LEXINGTON, Va. – First-year running back Josh Breece (Lorton, Va. / Stone Bridge) rushed for a career-high 223 yards and four touchdowns on just 21 carries to lead the Washington and Lee football team to a 47-26 victory over Guilford on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field.
Breece's rushing yardage is tied for the fourth-most in school history with Luke Heinsohn '13, who also rushed for 223 yards against Guilford in 2010. The Generals (4-2, 1-1) totaled 526 total rushing yards in the game, the fourth-most in program history.
W&L got on the board on its opening drive of the game, moving 83 yards in five plays, as Breece scored on a 39-yard run for a 7-0 advantage. The Quakers (2-4, 0-2) responded with a 28-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Karsten Miller to sophomore wide receiver Tyriek Russell on the next series. The PAT sailed wide, making the score 7-6 at the 10:10 mark.
First-year quarterback Trey Laughlin (Henrico, Va. / Douglas Freeman) made it a 14-6 game with 2:51 left in the first quarter when he scored on a 47-yard touchdown run, but Miller retaliated for Guilford, capping a 10-play, 92-yard drive with a 44-yard touchdown run at 13:43 of the second quarter. Guilford again missed the extra point making it a 14-12 game.
Breece scored his second touchdown on a 7-yard run with 8:55 left in the half, but Guilford once again struck back, this time with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Miller to senior wide receiver Rontavius Miller with just 32 seconds left before the break. The PAT was successful, and W&L carried a 21-19 lead into the intermission.
W&L seized control of the game in the second half, scoring on its first four possessions, before kneeling on the fifth to kill the final minute on the clock. Senior cornerback Grey Reames (Nashville, Tenn. / Montgomery Bell) picked off a Miller pass in the end zone to stop the Quakers on their first series of the third quarter and Breece scored on a 6-yard touchdown run 12 plays later for a 28-19 lead. The Blue & White forced a punt on the next GC possession and Breece capped a 7-play, 88-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown run at 12:19 of the fourth for a 34-19 lead after another missed PAT, this time by W&L.
Guilford senior running back De'Eric Bell returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown to cut it to a 34-26 contest. For Bell, it was his fourth career kickoff return touchdown and made it a one-score game.
The Generals responded with another touchdown drive; however, marching 81 yards on seven plays for a 41-26 lead. Senior running back McKenna Johnston (Jupiter, Fla. / Benjamin School) finished off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
The W&L defense held on downs on Guilford's next possession, and an 8-play, 60-yard drive resulted in a 4-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Drew Richardson (Watkinsville, Ga. / Athens Academy).
Despite senior quarterback Matt Sgro (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) missing the contest due to injury, the largely inexperienced duo of Laughlin and Richardson efficiently ran the Generals' offense, successfully protecting the ball to win the turnover battle, 2-0. W&L finished with 558 total yards, the second-best total of the season.
Junior running back Collin Sherman (Virginia Beach, Va. / Cox) joined Breece with a triple-digit rushing day, finishing with 102 yards on 10 carries. Richardson rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while Laughlin amassed 80 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Defensively, senior linebacker Max Garrett (Fairfield, Conn. / Choate Rosemary Hall) posted a team-high 12 tackles. Reames finished with eight tackles and an interception, while first-year defensive end Andrew Frailer (Bel Air, Md. / McDonogh) notched four tackles and two sacks.
Guilford finished with 373 total yards paced by Miller, who completed 29-of-44 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He also rushed eight times for 32 yards and a touchdown. Russell notched eight catches for 119 yards and one touchdown, while Bell tallied 146 all-purpose yards and the kick return score.
Washington and Lee returns to action next Saturday when it travels to Hampden-Sydney for a 1:00 pm contest.