Washington and Lee Football Game Notes - Game #2


Saturday, September 12, 2009 • Lexington, Va. • 1:00 pm

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Time:  1:00 pm
Site:  Wilson Field (4,000)
Series:  W&L leads 35-22
Last Meeting:  9/13/08 at UOS (W&L won 24-12)
First Meeting:  1892 (UOS won 22-16)
Last W&L Win: 9/13/08 at W&L (24-12)
Last UOS Win: 9/20/03 at UOS (37-13)
Current Series Streak:  W&L +4
W&L vs. UOS at W&L:  24-5
W&L vs. UOS at UOS:  11-17

W&L and Sewanee will be meeting for the 58th time, with the Generals holding a 35-22 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1892 season.  W&L has won four-straight and 12 of the last 14 contests in the series, including a 24-12 win last season in Sewanee, Tenn.  The Generals are 24-5 all-time against the Tigers at home and have won 10-straight against Sewanee at Wilson Field dating back to 1988.

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 71-68-1 (.511) overall record and is just six wins away from overtaking Gary Fallon (1978-94) as the winningest coach in program history.  The Tigers are led by third-year Head Coach Robert Black (Sewanee '89), who is 3-16 (.158) overall.

W&L has compiled a 458-494-39 (.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.

(Franklin & Marshall 29, W&L 27; September 5, 2009 - Lexington, Va.)  

Washington and Lee sophomore quarterback Charlie Westfal was stopped just shy of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt with 1:17 remaining as Franklin & Marshall held on for a 29-27 victory over the Generals on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field. The Generals trailed 29-14 early in the fourth quarter, but sliced it to a 29-21 game at the 9:37 mark on a 1-yard touchdown run by Westfal. The seven-play drive was was set up by a 66-yard kickoff return from sophomore defensive back John Kavanagh to the Diplomats’ 22-yardline. W&L forced an F&M punt with 2:38 left in the game and proceeded to march 82 yards on eight plays and used just 1:21 in scoring with 1:17 remaining. Westfal found sophomore running back Harrison Hudson with a 19-yard touchdown pass to cap the drive and make the score 29-27. Westfal ran an option keeper on the PAT attempt, but was snubbed by F&M junior defensive lineman Mark Surma just short of the endzone. The Diplomats then recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock for the win. Westfal finished the game completing 8-of-20 passes for 113 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted four times. He also rushed 10 times for 24 yards and two scores. Hudson rushed three times for 17 yards and caught two passes for 31 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore running back Jonathan Clemo carried 22 times for 66 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore defensive back Mike Hartford recorded a team-best 11 tackles. Sophomore quarterback John Harrison paced the Diplomats by completing 35-of-47 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Senior wide receiver George Eager hauled in 13 passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns, while sophomore running back John Kaschak rushed 12 times for 43 yards and one touchdown. First-year linebacker Sam Masaro led the F&M defense with eight tackles and one interception.

(W&L 24, Sewanee 12; September 13, 2008 - Sewanee, Tenn.)  

Senior running back Stuart Sitterson rushed 18 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Washington and Lee football team to a 24-12 victory over Sewanee at McGee Field. The Generals jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the opening possession of the game as they drove 40 yards on seven plays, capped by a 30-yard field goal from placekicker Tommy Kennedy just 3:14 into the game. The Tigers knotted the game at 3-3 on the ensuing possession as Andrew Gould booted a 28-yarder with 4:41 left in the opening quarter. Gould then gave Sewanee a 6-3 lead on a 38-yard field goal with 8:31 left in the first half, but the Generals assumed a 10-6 advantage as quarterback Charlie Westfal scored on a 5-yard plunge with 30 seconds left in the opening half. Sitterson stretched the W&L lead to 17-6 when he scored on a 1-yard TD run with 5:42 left in the third quarter and he provided a 24-6 lead on a 21-yard touchdown scamper with 7:38 left in the game. Sewanee sliced the lead to 24-12 on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Shelton to Jacob Adams with 2:58 left in the game and the ensuing 2-point converstion failed. The Tigers made things interesting by driving to the 1-yardline in the final seconds, but the Generals’ defense held as time expired for the 24-12 final. Sitterson led the offense with 147 all-purpose yards, while Westfal rushed 20 times for 59 yards and one score. He also completed 5-of-11 passes for 69 yards, but was intercepted twice. Senior linebacker Brad McAllister, linebacker Matt Cassilly and linebacker David Love led the Generals’ defense with six tackles each. Senior defensive lineman Tommy Matteo added five tackles and two sacks, while senior safety Chris Prugar had three tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. Shelton paced the Sewanee offense by rushing 14 times for 44 yards and completing 19-of-43 passes for 198 yards and one touchdown. Linebacker Clayton Harrison led the Tiger defense with nine tackles.

Stretching back to last season, the Generals have now lost six games in a row for the first time since beginning the 1993 season with six consecutive defeats.  W&L has not lost seven in a row since dropping nine-straight to begin the 1991 campaign.

After reeling off 11-straight wins at home from 2005-08, the Generals have dropped their last four home contests.  W&L has not lost five-straight home contests since a stretch that occurred over the 1998 and 1999 seasons.

Sewanee is opening its 2009 season with the Generals after going 2-8 last fall.  The Tigers started out 2-0, but dropped their final eight games.  Sewanee struggled offensively a season ago, averaging just 249.5 yards and 14.5 points per game.  A total of 16 starters return for the 2009 season led by senior quarterback Patrick Shelton, who completed 51.7 percent of his passes for 1,244 yards and five touchdowns.  He also rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted 15 times.  Senior Trey Reliford returns at running back after rushing for a team-best 454 yards and four touchdowns on 141 carries, while junior wide receiver Tate McNeilly is the top returning pass catcher, snaring 14 passes for 120 yards.  On defense, the Tigers allowed an average of 334.0 yards and 25.7 points per game during the 2008 season.  Sophomore linebacker Alfonza Knight is the top returnee on the defensive side of the ball after finishing second on the team in tackles last season with 59 stops and one sack.  Junior defensive back Chalankis Brown also returns after tallying 57 tackles and a team-best seven interceptions.

The Generals defense didn't force F&M to gain its rushing yards inch-by-inch on Saturday, but it wasn't far off.  W&L limited the Diplomats to just 72 yards on 36 carries, an average of just 2.0 yards per carry.

Dating back to last season's opening game against F&M, the Generals have recorded at least one interception in 10-straight games.  Junior cornerback David Sternlicht kept the streak going when he recorded a pick and returned it 10 yards in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to F&M.  For Sternlicht, it was his second career interception.  Since the beginning of the 2000 season, W&L has recorded a total of 130 interceptions over 80 games played.  That's an average of nearly 1.6 interceptions per game.

Sophomore running backs Jonathan Clemo and Harrison Hudson both had solid season-opening performances in their first game starting together in the W&L offensive backfield.  Playing together in the same backfield is nothing new, however, as they both attended Salem High School near Roanoke, Va.  Clemo opened with 66 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries and caught one pass for 11 yards.  Hudson rushed three times for 17 yards and snared two passes for 31 yards and a touchdown.  Together, they accounted for nearly 55 percent of the team's offensive yards and two of the four touchdowns.

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.  Sophomore John Kavanagh and first-year Brett Murray have picked up right where Sitterson left off, averaging 31.8 yards per kickoff return between them in the opener.  Kavanagh had a 66-yarder and Murray posted a 44-yarder during the F&M game.  Additionally, Murray returned two punts for a 13.0-yard average.  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