W&L (4-2, 3-0) vs. HAMPDEN-SYDNEY (2-4, 2-1)
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Lexington, Va. • 1:00 pm
W&L and Hampden-Sydney will be meeting for the 75th time, with the Tigers holding a 38-34-2 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1899 season. H-SC has won six of the last nine meetings, but W&L claimed a 35-28 win last season at H-SC. The series has been high-scoring of late, with the two teams combining to score at least 57 points in each of the last nine meetings. The lowest score for a winning team during that span was 35 points, which has happened twice. The Generals are 20-18-2 all-time against the Tigers at Wilson Field.
HEAD COACH SCOTT ABELL:
Scott Abell (Longwood '92) is in his fifth season as the Generals' head coach and he carries a 29-19 (.604) overall record. Abell has led W&L to a pair of ODAC titles and he has twice been named ODAC Coach of the Year. He's also been named the VaSID Coach of the Year twice and received the Williard Bailey Award twice as the top NCAA Division II/III Coach in the State of Virginia. Abell is 2-2 in his career against H-SC.
HAMPDEN-SYDNEY HEAD COACH MARTY FAVRET:
Hampden-Sydney is led by 17th-year Head Coach Marty Favret (Catholic '84), who is 119-54 (.688) overall with the Tigers. Favret has led H-SC to five conference championships over his first 16 seasons and he is 10-6 all-time against the Generals.
W&L has a long and storied tradition that began with the first officially recognized game in the South, an 1873 matchup with neighboring VMI. The first official season was 1890 and over their 123 seasons, the Generals have compiled a 507-525-39 (.491) overall record.
Since going 3-7 in 2003, W&L has produced a 78-51 (.605) overall record and a 52-27 (.658) mark in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Those numbers improve to 45-24 (.652) overall and 33-11 (.750) in the ODAC over the last seven years.
Dating back to a 40-23 win over Shenandoah in the 2014 season finale, the Generals have won 11 consecutive ODAC contests. That ties W&L's longest win streak in conference play with a string of 11 straight victories across the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The record for consecutive wins in conference play belongs to Bridgewater, which won 36 straight from 1999 until 2006.
THE MAGIC NUMBER:
W&L has managed 400 rushing yards in a game 29 times over its last seven seasons (69 games). In those games, the Generals are 27-2, scoring an average of 43.4 points per game with a scoring margin of +19.0 points per game. To contrast this point, when W&L fails to rush for 400 yards during the same span, it is just 18-22 with an average of 24.7 points per game and a scoring margin of -1.9 points per game.
BIG PLAY OFFENSE:
While most would think of an option offense as being a grind-it-out style of play, the Generals are in fact a big-play offensive unit. Out of the 29 scoring drives this season, 24 have lasted fewer than 4:00, including all seven scoring drives against Guilford. In fact, W&L's longest scoring drive against the Quakers lasted 2:27. Additionally, W&L has amassed 27 runs of 20 yards or more already this season, including touchdown runs of 49 yards, 53 yards and 75 yards against Guilford. Senior quarterback Charlie Nelson leads the way with nine runs of 20 yards or more.
LAST TIME OUT:
(W&L 48, GUILFORD 34 - 10/15/16 - GREENSBORO, N.C.)
Washington and Lee amassed 550 yards of total offense, including a season-high 498 yards on the ground, in posting a 48-34 win over Guilford on Saturday at the Armfield Athletic Center. The win ended Guilford's 14-game home winning streak that dated back to the 2013 season. Guilford jumped out to a 17-7 lead in the opening 12 minutes and change, but the Generals flipped the script with three straight scoring drives across the first and second quarters for a 27-17 lead with 6:15 left in the first half. W&L began the surge with a 4-play, 67-yard drive that was finished off with a 2-yard touchdown run from senior running back Marshall Hollerith at the 1:41 mark of the first quarter. Junior cornerback Grey Reames then set up the offense with a short field on the next possession, as he picked off Guilford junior quarterback Karsten Miller at the GC 29-yardline. Junior running back Walker Brand gave W&L a 20-17 advantage six plays later when he scored on a 3-yard run at the 12:50 mark of the second quarter. The PAT was wide. After W&L junior safety Michael Shields blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt from Guilford sophomore Erick Fuentes, the Generals got on the board again when junior quarterback Matt Sgro scampered 53 yards for a touchdown with 6:15 left in the half for a 27-17 lead. Guilford tacked on a Fuentes 19-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the half and the Blue & White carried a 7-point lead (27-20) into the break. W&L received the opening kickoff of the third quarter, but the Quakers levelled the score at 27-27 just 47 seconds in when senior safety Karl Roberts recovered a fumble by W&L senior quarterback Charlie Nelson on the second play of the half and ran 23 yards for a touchdown. The Generals responded five plays later when first-year running back Oliver Herndon broke off a 49-yard touchdown run at the 12:03 mark of the third quarter. After forcing a punt on the following series, Nelson broke into the open on an option run and found paydirt with a 75-yard run. The PAT was blocked and W&L held a 40-27 advantage at the 6:44 mark of the third quarter. Guilford trimmed it to a 40-34 game with 12:58 left in the game on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Karsten Miller to junior wide receiver Rontavius Miller. The Quakers forced W&L into a 3-and-out on the next possession, but Guilford muffed the punt return and the Generals recovered on the GC 28-yardline. Senior running back Connor Chess scored two plays later on a 9-yard touchdown run and Nelson added a 2-point conversion run for a 48-34 lead with 10:27 remaining. The W&L defense held from there, constantly harassing Miller on his pass attempts and recording five total sacks in the contest. Hollerith led the offense with a season-high 123 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. Nelson gained 85 yards and scored a touchdown on just three carries, while senior running back Evan Hinkle gained 61 yards on six carries. Herndon rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown on three carries and Chess amassed 56 yards and a touchdown on eight rushes. Sgro contributed 56 yards and a score on four carries and Brand notched 44 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Junior wide receiver Witt Hawkins caught one pass for 52 yards that set up a first quarter touchdown. Junior linebacker Max Garrett totaled a team-best 15 tackles, while senior defensive lineman Rhett Delk had four tackles and a pair of sacks. Guilford had 443 yards of offense, but compiled just 121 yards in the second half. Miller completed 28-of-42 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Junior running back Hunter Causey tallied 167 yards on 26 carries, while first-year wide receiver Tyriek Russell caught nine passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. Junior defensive back Julian Cuthbertson made a game-high 16 tackles on defense.
