Washington and Lee Football - Guilford Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Guilford Game Notes

W&L (3-1) vs. GUILFORD (1-2)

Saturday, October 1, 2011
Lexington, Va. • 1:30 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: October 1, 2011
TIME: 1:30 pm
STADIUM: Wilson Field (4,000)
TV/INTERNET: First Team Broadcasting
SERIES RECORD: W&L Leads 13-11
LAST MEETING: 10/2/10 at GC (55-29 W&L)
FIRST MEETING: 10/16/65 at W&L (26-20 W&L)
LAST W&L WIN: 10/2/10 at GC (55-29)
LAST GC WIN: 10/25/08 at W&L (34-27)

W&L and Guilford will be meeting for the 25th time, with the Generals holding a 13-11 advantage in the series.  W&L has won four of the last five encounters, including each of the last two, both of which were played in Greensboro.  The Quakers won the last meeting at Wilson Field, claiming a 34-27 victory during the 2008 season.  W&L is just 6-6 all-time against the Quakers at home and the Generals have not defeated Guilford on Wilson Field since claiming a 34-12 win in 2006.  Over the last seven meetings (5-2 W&L advantage), the Generals have averaged 33.6 points per game and have scored no fewer than 24 points in any of the contests.

Frank Miriello (East Stroudsburg '67) is in his 17th season as the head coach at W&L and his 44th year of coaching.  He has led W&L to 11 non-losing campaigns, a pair of ODAC titles and the program's only two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.  Miriello is the winningest coach in program history with an 85-78-1 (.521) overall record.

Guilford is led by first-year Head Coach Chris Rusiewicz (DeSales '01), who is 1-2 in his first head coaching opportunity.  Rusiewicz came to Guilford from Ursinus College, where he was the associate head coach for four seasons.

Guilford is 1-2 overall and is coming off of a bye week.  The Quakers last played on September 17, falling to Averett in Greensboro by a score of 35-21.  Guilford trailed 28-7 at halftime, but recovered to cut it to a 7-point game (28-21) early in the fourth quarter.  However, the Cougars added a touchdown with just under 10 minutes remaining and held the Quakers at bay for the remainder of the contest.  Guilford gained 427 total yards in the game, but could not overcome five turnovers.  Senior quarterback Grady Gamble paced the offense with 280 yards and one touchdown passing, but he was intercepted four times.  First-year running back Josh Williams ran for 85 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, while junior running back Mike Williams amassed 63 yards and one score on 10 carries.  Sophomore wide receiver Lawrence Blake (9-136) and junior wide receiver Ben King (7-126, 1 TD) both went over 100 yards receiving and sophomore defensive back Alex Smith tallied six tackles and one interception.  For the year, sophomore Zac Halbert has taken the majority of the snaps at quarterback, completing 43-of-75 passes for 562 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions.  Josh Williams has run for a team-best 184 yards and three touchdowns on 64 carries, while King has snared 27 passes for 431 yards and four touchdowns.  Blake has 19 catches for 299 yards and one touchdown, and first-year defensive back Hunter English has a team-best 17 tackles, including seven tackles for a loss.

