Washington and Lee Football Game Notes - Game #3


Saturday, September 19, 2009 • Lexington, Va. • 1:00 pm

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Time:  1:00 pm
Site:  Wilson Field (4,000)
Series:  W&L leads 4-0
Last Meeting:  11/13/04 at GC (W&L won 21-7)
First Meeting:  11/10/01 at W&L (W&L won 46-14)
Last W&L Win:  11/13/04 at GC (21-7)
Last GC Win:  N/A
Current Series Streak:  W&L +4
W&L vs. GC at W&L:  2-0
W&L vs. GC at GC:  2-0

W&L and Greensboro will be meeting for the fifth time, with the Generals holding a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 2001 season.  Across the four games, W&L has limited the Pride to an average of just 8.8 points per game and has outscored GC by a combined total of 90-35.  The two teams have not met since the final game of the 2004 campaign, a 21-7 W&L win in Greensboro, N.C.

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 72-68-1 (.514) overall record and is just five wins away from overtaking Gary Fallon (1978-94) as the winningest coach in program history.  The Pride is led by first-year Head Coach Randy Hunt (Glenville St. '75), who is 6-3 overall as a head coach.  Hunt served as the top mentor at his alma mater for one season in 1984.

W&L has compiled a 459-494-39 (.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.

(W&L 31, Sewanee 13; September 12, 2009 - Lexington, Va.) 

Washington and Lee scored 31 first-half points en route to ending a six-game losing streak with a 31-13 victory over Sewanee on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field. W&L first-year running back Brett Murray returned the opening kickoff 61 yards to the Sewanee 33-yardline and sophomore running back Jonathan Clemo gave the Generals a 7-0 lead seven plays later when he scored on a 2-yard touchdown run just 3:09 into the game. After a fumble recovery by W&L senior defensive end Matt Cassilly set the Generals up on the Sewanee 20-yardline, Clemo scored his second touchdown with a 20-yard run on the next play for a 14-0 lead with 1:56 left in the opening quarter. The Tigers dented the scoreboard with a 13-yard scoring strike from sophomore quarterback Patrick Shelton to senior tight end Roscoe Dean with 14:11 left in the second quarter to make the score 14-7 in favor of W&L. Following an interception thrown by W&L sophomore quarterback Charlie Westfal, Cassilly gave the Generals a 21-7 lead one play later when he picked off a pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown at the 13:04 mark of the second quarter. Westfal stretched it to a 28-7 lead when he scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with just 32 seconds left in the half and W&L made it a 31-7 game at the break following a 26-yard field goal from junior placekicker Martin Prichard.  The final score occurred following an interception by senior defensive back Donavon Sawyer and a 44-yard completion from Westfal to sophomore wide receiver Cody Smith. Westfal led the W&L offense by rushing 17 times for 69 yards and one touchdown and completing 8-of-15 passes for 74 yards and one interception.  Clemo rushed 13 times for 52 yards and two touchdowns and Murray carried five times for 36 yards.  He also totaled 169 return yards for 205 all-purpose yards on the day.  Defensively, Cassilly notched four tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and picked off two passes.  Sawyer posted eight stops and one interception.

(W&L 21, Greensboro 7; November 13, 2004 - Greensboro, N.C.) 

The Washington and Lee football team earned its first winning season since 1995 with a 21-7 victory over Greensboro College in Greensboro, N.C.  The Generals amassed 293 yards of total offense while holding the Pride to just 69 total yards, including -9 yards in the second half.  Greensboro took a 7-0 lead 53 seconds into the second quarter when Dallas Daniels picked up the ball off a blocked punt and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown. Washington and Lee tied the score at 7-7 with 9:34 remaining in the second quarter when wide receiver Colton Ward rushed for a six-yard touchdown. Placekicker Ben Long extended the Generals' lead to 10-7 on a 25-yard field goal with 5:38 remaining in the first half.  Long kicked a 35-yard field goal with 1:53 left in the third quarter to give W&L a 13-7 advantage. The Generals closed out the scoring with 8:41 remaining on a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Michael Lackett. Quarterback Greg Tweardy completed a pass to Ward to convert the two-point conversion.  Tweardy finished the game 24-of-30 for 153 yards and Lackett rushed for 38 yards on 13 carries and the one touchdown. Senior wide receiver Taylor Callaham caught six balls for 76 yards while Ward hauled in six passes for 41 yards and rushed for 19 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.  Linebacker Brian Gallagher paced the defense with eight tackles and two of the Generals' six sacks. Defensive end Bryant Fulk also had eight tackles plus a sack. The Pride was led by quarterback Justin Roberson, who completed 5-of-16 passes for 44 yards and an interception. Quentin Caldwell rushed 10 times for 31 yards and Damon Day caught two passes for 15 yards.

