Washington and Lee Football Game Notes - Game #5

GAME 5: WASHINGTON AND LEE (1-3, 0-1) at RANDOLPH-MACON (2-2, 1-0)

Saturday, October 3, 2009 • Ashland, Va. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

Time:  1:00 pm
Site:  Day Field (5,000)
Series:  R-MC Leads 27-26-3
Last Meeting:  10/4/08 at W&L (W&L won 28-16)
First Meeting:  10/17/1903 at R-MC (W&L won 39-0)
Last W&L Win: 10/4/08 at W&L (28-16)
Last R-MC Win:  9/29/07 at R-MC (42-17)
Current Series Streak:  W&L +1
W&L vs. R-MC at W&L:  16-11-3
W&L vs. R-MC at R-MC:  9-16-0

Washington and Lee and Randolph-Macon will be meeting for the 57th time, with the Yellow Jackets holding a 27-26-3 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1903 season. The Generals have won four of the last five encounters, including a 28-16 victory last season at Wilson Field.

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 72-70-1 (.510) overall record and is just five wins away from overtaking Gary Fallon (1978-94) as the winningest coach in program history.  Miriello is 6-8 all-time against Randolph-Macon.  The Yellow Jackets are led by sixth-year Head Coach Pedro Arruza (Wheaton, Ill. '95), who is 23-32 overall and 1-4 all-time against W&L.

W&L has compiled a 459-496-39 (.481) 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.

(Averett 14, W&L 10; September 26, 2009 - Lexington, Va.) 

Averett University limited Washington and Lee to just 37 yards in the second half and forced four Generals’ turnovers in posting a 14-10 win over W&L on Saturday afternoon in Danville, Va. The Generals led 10-0 with 3:34 remaining in the first half as sophomore running back Jonathan Clemo capped a 9-play, 65-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Averett made it a 10-7 game just 1:59 later as junior quarterback Cody Ladutko found senior wide receiver Anthony Squillini with a 28-yard scoring strike at the 1:35 mark to make it a 10-7 game at the break. Neither team could move the ball to begin the third period until the Cougars scored on a 31-yard touchdown connection between Ladutko and Squillini for a 14-10 advantage at the 2:25 mark of the third quarter. The Averett defense then intercepted three W&L passes in the final 16 minutes in posting their first win in the series between the two teams. W&L gained just 184 yards in the game and was led by Clemo, who rushed 24 times for 89 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Charlie Westfal rushed 12 times for 30 yards and completed 6-of-17 passes for 60 yards, but was intercepted three times. Senior defensive end Matt Cassilly paced the Generals’ defense with 10 tackles and a pair of sacks. Sophomore linebacker Rob Look also notched 10 stops. Averett was led by Ladutko, who completed 14-of-31 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Squillini snared seven balls for 87 yards and two scores, while running back Antwan Hughes rushed 14 times for 71 yards. Linebacker Logan Smyth had a team-best eight tackles for the Cougar defense.

(W&L 28, R-MC 16; October 4, 2008 - Lexington, Va.) 

Quarterback Charlie Westfal threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another score as Washington and Lee defeated Randolph-Macon, 28-16, at Wilson Field. The Generals opened the scoring just 3:45 into the game following a Randolph-Macon turnover. Senior running back Stuart Sitterson capped off the 6-play, 30-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. W&L pushed out to a 14-0 advantage with 10:10 left in the second quarter when Westfal found wide receiver Ryan Welsh with an 8-yard scoring strike. The Yellow Jackets dented the scoreboard on a 34-yard field goal by placekicker Scott Shope with 6:02 left before the half, but Westfal answered with a 1-yard touchdown run at the 2:17 mark of the second quarter to give the Generals a 21-3 lead at the break. Westfal opened the second half scoring with a 28-yard scoring strike to senior wide receiver Billy Murray at the 10:10 mark of the third quarter for a 28-3 lead. Randolph-Macon added a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Austin Faulkner in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring. Westfal completed 8-of-13 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 17 times for 87 yards and one score. Sitterson carried 28 times for 135 yards and one touchdown, while Murray hauled in two passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. Matt Cassilly paced the W&L defense with 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception. Faulkner led the Yellow Jackets by completing 24-of-41 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 19 times for 55 yards. Wide receiver Brandon Braner caught 13 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown, while linebacker Derrick Tyler and defensive end Jaryd Grimsley notched a team-best nine tackles each.

