Washington and Lee Football Game Notes - Game #4


Saturday, September 26, 2009 • Danville, Va. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

Time: 1:00 pm
Site: Cougar Den (1,500)
Series: W&L Leads 2-0
Last Meeting: 9/27/08 at Salem, Va. (W&L won 31-23)
First Meeting: 9/22/07 at Salem, Va. (W&L won 35-21)
Last W&L Win: 9/27/08 at Salem, Va. (31-23)
Last AU Win: N/A
Current Series Streak: W&L +2
W&L vs. AU at W&L: 0-0
W&L vs. AU at AU: 0-0

W&L and Averett will be meeting for the third time, with the Generals holding a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 2007 season.  The first two games were played on a neutral field at Salem Stadium in Salem, Va.  W&L won last season's encounter by a score of 31-23.

Frank Miriello (East Stroudsburg '67) is in his 15th season as the head coach at W&L and his 42nd year of coaching.  He claims a 72-69-1 (.511) overall record and is just five wins away from overtaking Gary Fallon (1978-94) as the winningest coach in program history.  The Cougars are led by eighth-year Head Coach Mike Dunleavy (Otterbein '87), who is 33-37 overall, 1-1 this season and 0-2 all-time against W&L.

W&L has compiled a 459-495-39 (.482) all-time record over 116 seasons of football.  The Generals have been linked to the first intercollegiate football game played in the South, an 1873 matchup with neighboring VMI, though the University officially recognized football as a varsity sport beginning in 1890.

(Greensboro 26, W&L 20; September 19, 2009 - Lexington, Va.)  
Greensboro College scored a touchdown with 22 seconds left to force overtime and then stopped Washington and Lee in the extra frame for a 26-20 victory over the Generals in football action at Wilson Field on Saturday afternoon. Up 14-13, the Generals appeared to have the game in hand when they stopped Greensboro on a 4th-and-1 play to take over on the Pride 30-yardline with 3:13 left in the game. W&L scored four plays later on a 20-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Jonathan Clemo for a 20-13 advantage with 1:37 remaining. However, the ensuing PAT was blocked by GC senior defensive end Brandon Drumgoole, keeping it a seven-point game. The Pride then marched 66 yards on eight plays, knotting the score at 20-20 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Michael Caparaso to first-year wide receiver Antwan Thorpe. Greensboro had the ball first in the extra session and took a 26-20 lead on another touchdown connection between Caparaso and Thorpe, this time from 10 yards out. However, sophomore defensive back John Beriont blocked the ensuing PAT giving W&L a chance to win it on their offensive possession. After sophomore running back Harrison Hudson gained six yards on first down, sophomore quarterback Charlie Westfal fumbled the snap on the next play and Greensboro pounced on the ball ending the game. Westfal had an effective day for W&L, rushing 19 times for 90 yards and completing 8-of-13 passes for 72 yards. Clemo rushed 16 times for 95 yards and two touchdowns, while Hudson rushed eight times for 61 yards and one score. First-year running back Brett Murray added 73 yards rushing on 15 carries as the Generals racked up 322 yards on the ground. Senior defensive back Donavon Sawyer tallied eight tackles and sophomore linebacker Rob Look totaled seven tackles and one sack to lead the defense. Caparaso completed 23-of-33 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns with only one interception to pace the Pride. Thorpe hauled in eight passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore wide-out Nathan Scott snared six passes for 85 yards and one score. Senior linebacker Devon Morrison led the GC defense with 12 tackles.

(W&L 31, Averett 23; September 27, 2008 - Salem, Va.)  
W&L broke a 7-7 halftime tie with 24-straight points over the third and fourth periods and held on for a 31-23 victory over Averett at Salem Stadium. Senior running back Stuart Sitterson began the second half barrage for the Generals, capping off a 10-play, 61-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run just 3:41 into the third quarter. W&L upped its lead to 16-7 at the 8:49 mark of the third period when an Averett punt snap sailed out of the back of the end zone. Sitterson returned the ensuing free kick 50 yards to the Cougar 19-yardline and running back Jonathan Clemo scored on a 3-yard touchdown run three plays later for a 24-7 lead just seven minutes into the second half. W&L added to its lead on a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Charlie Westfal to wide receiver Tucker Laurens with 12:22 left in the game. However, the Cougars scored on a 17-yard touchdown strike from Shan Fairbanks to Steve Oristian with 5:33 remaining and converted a two-point conversion to make it a 31-15 game. Fairbanks then found Anthony Squillini with a 5-yard touchdown pass and another two-point conversion was successful to make it 31-23 with 1:12 remaining. Averett recovered an ensuing onside kick, but failed to pick up a first down and the Generals ran out the clock for the win. Sitterson talled 203 all-purpose yards and one touchdown to lead the Generals. He rushed 22 times for 79 yards and one touchdown, caught three passes for 33 yards and had 91 yards on returns. Westfal completed 13-of-24 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 17 times for 46 yards. Defensive back Donavon Sawyer paced the defense with eight tackles. Running Back Dontavious Watson led the Cougars with 90 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. Fairbanks completed 19-of-39 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns (1 INT), while Squillini caught six passes for 47 yards and one touchdown. Andrew Garvin led the AU defense with 13 tackles and one sack.

