Washington and Lee Football - Sewanee Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Sewanee Game Notes

W&L (1-0) vs. SEWANEE (1-0)

Saturday, September 10, 2011
Lexington, Va. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: September 10, 2011
TIME: 1:00 pm
STADIUM: Wilson Field (4,000)
TV/INTERNET: First Team Broadcasting
SERIES RECORD: W&L leads 37-22
LAST MEETING: 9/11/10 at UOS (48-17 W&L)
FIRST MEETING: 1892 at W&L (22-16 UOS)
LAST W&L WIN: 9/11/10 at UOS (48-17)
LAST UOS WIN: 9/20/03 at UOS (37-13)

Washington and Lee and Sewanee will be meeting for the 60th time, with the Generals holding a 37-22 advantage in the all-time series.  W&L has won six-straight in the series, the longest winning streak by either team in the history of the matchup.  In fact, the Generals have won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the two teams.  The lone loss during that stretch was a 37-13 setback at Sewanee in 2003.  The Tigers have not defeated the Generals in Lexington since a 14-7 win in 1986, a string of 11-straight losses.

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 83-77-1 (.519) overall record.

Sewanee is led by first-year Head Coach Tommy Laurendine (Lenoir-Rhyne '90), who won his debut game last week.  Laurendine is no stranger to W&L after having served as the Generals' offensive coordinator for the 2007 season.  Most recently, Laurendine was the offensive coordinator at The Citadel (2010) following two seasons as the offensive coordinator at his alma mater.  His coaching resume also includes assistant coaching stops at Southern Arkansas (2001-06), West Alabama (1997-2000), Northwest Whitfield High School (1994-95), and West Georgia (1991-94).  Laurendine's defensive coordinator is none other than former W&L defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Brian Newberry.  Newberry coached at W&L from 2001-02 and again from 2004-06, directing some of the Generals' top defenses in recent memory.

Washington and Lee has played 1,014 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 471-504-39 (.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 begins the season ranked 19th in the Sporting News Preseason Division III poll.  The Generals also received eight votes in the D3Football.com week one poll, which was released on Sunday evening.


(W&L 24, F&M 10 • 9/3/11 • Lexington, Va.)
The Washington and Lee defense forced five turnovers and recorded five sacks in ending a three-game losing streak to Franklin & Marshall with a 24-10 victory over the Diplomats on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field. The W&L offense opened the season with a sluggish effort, gaining just 228 yards and converting on just 5-of-14 third down conversions on the day. However, the Generals' defense picked up the slack by holding F&M to just 14 rushing yards (316 total) with three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. W&L (1-0) opened the scoring with 14:16 left in the second quarter when senior quarterback Charlie Westfal found sophomore tight end Alex Evans with a 10-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead. The Diplomats responded on their ensuing possession when placekicker Chris DeStefano capped a 12-play, 57-yard drive with a 25-yard field goal at the 10:02 mark. F&M drove to the W&L 11-yardline with 1:56 remaining in the half, but senior linebacker Rob Look intercepted F&M senior quarterback John Harrison on the 9-yardline to preserve the Generals' lead. The Diplomats again drove into W&L territory with seconds remaining, but DeStefano missed wide right from 31 yards out as time expired and the Generals carried a 7-3 lead into the break. W&L extended its lead to 10-3 on a 40-yard field goal by senior placekicker Peter Alston late in the third quarter and continued lengthening its lead early in the fourth quarter. The Generals were forced to punt on their first possession of the fourth period and the punt hit an F&M player on the leg and was recovered on the Diplomats' 9-yardline. Two plays later, junior running back Brett Murray scored from six yards out to give W&L a 17-3 lead with 10:29 left in the game. Franklin & Marshall pulled to within one score on the game's next possession when Harrison found first-year running back Lamont Jackson from 17-yards out with 7:20 remaining to make it 17-10. However, the Generals took the next possession 65 yards on six plays for a 24-10 lead with 3:51 to play. Junior running back Sasha Vandalov opened the drive with a 40-yard run and Westfal capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. The Diplomats drove into W&L territory with just over two minutes to play, but senior cornerback John Beriont intercepted Harrison on the 21-yardline to preserve a 2-touchdown lead. Shortly thereafter, the game was delayed due to lightning, but the final 1:43 ran off the clock harmlessly just over 30 minutes later giving the Generals a win in their season-opener. Junior running back Russell Stewart led the Generals on the ground with 57 yards on 10 carries. Murray totaled 56 yards and one touchdown on 16 rushes, while Vandalov had 55 yards on eight carries. Westfal completed 3-of-9 passes for 30 yards and one score and rushed for another touchdown, and Evans caught two balls for 17 yards and one score. Defensively, junior linebacker Jesse Jenkins notched a team-best 11 tackles, while Look had five tackles, one sack and one interception. Junior defensive lineman Alex Castelli chipped in a pair of sacks.

Sewanee opened its 2011 season with a 32-10 victory over Earlham on Saturday afternoon in Sewanee, Tenn.  The Tigers fell in a 7-0 hole in the first quarter, but rebounded to score 26-straight points over the first three quarters to pull away for their first win since the 2010 opener against Earlham.  The Tigers limited the Quakers to just 222 yards, including just 25 rushing yards, while racking up 418 yards of offense themselves.  Senior running back Zeke Wilson led the Sewanee offense with 79 yards on 11 carries, while sophomore quarterback Curtis Johnson notched 71 yards and one touchdown on 10 rushes.  Sophomore quarterback Lee Schurlknight chipped in 70 yards rushing and one score on 16 carries.  The Tigers could be the only team in the country to throw the ball less than W&L in week one, attempting just two passes with one completion for 10 yards.  Senior defensive back Alfonsa Knight paced the Tiger defense with seven tackles and an interception that he returned 46 yards.  In addition to forcing three turnovers, the Sewanee defense also had five sacks led by senior linebacker Zac Atkins, who tallied six tackles and one sack.