Randolph-Macon is 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the ODAC following a 31-21 victory over Catholic on Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C.  The Yellow Jackets trailed 14-10 at the break, but scored on three of their five offensive possessions in the second half in opening a 31-14 advantage with 9:57 left in the game.  R-MC racked up 392 yards of total offense led by sophomore tailback Thaddeus Scruggs, who tallied 82 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.  Senior tailback Steve Matthews notched 77 yards on 19 carries, while senior quarterback Austin Faulkner completed 14-of-20 passes for 156 yards with one interception.  Junior wide-out Earl Peoples was Faulkner's favorite target, catching eight passes for 79 yards.  Junior defensive lineman Jaryd Grimsley and senior linebacker Christian Stahl paced the Yellow Jacket defense with nine tackles each.  For the season, Randolph-Macon is led by Matthews, who has rushed 94 times for 297 yards and four touchdowns.  Scruggs has 123 yards and one touchdown and Peoples has caught 24 passes for 370 yards.  Faulkner has completed 52-of-90 passes for 635 yards and two touchdowns (3 INT's).  He has also rushed 34 times for 82 yards and one touchdown.  Defensively, Stahl leads the way with a team-best 28 tackles.  Junior linebacker Jeremy Bowry has notched 24 stops, including 16 solo tackles.

Despite playing much of Saturday's 14-10 loss to Averett in a driving rainstorm, the Generals' defense was unable to force a turnover by the Cougars.  Heading into the game, W&L had produced at least one turnover in 15-straight games heading back to the 2007 season.  The last turnover-less game for the W&L defense was a 17-14 win over Bridgewater on Oct. 27, 2007.  It was also the first game W&L had lost without producing at least one turnover since a 35-26 loss to Centre on Sept. 24, 2005.

Saturday's loss to Averett also snapped a string of 12-straight games with at least one interception. Since the beginning of the 2000 season, W&L has recorded a total of 134 interceptions over 83 games played.  That's an average of just over 1.6 interceptions per game.

The trademark for success for the Generals over the years has been fundamental football, but that is failing W&L this season.  The Generals are currently tied for last in the ODAC in turnover margin, turning the ball over 15 times while producing just eight turnovers on defense.  During a string of four-straight winning seasons between 2004-07, W&L had a cumulative turnover margin of +12 (102 forced, 90 committed).  Over the past two seasons, that margin has dipped to -11 (31 forced, 42 committed).

Saturday's loss to Averett was also W&L's fourth-straight game holding its opponent to less than 100 yards rushing.  W&L leads the ODAC in rushing defense, allowing an average of just 65.0 yards per game and 1.9 yards per carry.

On the flip side, W&L is allowing an ODAC-worst 236.8 yards per game through the air.

The combined air & ground totals prove that W&L's defense ranks among the best in the ODAC.  W&L is second overall, allowing an average of just 301.8 yards per game.  Only Hampden-Sydney is better (289.0 ypg).

Senior defensive end Matt Cassilly is continuing to have a career-best season after moving to defensive line after playing linebacker during his first three seasons.  Cassilly had another top performance on Saturday, totaling a team-best 10 tackles and a pair of sacks.  For the season, Cassilly has totaled 25 tackles and he is second in the ODAC with 5.5 sacks.  He also has two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

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 four games, the duo has accounted for 477 of the team's 1094 offensive yards -- nearly 44 percent of the team's offensive production.  They have also produced eight of the team's 12 touchdowns thus far.  Clemo currently leads the team in rushing (302 yds.), touchdowns (6) and scoring (36 pts.), while Hudson leads the team in average yards per rush (5.9) and receptions (6).

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).  That tradition has continued this season with the combination of sophomore John Kavanagh and first-year Brett Murray.  Together they have W&L again leading the ODAC in kickoff return average (27.3 ypr) and they have produced long kickoff returns of 43, 44, 58, 61 and 66 yards through four games.