Washington and Lee Football - Juniata Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Juniata Game Notes

W&L (7-2) at JUNIATA (0-9)

Saturday, November 13, 2010
Huntington, Pa. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: November 13, 2010
TIME: 1:00 pm
STADIUM: Knox Stadium (3,000)
RADIO: WLUR 91.5 FM (http://wlur.wlu.edu)

Washington and Lee and Juniata will be meeting for the first time ever on the gridiron.

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 11 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 the winningest coach in program history, having surpassed Gary Fallon for that honor earlier this season.  Since taking over following Fallon's death in the spring of 1995, Miriello is 82-75-1 overall.

Juniata is led by second-year Head Coach Carmen Felus (Western Maryland '95), who is 1-18 overall with the Eagles.  Felus came to Juniata from Tennessee-Chattanooga, where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2006-08.  He also had assistant coaching stints at Indiana (Pa.), Shepherd, St. Francis (Pa.) and Adams State.

Washington and Lee has played 1,011 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 469-503-39 (.483) 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.

(W&L 38, #19 Hampden-Sydney 27 • 11/6/10 • Lexington, Va.)
The Washington and Lee defense forced five turnovers and sacked the quarterback five times in posting a 38-27 victory over Hampden-Sydney to win the ODAC football championship on Saturday. Each team exchanged a pair of scores in the first 20 minutes and change until the Generals assumed control with 2:44 left in the half when junior running back Harrison Hudson finished a 9-play, 67-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run for a 21-14 lead.  The W&L defense then stopped the Tigers on a 4th-and 3 from the W&L 47-yardline with 1:26 to play and the Generals drove to the H-SC 19-yardline before junior placekicker Peter Alston booted a 36-yard field goal with two seconds remaining for a 24-14 lead at the break. Neither team could find paydirt in the third quarter, but the Generals took a 31-14 lead with 12:37 left in the game on a 2-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Brett Murray.  The Tigers answered 3:21 later on a 4-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Travis Lane to junior wide receiver Kyle Vance to make it 31-21, but Hudson scored on an 18-yard touchdown reception from junior quarterback Charlie Westfal to put the game away (38-21).  Hampden-Sydney tacked on a late score with seven seconds remaining for the final margin. The Generals were held under 400 yards rushing for the first time in six games, but still managed 316 yards on the ground and 375 yards overall.  Hudson paced W&L by rushing 18 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns and catching two passes for 27 yards and another score.  Murray tallied 95 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, while sophomore running back Luke Heinsohn notched 78 yards on 23 rushes.  Westfal completed 5-of-8 passes for 59 yards and a score and rushed for 29 yards on eight carries. Defensively, junior linebacker Rob Look had a team-best seven tackles, while junior cornerback Mike Hartford had six stops and a pair of interceptions.  First-year linebacker Sam Zimmer chipped in three tackles and 1.5 sacks. Lane completed 29-of-52 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted four times.  He also was the team's leading rusher with 55 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

Juniata is 0-9 overall following a 41-14 loss to Dickinson on Saturday afternoon in Huntington, Pa.  The Eagles took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from first-year quarterback Gino Ramires to junior wide receiver Dominic Bornman, but saw the Red Devils score 41-straight points until junior Abe Mellinger capped the game with a 76-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with eight seconds remaining.  Juniata committed four turnovers in the contest and was out-gained 398-132. Ramires and first-year David Smyers combined to complete 16-of-33 passes for 109 yards and one touchdown, but they were intercepted three times.  Bornman had a team-high five catches for 25 yards and one score, while first-year running back Kevin Peoples had 26 yards rushing on eight carries.  Junior defensive tackle Jason Marquis paced the defense with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery.  For the season, the Eagles have been out-scored 369-54 and are being out-gained by an average of 405.6 ypg - 188.9 ypg.  JC also averages 3.1 turnovers per outing.  Ramires has completed 47.9 percent of his passes for 578 yards and three touchdowns, but has been intercepted 12 times.  First-year running back Zach McCaulley has rushed for 277 yards and one touchdown on 96 carries, while sophomore Julian Valdiserri is the top receiver with 26 catches for 271 yards and one touchdown.  First-year linebacker Kevin Gorman is Juniata's top tackler with 72 tackles, including 9.0 tackles for a loss.  He also has a pair of sacks and one interception.

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 three games to F&M (2006/2008/2010), one to Carnegie Mellon (2007), one to Wilkes (2006) and one to Swarthmore (2000).  The Generals fell to Franklin & Marshall earlier this season in Lancaster, 35-7.

