Washington and Lee Football - Randolph-Macon Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Randolph-Macon Game Notes

W&L (5-1, 1-0)

Saturday, October 15, 2011
Ashland, Va. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: October 15, 2011
TIME: 1:00 pm
STADIUM: Day Field (5,000)
TV/INTERNET: College TV Ticket
SERIES RECORD: R-MC leads 29-27-3
RECORD VS. R-MC AT W&L: 17-11-3
LAST MEETING: 10/16/10 at W&L (42-28 W&L)
FIRST MEETING: 10/17/1903 (39-0 W&L)
LAST W&L WIN: 10/16/10 at W&L (42-28)
LAST R-MC WIN: 10/3/09 at R-MC (21-13)


9/3/11 Franklin & Marshall W, 24-10 1-4 Results
9/10/11 Sewanee W, 31-14 2-4 Results
9/17/11 at Centre L, 35-42 4-0 Results
9/24/11 Alma W, 49-42 1-5 Results
10/1/11 Guilford W, 63-0 1-4 Results
10/8/11 at Emory & Henry W, 17-14 4-2 Results
10/15/11 at Randolph-Macon 1:00 pm 5-1 Results
10/22/11 Bridgewater 1:00 pm 3-2 Results
10/28/11 Catholic 7:00 pm 3-2 Results
11/5/11 at Hampden-Sydney 1:00 pm 5-1 Results

Washington and Lee and Randolph-Macon will be meeting for the 60th time, with the Yellow Jackets holding a 29-27-3 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1903 season.  The Generals have won five of the last seven meetings with R-MC, but has emerged victorious in Ashland just once over the last 20 seasons (1-9), defeating the Wasps 44-7 in 2005.

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 87-78-1 (.527) overall record.  He is 7-9 all-time against Randolph-Macon.

Randolph-Macon is led by eighth-year Head Coach Pedro Arruza (Wheaton, Ill. ‘95), who is 39-38 (.507) with the Yellow Jackets and 2-5 against W&L.  Arruza guided R-MC to the 2008 ODAC Championship and he is 26-10 overall over the last four seasons.

The Yellow Jackets are 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the ODAC following a 51-34 victory over Catholic on Friday evening in our Nation’s Capital.  Macon scored 27 points in the second quarter but led just 37-34 entering the final 15 minutes of the game.  However, the Yellow Jackets recorded a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.  Junior fullback Vance Hendren rushed for a pair of scores on four carries (9 yds.) and caught seven passes for 104 yards and another touchdown.  Sophomore wide receiver Christian Cook snared 13 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns, while first-year quarterback Zac Naccarato completed 25-of-31 passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns in being named the ODAC Offensive Player of the Week.  Junior tailback Drake Sanders carried 18 times for 76 yards and one touchdown and senior running back Thaddeus Scruggs rushed 21 times for 73 yards as R-MC rolled up 554 yards of total offense.  Junior cornerback Brandon Harrison notched a team-high 10 tackles on defense.  For the year, the Yellow Jackets have featured an explosive offense that averages 391.5 yards and 31.7 points per game.  Naccarato has completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 1,071 yards and eight touchdowns (7 INTs), and has rushed 31 times for 98 yards and four more scores.  Cook has caught 29 balls for 378 yards and three scores, and Scruggs has rushed for a team-best 559 yards and five touchdowns on 128 carries, while Sanders has 364 yards and two touchdowns on 98 rushes.  Harrison leads the defense with 34 tackles, while senior linebacker Jeremy Bowry has 32 tackles and a pair of interceptions.  Senior defensive end Joe Pricone has 26 tackles, including a team-best 5.0 sacks.