Washington and Lee is 15-8 all-time against the current members of the USA South Conference, but is 6-1 against the eight programs in the conference since the league's formation in 2001. Of those six wins, four have come against Greensboro and two against this week's opponent, Averett.

Averett (2-0)       
Christopher Newport (0-0)       
Ferrum (0-0)
Greensboro (4-1)       
Maryville (7-7)           
Methodist (2-0)
N.C. Wesleyan (0-0)   
Shenandoah (0-0)

Averett is 1-1 overall following a 28-3 victory over Guilford on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C.  The Cougars led 7-0 at halftime, but steadily pulled away in the second half for the win.  AU was led offensively by senior wide receiver Anthony Squillini, who caught nine passes for 174 yards and one touchdown.  Junior quarterback Cody Ladutko completed 17-of-36 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns and he rushed three times for 30 yards.  Senior running back Dontavius Watson added 46 yards on 15 carries.  Defensively, the Cougars were paced by senior linebacker Zane Cooper, who totaled 12 tackles and an interception.  For the season, Averett is averaging 408.5 yards of total offense per game.  Squillini has caught 14 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns, while Ladutko has completed 48.9 percent of his passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns (1 INT).  Watson has led the way on the ground with 109 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.  Cooper has led the defense with 19 tackles, while senior linebacker Mario Huffman has chipped in 10 tackles and recovered three fumbles.

Dating back to last season, the Generals have recorded at least one interception in 12-straight games.  Junior defensive back David Sternlicht notched his second interception of the season early in the game against Greensboro to keep the streak alive.  Since the beginning of the 2000 season, W&L has recorded a total of 134 interceptions over 82 games played.  That's an average of just over 1.6 interceptions per game.

The Generals' rushing defense has been stellar through the first three games of the 2009 campaign, nearly making rushing an inch-by-inch feat.  W&L currently leads the ODAC in rushing defense, allowing an average of just 55.7 yards per game and 1.7 yards per rush.  Additionally, the Generals have not allowed a run of longer than 12 yards through the first three games.  W&L limited Greensboro to just 22 rushing yards last week, an average of only 0.8 yards per carry.

As good as the Generals' defense has been against the rush, W&L has been struggling to defend the pass.  W&L currently ranks dead last in the ODAC, allowing an average of 267.3 yards per game.  Opponents have completed 66.4 percent of their passes for 802 yards and nine touchdowns through the first three weeks.

Senior defensive end Matt Cassilly continued his silly good season last week against Greensboro.  Cassilly tallied seven tackles and 1.5 sacks against the Pride and now has 15 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries through three games.

Sophomore running backs Jonathan Clemo and Harrison Hudson have both been solid in the W&L offensive backfield this season.  However, playing together in the same backfield is nothing new as they both attended Salem High School near Roanoke, Va.  Through three games, the duo has accounted for 386 of the team's 910 offensive yards -- just over 42 percent of the team's offensive production.  They have also produced seven of the team's 11 touchdowns thus far.  Clemo currently leads the team in rushing (213 yds.), touchdowns (5) and scoring (30 pts.), while Hudson leads the team in average yards per rush (7.1) and is tied for the team-lead in receptions (5).

The Generals have been productive on the ground this season, averaging 217.0 rushing yards per game.  In Saturday's loss to Greensboro, W&L had four players gain 60 or more yards on the ground en route to tallying a season-best 322 rushing yards.  In fact, that total is the higest amount of rushing yards amassed in one game during the Miriello era (1995-pr.).  Sophomore Jonathan Clemo led the way with 95 yards, while sophomore Charlie Westfal notched 90 yards.  First-year Brett Murray posted 73 yards and sophomore Harrison Hudson logged 61 yards.  The last time W&L registered better than 300 yards on the ground was also against Greensboro.  The Generals had 316 yards rushing en route to a 41-14 win over the Pride on Nov. 10, 2001.