CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – Thomas More racked up 523 yards of total offense, including rushing for 432 yards, in defeating Washington and Lee, 42-14, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III football playoffs.
The Saints (11-0) drove 67 yards on their opening possession and took a 7-0 lead on a 17-yard touchdown run by junior running back Kendall Owens just 3:08 into the game. Thomas More then stopped the Generals on a 4th-and-3 from the TMC 37-yardline on the ensuing possession and took a 14-0 lead on another Owens touchdown from 31 yards out nine plays later.
W&L dented the scoreboard at the 3:06 mark of the first quarter when sophomore running back Luke Heinsohn (Charlottesville, Va./Covenant) capped an 8-play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, but the Saints held the Generals' scoreless and tacked on two more scores for a 28-7 lead at the break.
The Generals (8-3) were driving with the opening possession of the third quarter, but fumbled on the TMC 32-yardline and the Saints opened a 35-7 lead on a 4-yard touchdown run by first-year running back Dominique Haydon at 10:15 of the third quarter.
W&L closed to within 35-14 on a 2-yard touchdown run by Heinsohn at the 6:00 mark of the third quarter, but could get no closer as the Saints kept their undefeated record intact.
The Generals notched 323 offensive yards and 253 yards rushing. Heinsohn rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and finished the season with 1,321 yards, just four yards shy of tying for the W&L season record. Junior quarterback Charlie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries and completed 7-of-18 passes for 70 yards. It was the first 100-yard rushing game of his career. Junior linebacker Rob Look (Dallas, Texas/Hillcrest) and sophomore safety Jake Pelton (Charlottesville, Va./Monticello) led the defense with 12 tackles each.
Hayden paced the Thomas More offense with 187 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries. Sophomore quarterback Rob Kues totaled 100 yards and two touchdowns rushing and was 7-of-10 passing for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Owens rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Senior defensive back Aaron Monk led the defense with eight tackles.
Thomas More advances to take on Mary Hardin-Baylor in the second round, while Washington and Lee's season has come to an end. It was the Generals' first 8-win season since 1981.
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