On the heels of their six-game winning streak that includes a pair of wins over ranked opponents (#20 Randolph-Macon and #17/19 Hampden-Sydney), the Generals have begun to get some love in the Division III polls.  In the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III poll, Washington and Lee has picked up 14 points to appear among the "others receving votes" section of the poll.  The Generals also have eight points and appear in the receiving votes section of the D3Football.com poll.  Prior to receiving votes in the coaches poll before the Hampden-Sydney game, W&L had not received any votes since the 2006 season.

W&L has currently won six-straight games, its longest winning streak since winning six in a row during the 2006 season.  A win against Juniata would give the Generals their longest winning streak since winning seven-straight across the 1981-82 seasons.  The longest winning streak in program history was 15 games from 1960-62, followed by 14 wins from 1914-15 and 1912-13.  There was also a nine-game streak from 1962-63 and two seven-game streaks from 1981-82 and from 1919.

A win against Juniata would give W&L eight wins in a season for the first time since the 1981 team went 8-2 overall.  W&L has had just nine seasons of eight or more wins in program history and the record for wins in a season is nine, which was achieved twice.  The Generals went 9-0 in 1961 and 9-0 in 1914.

The Generals clinched their eighth conference title in program history (118 seasons) with Saturday's win over Hampden-Sydney.  It was also just the fourth ODAC title since the formation of the league in 1976.  However, it was W&L's second conference title in the last five seasons. Below is a listing of the Generals' conference championships over the years:

Washington and Lee All-Time Conference Championships
1914 - South Atlantic Champions
1934 - Southern Conference Champions
1950 - Southern Conference Champions
1962 - College Athletic Conference Champions
1981 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions
1985 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions
2006 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions
2010 - Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions

Washington and Lee has qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second time in program history.  The Generals' only other appearance in the Big Dance was during the 2006 season when W&L finished 7-4 following a 42-0 loss to Wilkes in the opening round.  Prior to 2006, the Generals' last postseason appearance was the 1951 Gator Bowl.  W&L will find out its opening round opponent for the 2010 tourney on Sunday evening.

W&L has recorded five games of 40+ points this season, the first time in program history that the Generals have had four games of 40 or more points.  W&L has already set a school record for points scored in a season this fall, totaling 329 points across the nine games thus far (36.6 points per game).  The Generals rank 33rd in Division III in scoring offense.

The W&L offense has been rolling along this season with averages of 446.9 yards (26th nationally) and 36.6 points per game. The Generals rank fourth in Division III with an average of 369.3 rushing yards per game.  A major reason for this success has been the play of W&L's offensive line, which consists of senior center Greg Kurkis, junior right guard John Fitzgibbons, sophomore left guard Mike Stefanelli, first-year left tackle Connor Hollenbeck and first-year right tackle Bobby Jones.  Junior Matt Benson also rotates through as essentially a sixth starting offensive lineman.  The group was recognized as the ODAC Offensive Player of the Week and was named to the D3Football.com Team of the Week following the Catholic game on Oct. 29 as the Generals posted an ODAC-record 496 rushing yards. As a group, the line averages 6-3 and 261 pounds across the front.

Sophomore running back Luke Heinsohn has already added his stamp to his family's tradition at W&L.  Heinsohn is the grandson of former W&L Head Coach Lee McLaughlin and is the brother of former W&L soccer and lacrosse standout Angie Carrington.  Both are enshrined in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.  Heinsohn has begun etching his legacy by becoming just the seventh player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.  Heinsohn has rushed 164 times for 1,098 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.  He is the ODAC's leading rusher with an average of 122.0 yards per game, a total which ranks 18th in Division III.  He is third on the team with 10 touchdowns on the season.  Heinsohn has rushed for 100 or more yards six times this year, including a season-best 223 yards (4th-best in W&L history) against Guilford back on October 2.

The moniker Triple H did wonders for the professional wrestling career of Paul Michael Levesque and perhaps Double H could do the same for the college football career of W&L junior running back Harrison Hudson.  Hudson has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the past three games and he enters this week's contest second on the team in rushing with 748 yards and seven touchdowns on 91 carries.  He also has a team-high 14 catches for 249 yards and four more scores.  Hudson is averaging a gaudy 8.2 yards per carry this season and he has averaged 8.4 yards every time he has touched the ball on offense for his career.  The W&L record for season average per carry is 7.1 yards and the career record is 5.8 yards (Hudson is currently at 7.7 ypc).  He has rushed 148 times for 1,124 yards over his first three seasons and has also snared 39 passes for 445 yards.

