Washington and Lee Football - Franklin & Marshall Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Franklin & Marshall Game Notes

W&L (0-0) vs. FRANKLIN & MARSHALL (0-0)

Saturday, September 7, 2013
Lexington, Va. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: September 7, 2013
TIME: 1:00 pm
STADIUM: Wilson Field (4,000)
TV/INTERNET: Penn Atlantic (http://www.firstteambroadcasting.com/organizations/washington-lee-university/)
RADIO: WLUR 91.5 (http://www.wlu.edu/x37490.xml)
SERIES RECORD: F&M leads 7-6
LAST MEETING: 9/1/13 at F&M (35-28 F&M)
FIRST MEETING: 10/11/58 at W&L (14-13 F&M)
LAST W&L WIN: 9/3/11 at W&L (24-10)


9/7/13 Franklin & Marshall 1:00 pm
0-0 Results
9/21/13 at Centre 2:30 pm
0-0 Results
9/28/13 Sewanee 1:30 pm
0-0 Results
10/5/13 Guilford
7:00 pm 0-0, 0-0 Results
10/12/13 at Emory & Henry 1:00 pm
0-0, 0-0 Results
10/19/13 at Randolph-Macon 1:00 pm 0-0, 0-0 Results
10/26/13 Bridgewater 1:30 pm 0-0, 0-0 Results
11/2/13 Catholic 1:00 pm 0-0, 0-0 Results
11/9/13 at Hampden-Sydney 1:00 pm 0-0, 0-0 Results
11/16/13 at Shenandoah 1:00 pm 0-0 0-0 Results


W&L and Franklin & Marshall will be meeting for the 14th time, with the Diplomats holding a 7-6 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1958 season.  The Generals are 4-2 all-time against F&M at home and won the last home contest by a score of 24-10 in 2011.  F&M won last season’s meeting by a score of 35-28 in Lancaster.

Scott Abell (Longwood ‘92) is in his second season as the Generals’ head coach.  His first season resulted in an 8-3 overall record, an ODAC Championship and a berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.  Abell was honored as the ODAC Coach of the Year, and he also received the VaSID College Division Coach of the Year and the Williard Bailey Award as the top NCAA Division II/III Coach in the State of Virginia.

Franklin & Marshall is led by John Troxell (Lafayette ‘94), who is in his eighth season with the Diplomats.  Troxell has led F&M to a 36-37 (.493) record over his seven seasons, including a 9-2 mark during the 2009 campaign.

Washington and Lee has played 1,034 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 486-509-39 (.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.

Since 1900, W&L is 58-54-1 (.518) in season-opening games.  W&L has dropped four of the last five season-openers, with the lone win being a 24-10 victory on Wilson Field to open the 2011 campaign.

Since the turn of the century (2000), Washington and Lee is a combined 45-17 (.726) in games played at Wilson Field.  The Generals have currently won 14 in a row at home, tied for the third-longest home winning streak in Division III.  Mount Union carries the longest streak at 55 games and is followed by Trinity of Connecticut (48), St. Thomas (17), Widener (14) and W&L.  W&L’s last loss at Wilson Field was a 20-10 setback against Averett in the 2010 home opener.

(Hobart 38, W&L 20 • 11/17/12 • Geneva, N.Y.)
Seventh-ranked Hobart College controlled the ball for nearly 37 minutes and held Washington and Lee to a season-low 188 rushing yards in producing a 38-20 victory in the first round of the NCAA Division III football playoffs.  W&L opened the game with an 11-play, 77-yard drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run by senior running back Luke Heinsohn for a 7-0 lead just 4:33 into the game.  Hobart responded with a 17-play, 66-yard drive that ate 7:14 off the game clock and tied the game at 7-7 with 3:09 left in the first quarter.  Running back Steven Webb capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.  The Statesmen forced a 3-and-out on the Generals’ next possession and then reeled off a 12-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Bobby Dougherty for a 14-7 lead at 9:23 of the second quarter.  The Generals knotted the game at 14-14 with 4:32 left in the half when quarterback Nick Lombardo scored on a 5-yard touchdown run, the 11th play of the 73-yard drive.  However, that’s when the game shifted as Hobart held the ball for the next 32 offensive plays and 11:52 of game time.  The Statesmen made it a 21-14 game with four seconds left in the first half when they marched 70 yards on 15 plays, with Webb scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run on a fourth and goal.  Hobart then took the opening kick of the second half and produced a 17-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal by James Hull for a 24-14 lead.  The Generals ran 11 plays on their next possession, but gained just 25 yards and failed on a fourth down attempt from the Hobart 44-yardline.  The Statesmen scored seven plays later on a 3-yard touchdown run by Webb for a 31-14 lead with 14:31 left in the game.  W&L cut it to 31-20 on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Lombardo to senior tight end Eli Chester with 10:20 left in the game, but a couple of late turnovers and a 15-yard touchdown run by Hobart quarterback Nick Strang on a 4th-and-1 with 3:08 remaining thwarted any comeback attempt.  W&L gained a season-low 238 yards of total offense on just 55 plays in the game.  Heinsohn led the Generals with 85 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries.  Senior running back Sasha Vandalov gained 45 yards on 11 carries and senior running back Brett Murray totaled 112 all-purpose yards, including 42 yards rushing.   Lombardo added 16 yards and a touchdown rushing and completed 4-of-8 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.  Senior linebacker Stephen Peck and senior safety Jake Pelton paced the defense as each posted a career-high 19 tackles in the contest.  Hobart amassed 378 total yards, including 282 yards on the ground.  Webb tallied 99 yards and three scores on 21 carries, while Dougherty had 81 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries.  Strang completed 10-of-21 passes for 96 yards and rushed eight times for 44 yards and one touchdown.  Linebacker Andrew Klindera led the Statesmen defense with 11 tackles.