(W&L 49, Alma 42 • 9/24/11 • Lexington, Va.)
Washington and Lee and Alma combined for 91 points and 1,132 yards of offense as the Generals emerged with a 49-42 victory on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field. W&L gained a school-record 657 yards, including 444 yards on the ground, in winning the first-ever match-up between the two schools.  Alma totaled 475 yards, including 350 yards through the air. The Generals trailed 42-34 early in the fourth quarter, but climbed to within 42-40 on a 15-yard touchdown run by junior running back Brett Murray with 10:38 left in the game.  Senior quarterback Charlie Westfal then found sophomore tight end Alex Evans with a two-point conversion pass to knot the score at 42-42. The teams exchanged fumbles on the next two possessions before the Scots strung together seven plays that led them to the W&L 15-yardline with just under six minutes remaining.  However, Alma sophomore quarterback Jarrett Leister was intercepted by W&L senior linebacker John Kavanagh at the 9-yardline one play later and a Kavanagh return set the Generals up on their own 31-yardline with 5:47 to play.  W&L proceeded to march 69 yards on 11 plays, scoring the game-winner on a 4-yard touchdown run by junior running back Luke Heinsohn with 37 seconds remaining. The Generals stretched a 10-7 second quarter lead to 24-7 with 4:41 left in the half on a 62-yard touchdown run by Murray at the 7:00 mark and a 54-yard touchdown pass from Westfal to senior wide receiver Tate Davis with 4:41 left in the half.  Following an Alma touchdown that made it 24-14 with 1:31 left before the break, the Generals drove 66 yards in nine plays, capped off by a 35-yard field goal from senior placekicker Peter Alston as time expired for a 27-14 lead at halftime. Alma sandwiched a 21-yard touchdown catch by sophomore wide receiver Ricky Roth and a 5-yard touchdown catch by junior wide receiver Nate Wade around a 4-yard touchdown run by Heinsohn to make it a 34-28 game with 5:17 left in the third quarter.  A W&L fumble on the ensuing kickoff return set the Scots up on the W&L 26-yardline and Alma took its first lead of the game (35-34) four plays later on a Leister touchdown pass to Roth from 14 yards out.  Another touchdown pass from Leister to junior wide receiver Mike Lenneman with 13:11 left in the game stretched the Alma lead to 42-34, setting up the Generals' late game comeback. Washington and Lee's 657 yards of offense broke the former record of 652 that had stood since a 67-7 win over the University of Richmond during the 1950 season.  Murray led the way with a career-high 200 yards and two touchdowns rushing on just 15 carries.  He also caught three passes for 22 yards.  Heinsohn rushed 26 times for a season-best 123 yards and two scores, while Westfal completed 13-of-16 passes for a season-high 213 yards and one touchdown.  He also carried 13 times for 72 yards.  Davis snared five passes for a career-high 119 yards and one touchdown, while junior running back Russell Stewart totaled 50 yards rushing and receiving, along with one touchdown. Alston booted a pair of field goals (20 & 35 yards) and nailed all five of his PAT attempts to extend his school-record string of consecutive PAT's to 61-straight.  Senior linebacker Rob Look notched a team-high nine tackles, while junior linebacker Stephen Peck amassed eight tackles and a pair of sacks.

(W&L 55, Guilford 29 • 10/2/10 • Greensboro, N.C.)
Washington and Lee scored its most points in a game in 48 years when it produced a 55-29 victory over Guilford last season. The victory was significant to Head Coach Frank Miriello, giving him the record for career wins at W&L. The Generals' 55 points were the most since posting a 55-14 win over Franklin & Marshall on Oct. 27, 1962. W&L forced five Guilford turnovers and racked up 545 yards of total offense, including 463 rushing yards. The Quakers jumped out to a 3-0 lead as Tyler Hall capped a 14-play, 56-yard game-opening drive with a 27-yard field goal.  A 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Charlie Westfal to running back Brett Murray on the next possession gave the Generals a 6-3 lead with 4:38 left in the first quarter. Guilford wrestled the lead back on a 23-yard touchdown run by running back Mike Williams just 12 seconds into the second quarter, but running back Harrison Hudson scored a pair of touchdowns, including a 29-yard touchdown catch from Westfal with 42 seconds remaining to give W&L a 20-9 lead.  However, the Quakers drove 61 yards in three plays to make it 20-15 on a 32-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Ben King with five seconds left in the half. The Generals scored three unanswered third quarter touchdowns, including a 47-yard touchdown run by running back Luke Heinsohn, to carry a 41-15 lead into the final quarter.  The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the fourth period for the final result. W&L received touchdowns by five different players led by Murray, who totaled three touchdowns on the day (2 rush, 1 rec.).  He rushed nine times for 69 yards and caught one pass for 26 yards.  Hudson rushed five times for 69 yards and a touchdown and caught one pass for 29 yards and a touchdown.  Heinsohn carried 20 times for 223 yards and one touchdown. Westfal finished 3-of-6 passing for 64 yards and two touchdowns and he rushed for another score.  Defensive back Jake Pelton led the defense with eight tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception. Quarterback Luke Vandall completed 23-of-29 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns (2 INT) to lead the Quaker offense.  King had 10 catches for 141 yards and two scores, while Williams carried eight times for 55 yards and one touchdown.  Linebacker Chris Jessup recorded a game-high 14 tackles and a sack to lead the Guilford defense.

