Washington and Lee Football - Randolph-Macon Game Notes

Washington and Lee Football - Randolph-Macon Game Notes

W&L (4-1, 2-0) vs. RANDOLPH-MACON (4-1, 2-0)

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Lexington, Va. • 1:00 pm

PDF Version of Notes

DATE: October 13, 2012
TIME: 1:00 pm
STADIUM: Wilson Field (4,000)
TV/INTERNET: First Team Broadcasting (http://www.firstteambroadcasting.com/organizations/washington-lee-university/)
RADIO: WLUR 91.5 (http://www.wlu.edu/x37490.xml)
SERIES RECORD: R-MC Leads  29-28-3
RECORD VS. R-MC AT W&L: 17-11-3
LAST MEETING: 10/15/11 at R-MC (34-30 W&L)
FIRST MEETING: 10/17/1903 at R-MC (39-0 W&L)
LAST R-MC WIN: 10/3/09 at R-MC (21-13)


9/1/12 at Franklin & Marshall L, 28-35
4-1 Results
9/8/12 at Sewanee W, 28-6
2-4 Results
9/15/12 Centre W, 34-16
4-2 Results
9/29/12 at Guilford
W, 42-21
2-3, 1-1 Results
10/6/12 Emory & Henry W, 45-28
3-2, 0-2 Results
10/13/12 Randolph-Macon 1:00 pm 4-1, 2-0 Results
10/20/12 at Bridgewater 1:00 pm 4-1, 1-1 Results
10/27/12 at Catholic 1:00 pm 2-3, 1-1 Results
11/3/12 Hampden-Sydney 1:00 pm 3-2, 1-1 Results
11/10/12 Shenandoah 1:00 pm 1-4, 0-2 Results

Washington and Lee and Randolph-Macon will be meeting for the 61st time, with the Yellow Jackets holding a 29-28-3 edge in the all-time series that began during the 1903 season.  The Generals have won the last two in the series, including a 34-30 win last season in Ashland.  R-MC has dropped each of its last six contests at Wilson Field, with the Generals holding a 17.8 average margin of victory in those games.  The Generals have also held the Yellow Jackets to an average of just 9.0 points per game during the home field winning streak.

Scott Abell (Longwood ‘92) is in his first season as the Generals’ head coach, having replaced Frank Miriello, who retired after 17 seasons.  Abell had served as W&L’s offensive coordinator for the past four seasons, setting records for total offense and scoring each of the past two seasons.  As head coach, Abell is 4-1 overall.

Randolph-Macon is led by ninth-year Head Coach Pedro Arruza (Wheaton, Ill. ‘95), who is 46-40 (.535) with the Yellow Jackets and 2-6 against W&L.  Arruza guided R-MC to the 2008 ODAC Championship and he is 31-15 (.674) over the last five seasons.

Washington and Lee has played 1,028 games in the entire history of the program, compiling a 482-507-39 (.487) 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.

After playing three of its first four games on the round and traveling a combined 1,785 miles roundtrip in the process, the Generals will be playing at home for the second straight week.  W&L is 11-1 at home over the last three seasons and, according to D3football.com, the Generals have the fourth-longest home winning streak in Division III.  W&L dropped the home-opener of the 2010 season to Averett, but has gone on to win each of the last 11 contests played at Wilson Field.  Mount Union has the longest home winning streak at 49 games, followed by Trinity of Connecticut (45) and Linfield (20).