(F&M 35, W&L 28 • 9/1/11 • 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.  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 fourth quarter.  Senior safety Jake Pelton picked off F&M 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 (one was fumbled back to the F&M offense).  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 wide receiver Jordan Zackery hauled in 11 passes for 93 yards.  Defensive back Chris DeStefano led the F&M defense with nine tackles and a forced fumble.

F&M was picked to finish second in the Centennial Conference Preseason Coaches Poll following a 7-4 season in 2012.  The Diplomats jumped out to a 6-1 record to start last year, only to fall in three of their final four contests.  The final three losses were by an average of 6.0 points per game and the lone win was a 14-12 victory over eventual conference champion Johns Hopkins, who finished 10-2 overall.  F&M features a high-octane offense that averaged 414.2 yards and 29.2 points per game a year ago.  Eight starters return on that side of the ball led by senior quarterback E.J. Schneider, who garnered First Team All-Centennial Conference honors a year ago when he completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 2,832 yards and 25 touchdowns (12 INTs).  He also rushed for 453 yards and four more scores.  His top three receivers also return led by junior wideout Jordan Zackary, who also earned first team all-league honors after snaring 74 passes for 598 yards and six touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Tim Muller (758 yds., 6 TD) and junior wideout Paul McGann (830 yds., 7 TD) also return after producing a combined 1,588 yards and 13 touchdowns between them.  All four of the team’s leading rushers return led by senior Frank Strumolo, who totaled 523 yards and nine touchdowns on 134 carries.  He also caught 18 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns.  Schneider was the second-leading rusher, while junior Lamont Jackson tallied 443 yards and five touchdowns on 90 carries. Junior Scott LaValva added 198 yards and three scores on 42 rushes.  On defense, the Diplomats return five starters headlined by second team all-conference defensive back Brian Velasco, who registered 67 tackles a season ago.

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 15 times over its last three seasons (32 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 9-8 with an average of 26.8 points per game and a scoring margin of just +1.6 points per game.

The Generals will be chasing their eighth winning season in the last 10 years as they take the field for the 2013 season.  Since going 3-7 in 2003, W&L has produced a 57-35 (.620) overall record and a 37-18 (.673) mark in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.  Those numbers improve to 24-8 (.750) overall and 17-2 (.895) in the ODAC over the last three years.

You can’t look at the 2013 season without reflecting on the losses the Generals suffered due to graduation.  Running backs Luke Heinsohn, Brett Murray and Sasha Vandalov combined to account for 2,642 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns between them a season ago.  That’s 66 percent of the team’s rushing yards and 75 percent of the team’s touchdowns.  Heinsohn finished tops in program history in rusing (3,517) and scoring (344), while Murray was fourth in all-purpose yards (5,135) and third in scoring (216).  Other key contributors who graduated were three-year starting offensive lineman Mike Stefanelli and the team’s top three tacklers in All-America safety Jake Pelton (102 TT, 4 INT) and linebackers Jesse Jenkins (65 TT, 2 sacks) and Doug Fraser (62 TT).

The Generals return five starters on offense and five more on defense.  On offense, W&L returns several starters along the front led by senior First Team All-ODAC honorees Connor Hollenbeck and Bobby Jones.  Hollenbeck is a preseason All-America choice and both have been starting over the last three seasons.  Junior lineman Micah Fleet is also back after he posted Third Team All-ODAC honors in 2012.  Senior Nick Lombardo returns after receiving Second Team All-ODAC laurels as the team’s signal caller a year ago.  Lombardo threw for 704 yards and seven touchdowns, and rushed for 1,010 yards and five more scores.  On defense, senior defensive lineman Michael Unholz leads the way after garnering Second Team All-ODAC honors last season.  He tallied 36 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for a loss.  Senior defensive back Mitchell Thompson will be back for another go around after totaling 58 tackles and four pass breakups en route to receiving Third Team All-ODAC laurels.

The W&L football team has chosen to support Comfort Zone Camps as its team fundraiser for the 2013 season.  The Generals hope to raise enough money to send 50 children to the camp free of charge.  Throughout the season, we will update you on their progress.  Currently, the team has raised $16,595, enough money to send 33 children to the camp.  To assist the team in their efforts, you can visit their donation website at https://www.comfortzonecamp.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=18.