(W&L 17, Emory & Henry 14 • 10/8/11 • Emory, Va.)
Senior placekicker Peter Alston booted a 40-yard field goal as time expired to lift Washington and Lee to a 17-14 win over Emory & Henry at Fred Selfe Stadium. The Generals took a 14-7 lead with 10:36 left in the game when senior quarterback Charlie Westfal hooked up with junior running back Russell Stewart for a 55-yard touchdown.  However, the Wasps responded with a 61-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Boden to Adrian Jordan with 5:48 left to tie the game at 14-14. Stewart fumbled the ensuing kickoff on the W&L 27-yardline, but the Generals forced a fumble by Boden just two plays later and sophomore safety Mitchell Thompson recovered on the W&L 21-yardline with 4:47 remaining. W&L proceeded to march 56 yards over 12 plays, setting up Alston’s game-winning attempt with four seconds remaining. The Generals carried a 7-0 lead into the halftime break following a 4-yard touchdown run by junior running back Brett Murray with 12:08 left in the second quarter.  The Wasps tied it with a 2-yard touchdown run by William Pearl with 12:26 left in the game, setting up the late game flurry. Washington and Lee, which had an average starting field position of the 15-yardline, gained 506 yards led by Westfal, who completed 13-of-18 passes for a season-high 214 yards and one touchdown.  Westfal was intercepted in the end zone in the third quarter, his first interception since the third game of the 2010 season.  Westfal also gained a career-high 121 yards on the ground, carrying 20 times.  Junior running back Luke Heinsohn rushed 18 times for 77 yards and Murray carried 13 times for 61 yards and one touchdown.  He also snared five passes for 40 yards.  Stewart had two catches for 58 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore tight end Alex Evans caught three balls for 69 yards. Senior linebacker Rob Look and junior safety Jake Pelton paced the defense with 11 tackles each.

(W&L 42, R-MC 28 • 10/16/10 • Lexington, Va.)
Washington and Lee scored on five of its first six possessions in posting a 42-28 victory over Randolph-Macon at Wilson Field. The Generals totaled 427 on the ground and 495 yards total in the contest. Randolph-Macon opened the game with a 12-play drive covering 80 yards to assume a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Drake Sanders at the 9:14 mark.  However, W&L responded by scoring just one minute later on a 38-yard touchdown run by running back Luke Heinsohn and took a 14-7 lead on a 13-yard Heinsohn touchdown run with 38 seconds left in the opening quarter.  Running back Harrison Hudson then gave W&L a 21-7 advantage on a 9-yard touchdown run with 9:46 left in the half. Sanders made it 21-14 when he scored on a 1-yard run with 4:31 left in the half, but the Generals marched down the field and posted a 28-14 lead on an 8-yard touchdown run by quarterback Charlie Westfal with 1:12 left in the half.  R-MC drove to the W&L 13-yardline in the final minute, but quarterback Luke Sellers’ pass was intercepted in the end zone by defensive back Jake Pelton with 33 seconds remaining.  W&L opened the second half with another scoring drive as Hudson capped a 6-play, 60-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown reception from Westfal for a 35-14 lead just 2:48 into the third quarter.  Sellers rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the second half for the Yellow Jackets, but running back Brett Murray scored on a 42-yard touchdown run for W&L as the Generals defeated Randolph-Macon in Lexington for the sixth-straight time. Heinsohn paced the W&L offensive onslaught with 147 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.  Murray totaled 100 yards and one touchdown on just 10 carries, while Westfal rushed for 97 yards and a score on 18 attempts.  He also completed 3-of-5 passes for 67 yards and one touchdown.  Hudson carried eight times for 48 yards and one score and caught three passes for 67 yards and another touchdown. The Generals’ defense forced four turnovers in the win and were led by Pelton’s 11 tackles and one interception.  Linebacker Jesse Jenkins added nine stops. Sanders led the Yellow Jackets with 186 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries.  Sellers rushed six times for 42 yards and two touchdowns, and completed 6-of-19 passes for 128 yards but was intercepted three times.  Senior wide receiver Earl Peoples snared four passes for 96 yards, while defensive back Andrew Leonard recorded a team-high 11 tackles.

Washington and Lee has played 1,019 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 475-505-39 (.485) 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.

The Washington and Lee offense used a couple of weeks to get started, but the Generals are now firing on all cylinders.  Over the last three weeks, W&L is averaging 566.0 yards and 43.0 points per game.  The Generals tallied a school-record 657 yards against Alma, totaled 535 yards against Guilford and amassed 506 yards last week against Emory & Henry.

Prior to the 2010 season, you could count the number of 400-yard rushing performances during the league’s history on one hand.  While this number continues to be a lofty goal, the Generals have begun to set it as the magic number.  W&L hit 400 rushing yards six times last season and twice this year.  In those games, the Generals are 8-0, scoring an average of 48.3 points per game with an average margin of victory of 24.8 points per game.  To contrast this point, over the last two seasons, when failing to rush for 400 yards in a game, W&L is just 5-4 with an average of 24.5 points per game and a scoring margin of just 1.6 points per game.

