Washington and Lee Football - Franklin & Marshall Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Franklin & Marshall Game Notes


Saturday, September 4, 2010 • Lancaster, Pa. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: September 4, 2010
TIME: 1:00 pm
STADIUM: Sponaugle-Williamson Field (4,000)
TV/INTERNET: Stretch Internet (http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/fandm.portal?mode=link#)
RADIO: WLUR 91.5 FM (http://wlur.wlu.edu)
LAST MEETING: 9/5/09 at W&L (29-27 F&M)
FIRST MEETING: 10/11/58 at W&L (14-13 F&M)
LAST W&L WIN: 9/8/07 at W&L (20-0)
LAST F&M WIN: 9/5/09 at F&M (29-27)

W&L and Franklin & Marshall will be meeting for the 11th time, with the series tied at five games apiece.  The Diplomats have won two-straight in the series, including a 29-27 victory last season at Wilson Field.  F&M has taken three of the four games since the series was re-kindled in 2006 and W&L has not defeated the Diplomats in Lancaster since a 28-6 victory over F&M during the 1963 season.  Last year’s 29-27 game was the highest-scoring game in the series since a 55-14 W&L win during the 1962 campaign.

Frank Miriello (East Stroudsburg ‘67) is in his 16th season as the head coach at W&L and his 43rd year of coaching.  He has led W&L to 10 non-losing campaigns, including the 2006 season when W&L went 7-4 overall, won the ODAC title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.  Miriello is currently just one win away from tying his mentor, Gary Fallon (1978-94), as the winningest coach in program history.  Since taking over following Fallon’s death in the spring of 1995, Miriello is 75-73-1 (.507) overall.  Fallon was enshrined in the W&L Athletic Hall of Fame after notching a 76-85-1 (.472) record over 17 seasons.

Franklin & Marshall is led by John Troxell (Lafayette ‘94), who is in his fifth season with the Diplomats.  Troxell has led F&M to a 20-21 (.488) record over his first four seasons, including a 9-2 mark last fall en route to earning Centennial Conference Coach of the Year accolades.  It was F&M’s best season since 1996.

Washington and Lee has played 1,002 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 462-501-39 (.481) overall record.  Only five other schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia have played more games than W&L, which played the first intercollegiate football game in the South, an 1873 matchup with neighboring VMI.

Since 1900, W&L is 57-52-1 (.523) in season-opening games.  W&L has dropped each of the last two season openers and hasn’t won a season-opening road contest since a 14-13 win at Towson State on Sept. 20, 1969.  That is a string of 19-straight losses in road openers. 

(Emory & Henry 23, W&L 16 • 11/7/09 • Emory, Va.)
Quarterback Drew Piscopo threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead Emory & Henry to a 23-16 victory over W&L at Fullerton Field. W&L jumped out to a 3-0 lead after driving 68 yards on 15 plays during its opening drive. The Generals moved the ball to the E&H 2-yardline before settling for a 20-yard field goal from placekicker Martin Prichard at the 5:46 mark of the first quarter. Emory & Henry then strung together a 9-play drive that Piscopo capped off with a 2-yard touchdown plunge for a 7-3 advantage at the 2:08 mark of the opening quarter. The Wasps added a 41-yard field goal by Matt Turchin for a 10-3 lead at the 6:20 mark of the second quarter, but the Generals retaliated with a Prichard 27-yard field goal to make it a 10-6 game with 52 seconds left in the half. However, the Wasps had enough time for one more score before the break as Piscopo found Jonathan Hawkins with a 16-yard touchdown strike just 39 seconds later for a 17-6 lead at the break. Another Piscopo to Hawkins connection, this time from 13-yards out at the 5:59 mark of the third quarter, gave E&H a 23-6 lead. Turchin’s PAT failed. The Generals climbed to within 23-13 on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Jonathan Clemo at the 1:59 mark of the third quarter and a 37-yard Prichard field goal made it a 23-16 game with 5:24 left. W&L successfully executed an onside kick to regain possession, but lost four yards on three plays and was forced to punt. The Wasps then ran seven plays to bleed the final 3:43 and walk away with the win. Clemo led the Generals on offense with 96 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Quarterback Charlie Westfal completed 12-of-28 passes for 128 yards and one interception, while running back Harrison Hudson carried nine times for 39 yards and caught four passes for 41 yards. Senior defensive back Donavon Sawyer paced the defense with 13 tackles.

(Franklin & Marshall 29, W&L 27 • 9/5/09 • Lexington, Va.)
Washington and Lee 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 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 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 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 defensive lineman Mark Surma just short of the endzone. The Diplomats then recovered the ensuing onside kick 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 running back Jonathan Clemo carried 22 times for 66 yards and one touchdown. Defensive back Mike Hartford recorded a team-best 11 tackles. 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 running back John Kaschak rushed 12 times for 43 yards and one touchdown. Linebacker Sam Masaro led the F&M defense with eight tackles and one interception.