LAST MEETING WITH HAMPDEN-SYDNEY:
(W&L 35, HAMPDEN-SYDNEY 28 - 10/10/15 - HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA.)
The Washington and Lee defense held Hampden-Sydney on downs with 5.8 seconds remaining after stopping four plays from inside the 7-yardline to produce a 35-28 win over the Tigers at Everett Stadium. W&L took a 35-28 lead with 2:09 left in the game on a 20-yard touchdown run by running back Connor Chess that capped an 8-play, 80-yard scoring drive. The key play in the winning drive was a 40-yard pass from quarterback Charlie Nelson to wide receiver Josh Malm on a 3rd-and-10 from the W&L 20-yardline. The Tigers took little time in driving back down the field, moving 68 yards on six plays for a 1st-and-goal from the W&L 7-yardline with just over a minute remaining. H-SC ran first-year running back Kyree Koonce four times in an attempt to tie the game. He moved to the 4-yardline on first down and then to the 1-yardline on second down. On third down, Koonce bounced the play outside and looked to have the sideline open when W&L defensive back Thomas Freeland spun him down on the 1-yardline. Following a timeout with 12 seconds left, the Generals' interior line stuffed Koonce on fourth down with 5.8 seconds left to hold on for the win. The Generals jumped out to a 14-0 lead just 8:38 into the game after forcing Hampden-Sydney turnovers on its first two possessions. Cornerback Grey Reames intercepted H-SC quarterback Edgar Moore at the W&L 23-yardline and returned it 69 yards to the Tiger 8-yardline. Running back Marshall Hollerith scored one play later for a 7-0 lead at the 11:24 mark. Senior linebacker Jake Barr then forced a Koonce fumble on the next drive, which Freeland recovered at the W&L 32-yardline and advanced to the 39. The Generals then drove 61 yards on seven plays as Chess scored on a 6-yard run for a 14-0 lead at the 6:22 mark. The Tigers quickly tied it at 14-14 with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Moore to senior wide receiver Austin Perryman at the 3:00 mark of the first quarter and on a 16-yard strike from Moore to wide receiver Cam Johnson at the 12:02 mark of the second period. W&L took the lead back with an 8-play, 60-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run from running back Walker Brand with 4:52 left in the half. The Generals' defense held twice thereafter and W&L carried a 21-14 lead into the break. The Blue & White opened the third period with another long drive, this time a 10-play, 65-yarder than was finished off with a 9-yard touchdown run from Hollerith that gave W&L a 28-14 lead with 10:27 left in the penultimate quarter. However, just like the first half, the lead was short-lived as Hampden-Sydney scored with 5:49 left in the third quarter on a 21-yard touchdown reception by Johnson. Koonce then scored on a 23-yard run with 11:13 left to set up a wild final 10 minutes of play. Chess followed the Koonce scoring run with what appeared to be a 76-yard touchdown run on the first play of the next series. However, the Generals were called for a clip at the H-SC 14-yardline, backing W&L up to the HSC 24-yardline. Three plays later from the 18-yardline, Nelson stumbled on a dropback and was sacked at the 37-yardline, taking the Generals out of field goal range. W&L held on the ensuing possession, but Hollerith fumbled on the first play of the Generals' next series and the Tigers drove to the W&L 13-yardline before stalling out. Placekicker Liam Hedge then missed a 30-yard field goal, setting up W&L's game-winning drive. The Generals racked up 396 yards of total offense led by Chess, who rushed six times for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Brand carried 16 times for 87 yards and a score, while Hollerith rushed 17 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson finished with 58 yards on 15 carries and he completed 2-of-3 passes for 63 yards. Freeland led the defense with 13 tackles and the fumble recovery. Hampden-Sydney gained 506 yards paced by Moore, who completed 28-of-44 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns. Koonce rushed 35 times for 160 yards and a touchdown, while Johnson snared 11 balls for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Senior defensive back Larry Haskins amassed a game-high 14 tackles.