Sophomore running back Brett Murray, a native of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., completes the Generals' three-headed monster from the running back position.  Murray has a team-best 12 touchdowns and he has carried the ball 84 times for 633 yards and nine touchdowns.  He also is the team's second-leading receiver with 11 catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns.  Murray is averaging 7.5 yards per carry this season, a total which ranks second on the team this year and would eclipse the school season record of 7.1 yards per carry.

The Washington and Lee running game has been consistent, but also explosive.  The Generals have ripped off runs of 20 or more yards 28 times this year.  Sophomore Luke Heinsohn leads the way with nine runs of 20 yards or more, followed by sophomore Brett Murray (8), junior Harrison Hudson (6), junior Charlie Westfal (3), sophomore Russell Stewart (1) and first-year Tate Bloomer (1).  Bloomer has the longest run of the season, a 60-yard touchdown scamper against Sewanee.

Junior quarterback Charlie Westfal ranks fourth on the school's career total offense list with 4,462 yards and is the school's all-time leading rusher from the quarterback position with 1,410 career rushing yards (12th-best overall). For his career, Westfal has rushed for 15 touchdowns and has completed 53 percent (255-480,. 531) of his passes for 3,052 yards and 28 touchdowns.  He is currently tied for fifth all-time at W&L in career touchdown passes and is ninth in career passing yards.  Since beginning the season completing just 17 of his first 36 passes (.472) for one touchdown and two interceptions over the first three games, Westfal has completed 23-of-39 (.590) of his passes for 400 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions over his next six games.

The Generals have allowed an average of 352.6 yards per game on the season, but W&L has featured an opportunistic defense that has forced 27 turnovers in nine games (3.0 per game).  W&L has intercepted an ODAC-best 17 passes this season and the Generals lead the ODAC and are tied for seventh nationally in turnover margin (+14).

Under Frank Miriello, W&L has been known as a fundamental team, taking care of the ball and avoiding penalties.  The 2010 season has been no different.  The Generals have committed just 13 turnovers (1.4 per game) and they are tied for No. 1 in Division III with an average of just 3.22 penalties per game (29 penalties for 309 yards).

Junior cornerback Mike Hartford is the reigning ODAC Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Hampden-Sydney.  Hartford totaled six tackles (5 solo) and two interceptions to help the Generals gain the conference title.  His selection marked the fourth time this year that W&L has won the ODAC Defensive Player of the Week Award.  For the season, Hartford has 35 tackles and a team-best six pass breakups.  He also has three interceptions to rank second on the team.

The Generals are quite literally on a historic run this season.  W&L has already shattered the school (2,995) and ODAC (2,740) record for season rushing yards with 3,324 yards. The Generals have also set a new conference record for rushing touchdowns (37) in a season. Along the way, W&L has rushed for more than 400 yards in a game six times, including a stretch of five in a row that ended last week.  To put this into perspective, there were only five 400-yard rushing performances in the history of the league prior to W&L's six this season.  Below is a listing of the top team rushing efforts in ODAC history:

1. Washington and Lee vs. Catholic, 2010    496
2. Emory & Henry vs. Greensboro, 1998    483
3. Washington and Lee vs. Sewanee, 2010    467
4. Washington and Lee vs. Guilford, 2010    463
5. Bridgewater vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 1987    444
6. Bridgewater vs. Lebanon Valley, 1990    441
7. Washington and Lee vs. Bridgewater, 2010    438
8. Washington and Lee vs. Randolph-Macon, 2010    427
9. Washington and Lee vs. Emory & Henry, 2010    425
10. Bridgewater vs. Methodist, 1989    410

W&L has set a new school record for season PAT's (44) and junior placekicker Peter Alston has also set a new mark for individual PAT's made (42).  Alston is also closing in on the record for consecutive PAT's made, which has been held by Matt Holbrook since 1997.  Holbrook made 39 in a row, while Alston has currently made 36 in a row.

W&L starts just two seniors on offense (OL Greg Kurkis & TE Patrick Conley) and three on defense (DL Colin Campbell, LB Pete Watson, CB David Sternlicht).  Three sophomore and two first-years start on O, while four sophomores and one first-year start on D.

The Generals will learn of their first round opponent in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at 3:30 pm when the tournament field is announced live on ESPNews.  The first round contest will be played on Saturday, November 20 at a time to be determined.