(W&L 48, SEWANEE 17 • 9/11/10 • Sewanee, Tenn.)
W&L racked up 541 yards of total offense, including 467 yards rushing, in posting a 48-17 victory at Sewanee. Washington and Lee jumped out to a 7-0 lead just 7:23 into the game when running back Brett Murray capped a 9-play, 71-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run.  Running back Luke Heinsohn made it 13-0 when he scored on a 10-yard scamper just 4:03 later.  The PAT failed.  Quarterback Charlie Westfal upped the W&L lead to 20-0 with a 10-yard touchdown run at 9:57 of the second quarter and the Tigers capped the first-half scoring on a 31-yard field goal by Trey Knighton with 2:57 to play in the second quarter. The Generals used rushing touchdowns by Heinsohn and quarterback Russell Stewart, along with a passing touchdown from Westfal to Murray for a 41-10 lead entering the fourth quarter. Running back Tate Bloomer capped the scoring with 2:04 left in the game when he rambled 60 yards for a touchdown. Heinsohn led the Generals' rushing attack with 170 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.  Running back Harrison Hudson totaled 82 yards rushing on seven carries, while Murray rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and caught three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown.  Westfal completed 6-of-11 passes for 74 yards and one touchdown and rushed 10 times for 45 yards and one score.  Defensively, W&L limited Sewanee to just 232 yards led by linebacker Jesse Jenkins, who notched a team-best 10 tackles.  Linebacker Stephen Peck notched seven tackles and a sack, while linebacker Doug Fraser contributed six tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. Quarterback Lee Schurlknight paced the Tigers' offense by rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and completing 3-of-6 passes for 15 yards.  Linebacker Alfonza Knight posted a team-best 10 tackles and two forced fumbles..

Since the turn of the century (2000), Washington and Lee is a combined 35-17 (.673) in games played at Wilson Field.  The Generals went 3-1 at home last season and will play six of their 10 contests at home during the 2011 season.

A major factor in the Generals' success during the 2010 season was how clean W&L played.  The Generals finished the season with the fewest penalties (35) and 10th-fewest penalty yards (366) of any team in Division III.  In Saturday's win over Franklin & Marshall, W&L committed eight penalties for 108 yards, nearly 30 percent of its penalty yardage from all of last season.

Senior placekicker Peter Alston made all three of his PAT attempts on Saturday against F&M, extending his school-record streak for consecutive PAT makes to 47.  Alston also booted a career-long 40-yard field goal against the Diplomats, the Generals longest made field goal since Ben Long '07 booted a 43-yarder in a 34-12 win over Guilford on October 21, 2006.  Alston is now 5-of-7 (.714) on field goals for his career.

The W&L offense got off to a slow start in week one, totaling just 228 yards and 13 first downs.  Compare that to the 2010 season, when the Generals averaged 428.8 yards and 24.1 first downs per game.  Additionally, W&L's vaunted rushing attack managed just 3.9 yards per carry on Saturday after posting a 6.1 yards per attempt average last season.  Comparatively against F&M, however, the game showed progress after the Generals totaled just 207 yards and 11 first downs against the Diplomats in 2010 (a 35-7 loss).

The Generals' defense has showed significant improvement early this season after allowing an average of 168.5 rushing yards, 350.5 total yards and 24.8 points per game last season.  In the win over F&M, W&L allowed the Dips just 14 rushing yards, 316 total yards and 10 points.

W&L featured an opportunistic defense last season, forcing 32 turnovers for an average of 2.9 turnovers per game.  The Generals are looking to continue their ways in 2011 after forcing five turnovers against Franklin & Marshall.  The 2010 team finished fifth in Division III in turnover margin and the 2011 squad is keeping pace after not committing any turnovers against the Diplomats.

The W&L defense forced five turnovers and recorded five sacks in the win over F&M on Saturday.  One might think it is a rare event to have at least five turnovers and five sacks in a game.  And, you would be right.  It has only happened twice in the 102 games played since the turn of the century (2000).  However, consider that the Generals have now done it twice in the last four games, having logged five turnovers and five sacks in a 38-27 win over Hampden-Sydney last season that clinched the ODAC title.  The other game during that stretch was a 31-27 win over Catholic in 2003 when the Generals trailed 27-7 in the third quarter.

Senior quarterback Charlie Westfal continues to climb several of the school's record categories.  The only quarterback in ODAC history with better than 3,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards, Westfal ranks eighth all-time with 3,256 career passing yards and 10th all-time with 1,539 rushing yards.  He is also fourth all-time with 4,795 yards of total offense and fifth with 31 career touchdown passes.

Since 1995, the Generals are 73-28 (.722) when scoring 20 or more points and 56-8-1 (.869) when allowing fewer than 20 points. Furthermore, W&L is 36-3 (.923) under Miriello when scoring 30 or more points and 24-1-1 (.942) when allowing fewer than 10 points.  The flip side is that the Generals are just 2-20-1 (.109) when scoring less than 10 points and 4-40 (.091) when allowing 30 or more points.