(W&L 45, Emory & Henry 28 • 10/6/12 • Lexington, Va.)
Washington and Lee rushed for a conference-record 503 yards and totaled 562 total yards in posting a 45-28 win over Emory & Henry at Wilson Field. The Generals jumped out to a 14-0 lead just 5:44 into the game on a pair of touchdown runs by senior running back Luke Heinsohn.  Heinsohn capped an 8-play, 69-yard drive to open the game when he scored from 1-yard out.  After the defense forced a 3-and-out by the Wasps on the next possession, Heinsohn took the first play 47 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Emory & Henry closed to 14-7 just 1:52 later when Joe Vaughn ended a 7-play, 71-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.  However, Heinsohn scored his third touchdown at the 11:56 mark of the second quarter to put the Generals up 21-7. W&L added a 21-yard touchdown run by senior running back Sasha Vandalov and a 27-yard field goal by Heinsohn as time expired for a 31-7 lead at the halftime break. E&H took the opening kickoff and promptly marched 65 yards on seven plays as Vaughn scored his second rushing touchdown, another 3-yard scamper, to cut it to 31-13 with 12:51 left in the third quarter.  The PAT was missed. The Generals retaliated at the 7:50 mark as junior quarterback Nick Lombardo capped a 76-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Eli Chester for a 38-13 advantage.  E&H made it 38-21 with 3:14 left in the penultimate quarter when Kyle Boden scored on a 10-yard touchdown run and then found Davon Ross for a 2-point conversion. Senior running back Brett Murray ended a 13-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run for a 45-21 lead with 12:15 left to play and E&H provided the final margin when Ross Ellis scored on a 47-yard fumble return with 9:17 remaining. The Generals held the ball for better than 37 minutes in the contest, racking up 29 first downs.  Lombardo paced the rushing effort with a career-high 164 yards on 23 carries.  He also completed 3-of-10 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.  Heinsohn carried just 13 times for 138 yards and three touchdowns, moving into the Top 5 in ODAC history in career scoring with 255 points.  Vandalov gained 85 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries, while Murray amassed 59 yards and a touchdown on 15 rushes.  Senior safety Jake Pelton led the defense with 12 tackles, and senior defensive lineman Greg Barton tallied four tackles and a pair of sacks.

(W&L 34, R-MC 30 • 10/15/11 • Ashland, Va.)
Washington and Lee drove 69 yards in just four plays and running back Luke Heinsohn scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 2:09 remaining to give the Generals a 34-30 win over Randolph-Macon at Day Field.  Randolph-Macon drove to the W&L 2-yardline with just over four minutes remaining, but senior linebacker Rob Look sacked R-MC quarterback Zac Naccarato on 3rd-and-goal, forcing a 29-yard field goal by placekicker Josh Storm that made it a 30-27 game with 3:55 remaining.  Senior quarterback Charlie Westfal hit tight end Alex Evans for a 62-yard catch and run to the Yellow Jacket 6-yardline on the second play of the ensuing series and Heinsohn capped the drive two plays later for a 34-30 W&L lead. Randolph-Macon then drove to the 50-yardline on the next possession, but safety Jake Pelton intercepted Naccarato on a 2nd-and-10 with 1:16 to play and the Generals took a knee three times to run out the clock. Heinsohn gave the Generals a 6-3 lead when he scored on a 77-yard touchdown run with 6:26 left in the first quarter (PAT pass failed), but the Yellow Jackets retaliated with a pair of scores for a 17-6 lead with 6:25 left in the first half.  Westfal hit running back Brett Murray on a long pass play that Murray fumbled on the R-MC 27-yardline and kicked to the Randolph-Macon 2-yardline where Evans wrestled the ball away to keep the drive alive.  Heinsohn scored one play later and the two-point conversion failed with 2:46 left in the half and the Yellow Jackets carried a 17-12 lead into the break. The Generals struck first in the third quarter as Westfal found running back Russell Stewart with a 50-yard scoring pass for a 19-17 lead just 3:12 into the period.  However, Macon wrestled the lead back (20-19) on a 49-yard field goal by Storm at the 6:59 mark, and added to its advantage (27-19) with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Naccarato to wide receiver Christian Cook on the last play of the third period. W&L tied it with 9:26 remaining in the game on a 6-yard touchdown run by Murray and a two-point conversion run by Westfal, setting up the final two drives that determined the outcome. The Generals gained 462 yards of total offense (231 passing/231 rushing) led by Westfal, who completed 7-of-12 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown and rushed 17 times for 98 yards.  Heinsohn gained 99 yards and scored three touchdowns on 11 carries, while Murray tallied 36 yards rushing and 86 receiving, to go along with one touchdown.  Evans snared three passes for 99 yards and Stewart had one catch for 50 yards and a score. On defense, Look posted 17 tackles and one sack, while Pelton notched 12 tackles and the game-preserving interception.  Randolph-Macon racked up 477 yards, with Naccarato completing 20-of-33 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.  Cook caught nine balls for 105 yards and one touchdown, while running back Vance Hendren caught four passes for 92 yards and a score.  Senior running back Thaddeus Scruggs notched 84 yards on 18 carries and cornerback Chris Pace led the defense with eight tackles.