Washington and Lee has played 1,015 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 473-505-39 (.484) 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.

Washington and Lee racked up a school-record 657 yards in the win over Alma on Saturday, rushing for 444 yards and passing for 213 yards.  The 444 rushing yards are tied for the fifth-most in ODAC history, while the 657 total yards eclipsed the former W&L record of 652 set in a 67-7 win over Richmond in 1950.  Additionally, the W&L offense produced a whopping 34 first downs in the game, converting on 7-of-10 third down conversions.  The Generals now own four of the top six single-game rushing performances in ODAC history.

Junior running back Brett Murray has come into his own over the last two weeks, rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown against Centre and 200 yards and two touchdowns against Alma.  Murray currently leads the ODAC in rushing with 444 yards and four touchdowns on just 62 carries.  His 7.2 yards per carry average is also a league-best total.  A Second Team All-ODAC selection after rushing for 738 yards and nine touchdowns last season, Murray has totaled 1,385 yards and 15 touchdowns rushing over his first 2+ seasons.  He's also caught 24 passes for 283 yards and three more scores.

Junior running back Luke Heinsohn rushed for 100 yards in a game seven times last season en route to amassing a conference-best 1,321 rushing yards.  Heinsohn has stared slow this season after battling injuries, but his 123 yards and two touchdowns against Alma may be a sign that he is back on track for the conference season.  Thus far, Heinsohn has carried the ball 54 times for 256 yards and four touchdowns.  He's already climbing the school's all-time rushing list, compiling 1,620 yards to rank 11th all-time.

Senior quarterback Charlie Westfal has proven to be one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in ODAC history.  Westfal is the only signal-caller in conference history with better than 3,000 yards passing and 1,500 rushing yards for his career, and those totals only continued to increase after Westfal passed for a season-best 213 yards and rushed for 72 yards against Alma.  Currently, Westfal has passed for 3,689 yards and rushed for 1,790 yards for 5,479 yards of total offense.  He moved into second place on the school's total offense list, just 905 yards from overtaking Christian Batcheller '01 for first place.  Westfal also ranks sixth all-time at W&L in passing yards and ninth all-time in rushing yards.

Senior wide receiver Tate Davis snared five passes for a career-high 119 yards and one touchdown on Saturday against Alma.  Given the Generals' propensity to run the ball, Davis had never had more than two catches in any game and his career-high for receiving yards was 42 yards, occuring on one catch against Catholic last season.  Davis' 100-yard receiving day was W&L's first since Ryan Welsh '10 racked up 156 yards and three touchdowns on nine catches in a  38-31 loss to Hampden-Sydney in 2009.

Senior placekicker Peter Alston currently leads the team in scoring with 29 points.  Alston has made good on 4-of-5 field goal attempts and is 17-of-17 on PAT's this season, extending his school record for consecutive PAT's made to 61 in a row.  For his career, Alston is now 67-for-68 on PAT's and 8-for-11 on field goal attempts.

A big reason for Washington and Lee's success last season was the offense's ability to protect the ball as the Generals committed just 15 turnovers in 11 contests.  So far this season, W&L has failed to protect the ball, committing eight turnovers in just four games, including six turnovers across the last two weeks of play.

W&L has allowed 42 points each of the last two weeks, the first time that W&L has surrendered at least 40 points in back-to-back weeks since allowing 47 to Catholic and 45 to Hampden-Sydney during the 2000 season.  The Generals began that year with a 4-0 record, before falling 47-0 to the Cardinals and 45-28 to the Tigers.  Incidently, in 119 years of football, W&L has never allowed 40 or more points to an opponent three weeks in a row.

Through three games, the W&L defense has already registered nine sacks, or one for every 12.5 opponent dropbacks. Last season, the Generals registered only 14 sacks in 304 opponent dropbacks, or one sack for every 21.7 dropbacks. Junior outside linebacker Stephen Peck leads the W&L sack parade in the early going with five quarteback takedowns, including two last week against Alma. No General had more than 2.5 sacks all of last season.

Since the turn of the century (2000), Washington and Lee is a combined 37-17 (.667) in games played at Wilson Field.