Greensboro is 1-1 overall following a 31-14 loss to Emory & Henry on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C.  The Pride allowed just one offensive touchdown in the game, but were done in by a pair of fumble returns for a touchdown and one interception return for a score.  GC outgained the Wasps 358-162 in the game, but could not overcome the miscues.  Junior running back Rodney Beasley rushed for 55 yards on 13 carries and senior quarterback Michael Caparaso completed 13-of-29 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown (2 INT's) to lead the offense.  First-year wide receiver Antwan Thorpe snared six passes for 108 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore wide-out Nathan Scott had four catches for 95 yards.  Junior linebacker Allan Stallings paced the Greensboro defense with nine tackles and one interception.  For the season, Beasley is the leading rusher with 77 yards on 22 carries.  Thorpe has rushed for 30 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries, and he has caught a team-best nine passes for 133 yards and one touchdown.  Caparaso has completed 44.7 percent of his tosses for 350 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions.  On defense, the Pride is allowing just 237.0 yards per game, including 59.5 yards per game through the air.  Stallings is the leading tackler with 16 stops, while seniors Devon Morrison (linebacker) and Andreas Platt (defensive back) both have 13 tackles.

Washington and Lee is 15-7 all-time against the current members of the USA South Conference, but is 6-0 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 Averett.

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

The Generals' rushing defense has been stellar through the first two games of the 2009 campaign.  W&L currently leads the ODAC in rushing defense, allowing an average of just 72.5 yards per game and 2.1 yards per rush.  Additionally, the Generals have not allowed a run of longer than 12 yards through the first two games.

Dating back to last season's opening game against F&M, the Generals have recorded at least one interception in 11-straight games.  W&L had three interceptions in the 31-13 win over Sewanee on Saturday and, since the beginning of the 2000 season, W&L has recorded a total of 133 interceptions over 81 games played.  That's an average of just over 1.6 interceptions per game.

Senior defensive end Matt Cassilly had a silly good game for the Generals on Saturday against Sewanee.  Cassilly totaled four tackles, two interceptions, one sack and one fumble recovery for the day.  He returned one of the interceptions 37 yards for a touchdown and is now the last W&L player to score on both and interception return and a fumble return -- something he did against Catholic as a first-year.

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 two games, the duo has accounted for 219 of the team's 516 offensive yards -- just over 42 percent of the team's offensive production.  Clemo currently leads the team in rushing with 118 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries.  Hudson is tied for the team lead with four catches (35 yds.) and he has the team's lone receiving touchdown.

W&L has been known for having a dangerous return game over the years, having compiled 10 return touchdowns since the beginning of the 2000 season (9 KR, 1 PR).  Stuart Sitterson, a 2009 graduate, was responsible for four of the returns and he finished second nationally last season with a 36.0-yard average per kickoff return.  Despite losing Sitterson, it appears the tradition may continue.  Through two games, the combination of sophomore John Kavanagh and first-year Brett Murray have the Generals leading the ODAC in team kickoff return average (29.1 ypr) and ranking second in punt return average (13.3 ypr.).  The Generals have already notched three kickoff returns of 44 yards or longer (44, 61, 66) this season and Murray leads the conference in both kickoff return average (32.4 ypr.) and punt return average (14.5 ypr.).  Below is a tally of the W&L return touchdowns since 2000.

9/23/00     Marc Watson 88-yard Kickoff Return     W, 45-7
11/11/00    Chris Sullivan 80-yard Kickoff Return    L, 6-16
10/27/01    Chris Sullivan 89-yard Kickoff Return    L, 28-34
10/16/04    Colton Ward 80-yard Kickoff Return    L, 28-31
10/22/04    Colton Ward 86-yard Kickoff Return    W, 41-14
9/24/05    Stuart Sitterson 79-yard Kickoff Return    L, 26-35
10/1/05    Stuart Sitterson 46-yard Punt Return    W, 44-7
10/22/05    Colton Ward 88-yard Kickoff Return    L, 26-28
11/5/05    Stuart Sitterson 98-yard Kickoff Return    W, 45-7
9/20/08    Stuart Sitterson 94-yard Kickoff Return    W, 35-28