Randolph-Macon is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the ODAC following a 45-12 win over Catholic on Friday in Ashland.  After dropping their opener to Johns Hopkins, the Yellow Jackets have reeled off four wins in impressive fashion.  R-MC led just 17-12 early in the third quarter against the Cardinals, but scored 28 unanswered points in the final 23:18 to win easily.  Senior fullback Vance Hendren was named the ODAC Offensive Player of the Week after totaling five touchdowns in the contest.  He rushed for 23 yards and four touchdowns, and caught three passes for 49 yards and another score.  Junior running back Will McGhee rushed for 89 yards and senior running back Drake Sanders added 69 rushing yards and a touchdown to pace R-MC on the ground.  Sophomore quarterback Zac Naccarato completed 12-of-16 passes for 206 yards and one touchdown, while senior wide receiver Luke Sellers snared five balls for 93 yards.  Sophomore defensive tackle Calvin Davis paced the Yellow Jacket defense with nine tackles and three sacks.  For the season, Macon is led by Naccarato, who is completing nearly 75 percent of his passes for 935 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception.  He has also rushed for four touchdowns.  McGhee has a team-best 514 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Sanders has 368 yards and two touchdowns.  Junior wide receiver Christian Cook is Naccarato’s favorite target, hauling in 22 passes for 254 yards.  Sellers has 17 catches for 313 yards and two touchdowns, while Hendren has nine catches for 134 yards and two scores.  Senior defensive tackle Ian Candelaria leads the defense with 31 tackles and 2.5 sacks, while Davis has 22 stops, including a league-best 6.5 sacks.

Prior to the 2010 season, you could count the number of 400-yard rushing performances during the ODAC’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 has managed 400 rushing yards in a game 12 times over its last three seasons (26 games).  In those games, the Generals are 12-0, scoring an average of 47.8 points per game with an average margin of victory of 23.5 points per game.  To contrast this point, when W&L fails to rush for 400 yards during the same span, it is just 8-6 with an average of 27.1 points per game and a scoring margin of just +3.1 points per game.

The Generals have got the running game rolling over the last two weeks, averaging 464.5 rushing yards per game across those contests.  Included in that total is a conference-record 503 rushing yards last week against Emory & Henry. With those rushing efforts, Washington and Lee now leads Division III in rushing with an average of 365.4 yards per game.

The Generals have re-written the ODAC record books for team rushing yardage over the last three seasons, culminating with the 500-yard effort against E&H last week.  Below are the top single-game rushing performances in ODAC history.

1. Washington and Lee vs. Emory & Henry, 2012    503
2. Washington and Lee at Catholic, 2010    496
3. Emory & Henry vs. Greensboro, 1998    483
4. Washington and Lee at Sewanee, 2010    467
5. Washington and Lee at Guilford, 2010    463
6. Washington and Lee vs. Alma, 2011    444
6. Washington and Lee vs. Bridgewater, 2011    444
6. Bridgewater vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 1987    444
9. Bridgewater vs. Lebanon Valley, 1990    441
10. Washington and Lee vs. Catholic, 2011    439
11. Washington and Lee at Bridgewater, 2010    438
12. Washington and Lee vs. Randolph-Macon, 2010    427

The Generals will be chasing their seventh winning season in the last nine years during the 2012 season.  Since going 3-7 in 2003, W&L has produced a 53-33 (.616) overall record and a 33-17 (.660) mark in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.  Those numbers improve to 20-6 (.769) overall and 13-1 (.929) in the ODAC over the last three years.