The Diplomats are coming off of a 9-2 season in 2009, their best season since 1996.  F&M finished 6-2 in the Centennial Conference and defeated Wilkes, 29-24, in the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl.  The Diplomats, who are ranked 25th in the Sporting News Preseason Poll, return 50 letterwinners and 16 starters -- eight on offense and eight more on defense -- from last season.  Headlining the returning offensive starters are 2009 First Team All-Centennial Conference tight end Mike Deutch and Second Team All-CC quarterback John Harrison.  A senior, Deutch caught 35 passes for 375 yards and nine touchdowns a season ago.  Harrison ended his sophomore campaign with a 69.0 completion percentage, 3,096 passing yards and 32 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions.  Four starters return on the offensive line, but gone is First Team All-CC tackle Clarke Miller and First Team All-CC wide receiver George Eager. The defense is spearheaded by the return of a pair of 2009 Second Team All-Centennial Conference picks in senior defensive lineman Mark Surna and sophomore linebacker Sam Massaro.  Surna tallied 33 stops last season, including 7.0 tackles for a loss and 4.0 sacks.  Massaro led the team in tackles (70) and posted 8.0 tackles for a loss.  He also notched 4.0 sacks and picked off three passes.  The Diplomats must replace three of the four starters from the defensive backfield, including Barry Lovett, a First Team All-CC pick a season ago.

Among the state slogans in Pennsylvania is “You’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania”.  However, Pennsylvania has proved to be less than friendly to the Generals who represent the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers”.  In fact, W&L has not won a football game in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since defeating Swarthmore, 37-7, in the Philadelphia suburbs during the 1998 season.  Since then, W&L has dropped two games to F&M (2006 & 2008), one to Carnegie Mellon (2007), one to Wilkes (2006) and one to Swarthmore (2000).  The Generals will have two cracks at ending the streak this season as they will play on the road at Juniata in November.

Junior quarterback Charlie Westfal is etching his name in the W&L record books despite only having played in 20 games to date.  The 2008 ODAC Rookie of the Year, Westfal has rushed for 1,016 yards and nine touchdowns over his first two seasons and can become the school’s all-time leading rusher from the quarterback position with 94 more yards.  Former legend Gil Bocetti currently holds the record with 1,109 yards.  Westfal has also completed just over 53 percent of his passes for 2,408 yards and 19 touchdowns over his first two years. 

In addition to Westfal, the Generals’ offense returns plenty of firepower, including junior running back Harrison Hudson and sophomore running back Brett Murray. Hudson carried 52 times for 368 yards (7.1 per carry) and two touchdowns, and finished as the team’s leading receiver with 23 catches for 186 yards and three scores. Murray rushed 46 times for 203 yards and two touchdowns and caught four passes for 69 yards.  He also averaged 12.3 yards per punt return and 26.4 yards per kickoff return to finish second on the squad with 801 all-purpose yards.  Junior Cody Smith also returns as the team’s most accomplished receiver after catching 30 passes for 397 yards and five touchdowns over his first two seasons.  Up front, W&L returns three starters headlined by senior Greg Kurkis, who has earned Second Team All-ODAC honors in each of his first three years.

The Generals return just four starters on the defensive side of the ball from the 2009 season.  Junior linebacker Rob Look is the most accomplished returnee after posting 72 tackles and 3.0 sacks in 2009 en route to receiving Second Team All-ODAC accolades. He has been nursing an early season knee injury.  Junior John Kavanagh moves from linebacker to safety this season after totaling 48 tackles and a pair of sacks last fall.  Senior David Sternlicht and junior Mike Hartford also return to the starting lineup after holding down each of the cornerback positions all last season.  Hartford totaled 43 tackles, two pass breakups and one interception, while Sternlicht had 32 tackles, a team-best eight pass breakups and two interceptions last year.

Senior Martin Prichard returns to hold down the placekicking duties, while junior Spencer Richards is also back to assume the punting responsibilities.  Prichard hit 6-of-9 field goal attempts and 28-of-30 PAT’s last season and he enters his final season ranked second all-time in career field goal percentage (11-15/.733) and fourth in career PAT percentage (46-50/.920).  Richards punted 46 times last season for a 32.8-yard average per kick.  He dropped 10 punts inside the 20-yardline and induced 11 fair catches.

Senior Greg Kurkis returns for his final season with the Generals’ offensive line as the team’s most accomplished player.  The quintessential student-athlete, Kurkis is a team captain and three-year starter, who has maintained one of the top grade-point averages in his class while majoring in biochemistry.  The 2007 ODAC Rookie of the Year, Kurkis received the ODAC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award last season.  He has received Second Team All-ODAC honors all three seasons to date and he was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-America squad last fall.

Since Frank Miriello took over as head coach in 1995, the Generals are 64-28 (.696) when scoring 20 or more points and 52-8-1 (.861) when allowing fewer than 20 points. Furthermore, W&L is 28-3 (.903) under Miriello when scoring 30 or more points and 23-1-1 (.940) when allowing fewer than 10 points.  The flip side is that the Generals are just 2-19-1 (.114) when scoring less than 10 points and 3-38 (.073) when allowing 30 or more points.  So, the object is to keep the opponents to less than 10 points or to score more than 30 points.  If either happens, the W&L should win 92 percent of the time.