After starting the season 0-4 for the first time since 1997, the Tigers have bounced back with two straight ODAC victories to sit at 2-4 overall and 2-1 in league play. Most recently, H-SC defeated Catholic, 33-28, on Saturday in the Nation's Capital. The Tigers jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead on the strength of four touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Alec Cobb. However, Hampden-Sydney could not carry momentum from the first half and the Cardinals started the third quarter with three straight touchdowns to pull within 27-21 at the 5:07 mark. Junior running back Mike DeMasi scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 55 seconds left in the third to push out to a 33-21 lead, but CUA scored early in the fourth to make it a 33-28 game. The Cardinals drove into H-SC territory twice in the final 11 minutes but the Tiger defense held and H-SC escaped with the win. Cobb completed 30-of-44 passes for 379 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. He also ran for 35 yards. DeMasi amassed 116 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries. Senior wide receiver Owen Costello caught seven passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns, and junior tight end Patrick Kline hauled in four passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. Senior linebacker Christian Wilder led the defense with nine tackles and a half sack. For the year, the Tigers average 393.7 yards and 27.3 points per game. However, the H-SC defense is surrendering 454.3 yards and an ODAC-worst 35.5 yards per contest. Cobb is completing 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,466 yards and 13 touchdowns with nine interceptions. Costello has a team-best 35 catches for 551 yards and seven touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Cam Johnson has 27 catches for 368 yards and four scores. DeMasi is the primary threat out of the backfield, totaling 413 yards and four touchdowns on 107 carries. On defense, sophomore linebacker Bender Vaught is the leading tackler with 52 stops and 4.5 sacks.
Senior quarterback Charlie Nelson is having the best season of his career. He currently leads the team with 468 rushing yards and he has three touchdowns rushing. He is also completing 54.5 percent of his passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns. Nelson ranks 11th on the school's all-time rushing list with 2,003 yards and can move up one more spot with just 94 more yards. Through the air, Nelson has completed 45.2 percent of his passes for 1,642 yards and nine touchdowns in his career.
SAME MARSHALL, SAME RULES:
Senior running back Marshall Hollerith is within striking distance of breaking the W&L all-time record for career rushing yards and career touchdowns. Thus far, he has carried the ball 636 times for 3,046 yards and 39 touchdowns and is just 472 yards and 10 touchdowns from eclipsing the marks set by Luke Heinsohn '13. Hollerith claims 15 career 100-yard rushing games including two in the last three weeks. Hollerith was named the ODAC Offensive Player of the Week after totaling a season-best 123 yards and two touchdowns last week against Guilford.
Junior linebacker Max Garrett is the ODAC's leading tackler with 68 tackles and is coming off a 15-tackle effort at Guilford last week. Garrett, who is tied for 27th in Division III in tackles per game (11.3), has notched double-digit tackles in five of the team's six games and he has already posted 226 career tackles through 27 games played.
WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A WAY:
Senior cornerback Will Dyson leads the ODAC with five interceptions this season, the most by a W&L player since Jake Pelton '13 intercepted six passes in 2010. He also has an ODAC-best eight pass breakups (tied with junior teammate Grey Reames) for a total of 13 passes defensed. Dyson ranks eighth in Division III in both interceptions (0.8) and passes defensed (2.2) per game. He has played in 37 career games and has eight interceptions and 30 pass breakups across his four seasons.
MORE ON THE DEFENSE:
W&L recorded five sacks in the win over Guilford, the most by the Generals since posting five in a 24-10 win over Franklin & Marshall in the 2011 season-opener. Senior defensive lineman Rhett Delk had two of the sacks and he now has five sacks on the season.
INTERESTING STAT OF THE DAY:
Despite being a run heavy offense, the Generals have a propensity for spreading the wealth, as evidenced by nine players with more than 100 yards rushing on the season. This stat is best represented by the fact that the 26 carries received by senior running back Marshall Hollerith last week against Guilford were the most by a W&L player since Hollerith carried it 34 times against Shenandoah in the final game of the 2013 season.
BETTER GET BUCKLED:
As has been the case for the last several years, the W&L offense tends to hit its stride about mid-season. The Generals have rushed for more than 400 yards in each of the last three contests and are now averaging 475.7 rushing yards per game against conference opponents. W&L rushed for 495 yards against Emory & Henry, 434 yards against Catholic and 498 yards against Guilford.
IN A RUSH:
W&L led all of college football in rushing in 2015 and with their 498-yard performance last week, the Generals are back on top in 2016. The Blue & White is now averaging 404.2 yards per game on the season, slighly more than Reinhardt out of NAIA (403.7 ypg) and Salisbury from DIII (396.2 ypg).
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