Senior running back Luke Heinsohn has been having a tremendous season on top of an already impressive career on the gridiron.  Heinsohn rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 carries, and totaled 27 points (3rd in school history) in last week’s win over Emory & Henry.  He is currently the leading scorer in Division III with an average of 19.8 points per game, while his 99 points this season are second-best for a single-season at W&L, just 11 points shy of Kevin Weaver’s record total from 1985.  Heinsohn already holds the W&L records for career scoring (255 pts), career touchdowns (38) and career rushing touchdowns (38).  With his 624 yards rushing this season, Heinsohn now claims 2,888 career rushing yards and has pulled to within 253 yards of eclipsing Chris Sullivan ‘03 as the school’s all-time leading rusher.  His average of 124.8 rushing yards per game also rank 22nd in Division III this season.  A two-time All-ODAC selection, Heinsohn also excels for the W&L lacrosse team where he received Second Team All-ODAC laurels last spring.

Senior slotback Brett Murray is also having a fantastic senior season, totaling 446 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 70 carries (6.4 avg.).  An excellent all-purpose back, Murray totaled 163 all-purpose yards and one touchdown against Emory & Henry and he leads the ODAC with an average of 139.4 all-purpose yards per game.  Like Heinsohn, Murray is also moving up the school’s career charts in several categories.  He is fourth all-time in all-purpose yards (4,440), and seventh all-time in both rushing (2,254), and scoring (180).  His 30 career touchdowns are sixth all-time.  A tremendous student, Murray was named the 2011 ODAC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a Capital One Second Team Academic All-America selection.  He also earned First Team All-ODAC honors as an all-purpose back and First Team All-South Region honors as a special-teamer during the 2011 season.

Junior tight end Alex Evans is tied for sixth all-time at W&L with 11 career receiving touchdowns.  Evans has notched just 42 catches (741 yds.) over his career, meaning that nearly 26 percent of his catches go for scores.

Junior quarterback Nick Lombardo was the Generals’ leading ground gainer in the record-breaking 503-yard rushing effort on Saturday, totaling 164 yards on 23 carries.  Not only was this the highest rushing total of Lombardo’s career, but it was the second-highest rushing total ever amassed by a quarterback at Washington and Lee.  Former great Gil Bocetti ‘52, ‘54L holds the record with 175 yards against Davidson in 1949.This season, Lombardo has rushed 87 times for 378 yards and two touchdowns.  He has also completed 54.3 percent of his passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns as the Generals’ trigger man.

The W&L offense can be known as a grind you down running game, but it also has its share of big plays in the running game.  So far this season, the Generals have ripped off runs of 20 or more yards 16 times.  Senior running back Luke Heinsohn leads the way with seven runs of 20 yards or more, but beyond Heinsohn, there’s plenty of balance.  Senior running backs Brett Murray and Sasha Vandalov, junior quarterback Nick Lombardo and sophomore running back Austin Eisenhofer all have two runs of 20 or more, while junior quarterback Luke Terna has one.

Another secret to the Generals’ success this season has been their conversion rates on offense.  W&L ranks seventh nationally in third down conversions, converting 52.9 percent (36-68) of its attempts.  The Generals also rank third in Division III in fourth down conversions, making good on 81.3 percent of its attempts (13-16).

Senior safety Jake Pelton has been the leader of the Generals’ defense this season.  Pelton claims a team-best 42 tackles and has led the team in tackles on three occasions.  A preseason First Team All-America selection and two-time First Team All-ODAC honoree, Pelton has three interceptions this season and ranks seventh all-time at W&L with 11 picks.