiver Jordan Zackery hauled in 11 passes for 93 yards.  Junior defensive back Chris DeStefano led the F&M defense with nine tackles and a forced fumble.

(W&L 31, Sewanee 14 • 9/10/11 • Sewanee, Tenn.)
Senior quarterback Charlie Westfal threw for two touchdowns and ran for another W&L defeated Sewanee, 31-14, at Wilson Field. The Generals opened the scoring with 2:23 left in the first quarter with a 10-play, 73-yard drive that was finished off by a 16-yard touchdown scamper from running back Sasha Vandalov. The lead grew to 14-0 on another 10-play drive (67 yds.) that was capped by a 27-yard touchdown pass from Westfal to senior wide receiver Cody Smith on 4th down and eight yards to go with 4:11 left in the second quarter.  Following a Sewanee turnover on the next possession, senior placekicker Peter Alston gave the Generals a 17-0 lead at the break when he drilled a 35-yard field goal with 1:48 to play in the half. The Tigers found paydirt on their first possession of the third quarter, stringing together a 9-play drive that covered 60 yards.  Senior running back Ben Cleveland scored from 8-yards out to make it 17-7 with 10:06 left in the third quarter.  The drive was extended on a 17-yard run from senior running back/punter Zeke Wilson on a fake punt on 4th and 11 from the Tigers’ 39-yardline. The Generals countered just 3:49 later on a 14-yard touchdown run from Westfal, and upped their lead to 31-7 with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Westfal to tight end Alex Evans with 7:17 left in the fourth quarter.  The Tigers added a late score with 47 seconds remaining as quarterback Lee Schurlknight scored on a 1-yard run for the 31-14 final margin. As a team, the Generals gained 414 total yards led by Westfal, who completed 5-of-10 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns.  He also rushed 12 times for a team-best 83 yards and one score.  Running back Brett Murray chipped in 51 yards on 13 carries, while Vandalov totaled 31 yards and one touchdown on five carries.  Evans snared three passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. On defense, W&L limited the Tigers to just 256 yards.  Defensive back Jake Pelton posted a team-high 11 tackles (9 solo) and recovered a fumble, while linebacker Stephen Peck notched seven tackles and one sack. Cleveland rushed for a team-high 73 yards and one touchdown on nine carries to lead the way for the Tigers.  Senior defensive back Alfonza Knight paced the defense with 11 stops.

The Tigers are 1-0 following a 30-7 win over Puget Sound on Saturday in Sewanee, Tenn.  Sewanee piled up 463 yards rushing and intercepted four passes on defense in winning its third-straight game dating back to last season.  Senior running back Sergio Acosta tallied 113 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while senior running back Jase Brooks logged 61 yards and two scores on just 11 carries.  Junior quarterback Curtis Johnson chipped in 59 yards and a touchdown on 12 rushes, while senior defensive back Murphy Walters led the defense with six tackles and one interception.

Sewanee runs a modified option offense not all that dissimilar to that of the Generals.  In their season-opening win over Puget Sound, the Tigers attemped just two passes for a total of six yards.  In its loss to F&M on Saturday, W&L attemped just six passes for a total of 35 yards passing.  Unless one team falls signicantly behind on Saturday, we could see one of the fastest games in history.

Prior to the 2010 season, you could count the number of 400-yard rushing performances during the league’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 10 times over its last two seasons (22 games).  In those games, the Generals are 10-0, scoring an average of 48.7 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 6-6 with an average of 26.5 points per game and a scoring margin of just +0.3 points per game.

The Generals will be chasing their seventh winning season in the last nine years during the 2012 season.  Since going 3-7 in 2003, W&L has produced a 49-33 (.598) overall record and a 31-17 (.646) mark in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.  Those numbers improve to 16-6 (.727) overall and 11-1 (.917) in the ODAC over the last two years.

Senior slotback Brett Murray rushed for 85 yards in Saturday’s loss to Franklin & Marshall, moving him from 11th to eighth on the school’s all-time rushing list with 1,893 yards.  He also scored two touchdowns to move into sixth-place all-time with 28 career touchdowns.  Murray, who led the ODAC with 1,561 all-purpose yards last year, totaled 185 all-purpose yards on Saturday to improve his career total to 3,928 yards, the fourth-best total at W&L. 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.

Senior slotback Luke Heinsohn has also had a fine career running the ball for the Generals.  Heinsohn rushed for 130 yards and one touchdown in Saturday’s opener and has moved into fifth-place on the school’s all-time rushing list with 2,394 yards.  His 27 career touchdowns rank seventh all-time.  Heinsohn has also assumed the placekicking duties for the Generals this season and was successful on all four PAT attempts in the opener.  Two years ago against Sewanee, Heinsohn rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries.

Speaking of Heinsohn, the pressure will be on to continue the Generals’ streak of consecutive PATs made that was due, in large part, to the steady leg of Peter Alston ‘12.  W&L kickers have made 97 consecutive PAT attempts (92 by Alston) dating back to the fourth game of the 2010 season.

Senior safety Jake Pelton had a career day against F&M on Saturday, leading the team with nine tackles and posting a career-best three interceptions.  It was the most picks by a W&L player since 1976 and improved Pelton’s career interception total to 11 picks, seventh-best all-time.  A two-time First Team All-ODAC selection, Pelton is a preseason First Team All-America selection by D3football.com after posting Honorable Mention All-America laurels a season ago.

W&L’s offense ranked third in Division III in total offense (491.8 ypg), fourth in rushing offense (331.8 ypg), fourth in first downs per game (25.0), fifth in passing efficiency rating (171.7) and 15th in scoring offense (38.9 ppg) last season, due in large part to the play of the 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.