Junior running back Luke Heinsohn had a bit of a slow start to the 2011 campaign, gaining just 133 yards and two touchdowns over his first three games.  However, over the last three games, Heinsohn has regained the form that saw him compile a league-best 1,321 rushing yards last season.  Heinsohn has hit the century mark two of the last three weeks, compiling 123 yards and two touchdowns against Alma, 167 yards and four touchdowns against Gulford and 77 yards against Emory & Henry.  Heinsohn currently ranks sixth in the ODAC in rushing with 500 yards on just 84 carries (6.0 per rush).  He is also tied for second in scoring with an average of 8.0 points per game.  Heinsohn is already beginning to climb the W&L all-time rushing list (9th) with 1,864 career yards.  

Junior running back Brett Murray is also having a fine season in the Generals’ offensive backfield.  Murray currently leads the ODAC in rushing with 590 yards and six touchdowns on just 86 carries (6.9 per rush).  Murray has also done most of his damage of late, rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown against Centre, 200 yards and two touchdowns against Alma, 85 yards and a touchdown against Guilford and 61 yards and a touchdown against Emory & Henry.  A Second Team All-ODAC selection after rushing for 738 yards and nine touchdowns last season, Murray has totaled 1,531 yards and 17 touchdowns rushing over his first 2+ seasons.

Senior quarterback Charlie Westfal has proven to be one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in ODAC history.  Currently, Westfal has passed for 3,974 yards and rushed for 1,934 yards for 5,908 yards of total offense.  He is in second place on the school’s total offense list, just 476 yards from overtaking Christian Batcheller ‘00 for first place.  Westfal also ranks sixth all-time at W&L in passing yards and sixth all-time in rushing yards.  Westfal had one of the best games of his career on Saturday at E&H, rushing for a career-high 121 yards and throwing for a season-best 214 yards.

You wouldn’t think the Generals’ passing game would instill much fear in its opponents given that W&L attempts just 13.0 passes per game on average.  However, W&L has been efficient with its opportunities.  The Generals complete nearly 63 percent (62.8) of their passes for an average of 16.8 yards per completion and one touchdown for every 11.1 attempts.  The Generals string of consecutive passes without an interception came to an end against E&H as Westfal was intercepted in the third quarter.  Prior to that pass, W&L had attempted 144-straight passes without an interception.

Saturday’s win over Emory & Henry was one of many games the Generals have won in recent memory during the final minute of play.  However, it was the first game that W&L has won on the final play of the game since Brad Wiginton ‘02 booted a 42-yarder as time expired to defeat Sewanee by a score of 23-21 in 1998.

Senior placekicker Peter Alston continues to be perfect on his PAT’s this season.  Alston is second on the team in scoring this season with 43 points on five field goals (5-7) and 28 PAT’s (28-28).  He is now 78-for-79 on PAT’s for his career and 9-for-12 on field goal attempts.  Alston is in the midst of a school-record string of 72 consecutive PAT’s made.  The former record was 39.

Washington and Lee has forced 11 turnovers the last three weeks and now leads the ODAC in turnover margin.  The Generals have turned it over 10 times this season, but the defense has forced 18 turnovers for a +8 margin.  Junior safety Jake Pelton leads the way with four turnovers forced (3 FR, 1 INT), while senior linebacker John Kavanagh has a team-best two interceptions.

Washington and Lee has had tremendous consistency with its offense over the last two seasons and a large part of that stability comes from the offensive line.  In particular, senior captain John Fitzgibbons, who starts at right guard.  A preseason First Team All-America selection by D3Football.com, Fitzgibbons has started every game of his four seasons, 37 games in total.  With four more starts, Fitzgibbons can overtake former lineman Greg Kurkis ‘11 for the program record for consecutive starts.  Kurkis started all 40 games of his career before graduating as the ODAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year last spring.

The Washington and Lee football team is raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org) by seeking donations of one penny for every yard gained during the 2011 season.  Currently, the Generals have gained 3,298 total yards for an expected donation of $32.98 per donation pledge.  If you would like to pledge to the program, simply contact program leaders Gavin Colliton (collitong@wlu.edu) or Garrett LeRose (leroseg@wlu.edu) or visit the Generals Wounded Warriors pledge website at http://WWPProudSupporter.kintera.org/generalsfootball.