LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee football team picked off four Sewanee passes and tallied 629 yards of total offense in cruising to a 63-30 win over the Tigers on Saturday at Wilson Field.
The Generals amassed 554 rushing yards in the game, the third-best total in school history. The victory was also W&L's third straight against Sewanee, who has now lost 15 consecutive games to the Generals on Wilson Field dating back to 1986.
Senior running back Walker Brand (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley) scored four touchdowns in the first half, as the Blue & White claimed a 35-6 advantage at the halftime break. Brand opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run at the 6:43 mark of the first quarter, but the Tigers responded with a 44-yard field goal by junior placekicker Michael Jacobs that made it 7-3 at 2:51 of the first quarter.
W&L opened a 14-3 lead just 1:39 later when first-year running back Josh Breece (Lorton, Va. / Stone Bridge) scored on a 1-yard plunge. Breece opened the possession with a 58-yard run on the first play, accounting for 64 of the 73 total yards on the drive. W&L junior linebacker Kurt Waibel (Granite Falls, N.C. / South Caldwell) picked off a pass at the Sewanee 32-yardline on the next series, and Brand scored his second touchdown three plays later for a 21-3 lead with 13:47 left in the half.
Sewanee received another field goal from Jacobs, this time a 20-yarder with 9:27 left in the half to make it 21-6. However, junior running back Collin Sherman (Virginia Beach, Va. / Cox) returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards to the Sewanee 48-yardline and Brand scored from three yards out seven plays later for a 28-6 lead with 6:19 left in the second quarter. They key play, aside from the return, was a 30-yard pass from senior quarterback Matt Sgro (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) to senior running back Josh Malm (Scottsville, Va. / Monticello) on 4th-and-11 from the Sewanee 30-yardline.
Sewanee started with a short field on the next possession, taking over on the W&L 33-yardline followed a series of 15-yard penalties on the Generals. However, senior linebacker Max Garrett (Fairfield, Conn. / Choate Rosemary Hall) intercepted the first play of the series at the 31-yardline. W&L then marched 69 yards on seven plays, before Brand scored his fourth touchdown on a 2-yard run that made it 35-6.
Sewanee opened the second half with a third field goal from Jacobs, this time a 42-yarder at the 13:03 mark of the third period. Brand ripped off a 60-yard run on the next series, which was finished off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Breece for a 42-9 lead.
W&L recorded another interception on the next series, as sophomore cornerback Matt Dodson (Oxford, Conn. / Oxford) picked off his second pass of the game to set W&L up at the Sewanee 36-yardline. Breece scored from six yards out five plays later for a 49-9 advantage.
The Generals substituted freely from that point on, as the Tigers scored three touchdowns in the final 16:32 of the contest. W&L added scores from Sherman and sophomore quarterback Drew Richardson (Watkinsville, Ga. / Athens Academy) for the final margin.
Breece and Brand led the way for the W&L offense. Breece totaled 112 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, while Brand notched 111 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on 14 carries. Richardson added 87 yards and a touchdown on seven rushes, while Sgro posted 71 yards rushing on 10 carries and completed all five of his passes for 76 yards. Senior wide receiver Witt Hawkins (Memphis, Tenn. / Memphis University School) snared three passes for 53 yards. On defense, senior linebacker David Hogan (Matthews, N.C. / Charlotte Christian) had six tackles and a sack, while Garrett had six tackles and an interception.
Sewanee totaled 476 total yards, many of which occurred in the second half against the reserves. First-year quarterback Alex Darras completed 13-of-26 passes for 215 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Senior quarterback Sam Hearn went 9-of-19 for 158 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Sophomore wide receiver Allan Puri caught six passes for 127 yards and two scores. Junior linebacker Lee Menefee led all defensive players with 20 tackles and a forced fumble.
Washington and Lee returns to action next Saturday when it travels to Claremont, Calif., to take on Claremont-Mudd Scripps for a 1:00 pm game pacific time. It will mark W&L's first-ever game west of the Rockies.