Washington and Lee Football Game Notes - Game #9

GAME 9: WASHINGTON AND LEE (3-5, 2-2) vs. BRIDGEWATER (5-2, 2-1)

Saturday, October 31, 2009 • Lexington, Va. • 1:00 pm

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Time: 1:00 pm
Site: Wilson Field (4,000)
Series: W&L leads 23-16
Last Meeting:11/1/08 at BC (BC won 32-19)
First Meeting:10/31/1964 (W&L won 28-16)
Last W&L Win:10/27/07 at W&L (17-14)
Last BC Win:11/1/08 at BC (32-19)
Current Series Streak: BC +1
W&L vs. BC at W&L: 12-7
W&L vs. BC at BC: 11-9

W&L and Bridgewater will be meeting for the 40th time, with the Generals holding a 23-16 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1964 season.  The Eagles have won eight of the last nine games in the series, including a 32-19 win last season at Jopson Field.  W&L won the last game played at Wilson Field by a 17-14 score.

Frank Miriello (East Stroudsburg '67) is in his 15th season as the head coach at W&L and his 42nd year of coaching.  He claims a 74-72-1 (.507) overall record and is just three wins away from overtaking Gary Fallon (1978-94) as the winningest coach in program history.  Miriello is 6-8 all-time against Bridgewater.  The Eagles are led by 15th-year Head Coach Mike Clark (Cincinnati '80), who is 100-61-1 (.620) overall and 8-6 against W&L.

Last week's game at Guilford was the 1000th in the 117-year history of the Washington and Lee football program.  Only five other schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia have played more games than W&L, which has posted a 462-499-39 (.482) overall record.  The Generals have been linked to the first intercollegiate football game played in the South, an 1873 matchup with neighboring VMI, though the University officially recognized football as a varsity sport beginning in 1890.

(W&L 28, Guilford 21; October 24, 2009 - Greensboro, N.C.)  
Sophomore quarterback Charlie Westfal scored on a 21-yard touchdown run with 3:39 remaining to lift the Generals to a 28-21 ODAC victory over Guilford on Saturday at the Armfield Athletic Center. The Generals jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Westfal to sophomore running back Harrison Hudson in the first quarter and a second-quarter 2-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Jonathan Clemo.  The Quakers cut it to a 14-7 game just 4:11 into the second half as they intercepted Westfal on the first play of the third quarter and quarterback Billy Watkins scored on a 2-yard touchdown run nine plays later. Guilford then knotted the game at 14-14 just 35 seconds into the final quarter when running back Mike Williams found paydirt on a 27-yard touchdown run. However, W&L struck just 16 seconds after Williams’ touchdown as sophomore defensive back John Kavanagh returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to give the Generals a 21-14 advantage. Guilford again tied the game (21-21) at the 6:38 mark when linebacker David LaPlaca scooped up a Generals’ fumble and returned it 42 yards for the equalizing score. W&L then took the ensuing kickoff and marched 70 yards on eight plays, capped by Westfal’s fifth rushing touchdown of the season. Westfal completed 9-of-15 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown with one interception. He also rushed 10 times for 27 yards and one score. Clemo carried 20 times for a game-high 82 yards and one touchdown. Hudson rushed eight times for 81 yards and caught four passes for 38 yards and one touchdown. Senior linebacker Gus Cavanaugh and senior defensive back Donavon Sawyer both notched nine tackles to lead the W&L defense. Watkins completed 29-of-43 passes for 209 yards and one interception and he rushed five times for four yards and one score to lead the Quakers. Wide receiver Justin Parker snared 11 passes for 91 yards, while Williams rushed 14 times for 65 yards and one touchdown. Linebacker Richie Paul amassed a career-high 18 tackles and forced a fumble to lead the GC defense.

(BC 32, W&L 19; November 1, 2008 - Bridgewater, Va.)  

Bridgewater College racked up 424 yards of total offense and reeled off 25 straight points en route to a 32-19 victory over Washington and Lee at Jopson Field. The Eagles jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 2:53 left in the first quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by tailback David Argaud, but W&L sliced it to a 7-6 game just 1:37 later as quarterback Charlie Westfal found tight end Jason Bacaj with a 41-yard scoring strike. The ensuing PAT failed. Bridgewater then reeled off 25 straight points beginning with a 2-yard touchdown run by tailback Anthony Carter and a two-point conversion run with 6:41 left in the first half for a 15-6 lead. The Eagles added to their lead with 18 seconds left in the half as quarterback Hagan Driskell found wide receiver Patrick Smoot with a 3-yard touchdown pass for a 22-6 lead at the break. BC upped its’ lead to 29-6 on a 6-yard touchdown run by tailback Darrin McKenzie with 2:43 left in the third period and ended its scoring on a 25-yard field goal by William Davis for a 32-6 lead with 10:14 remaining in the game. The Generals made the score 32-12 on a 1-yard touchdown run by senior running back Stuart Sitterson with 6:04 remaining and capped the scoring on a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Parker Finley to tight end Patrick Conley with 1:16 left in the game. W&L was paced by Sitterson, who totaled 168 all-purpose yards and one touchdown. He rushed 20 times for 76 yards, caught three passes for 43 yards and had 49 yards on returns. Westfal completed 12-of-24 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown and he rushed 12 times for 26 yards. Senior defensive back Chris Prugar led the defense with eight tackles, an interception and a blocked punt. McKenzie carried six times for 53 yards and one touchdown, while Argaud had 48 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. Driskell completed 9-of-16 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown, while linebacker T.J. Montague had 10 tackles for the defense.

Bridgewater is 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the ODAC following a wild 38-34 win at Emory & Henry on Saturday afternoon.  The two teams combined for 910 yards of total offense and the game featured four lead changes, with the final occuring at the 7:45 mark of the fourth quarter on a 54-yard touchdown run by BC junior running back Thomas Tate.  E&H was set to get the ball back with 1:27 left, but muffed the punt, which was recovered by the Eagles, who ran out the clock for the win.  Tate rushed 24 times for 185 yards and two touchdowns, while junior wide receiver Rudy Jackson rushed once for an 80-yard touchdown.  Junior quarterback Hagan Driskell completed 15-of-25 passes for 196 yards and one touchdown, with junior wide-out Tyler Beiler proving to be his favorite target.  Beiler hauled in seven balls for 104 yards in the contest.  Defensively, junior linebacker Scottie Littles paced Bridgewater with eight tackles.  For the season, the Eagles average 389.7 yards and 29.9 points per game led by Tate, who is the ODAC's second-leading rusher with 843 yards and nine touchdowns on 118 carries.  Driskell has completed 54.0 percent of his passes (94-174) for 1,278 yards and 11 touchdowns with 11 interceptions, while Beiler has caught 34 passes for 563 yards and four touchdowns.  Senior wide receiver Patrick Smoot has also caught 22 passes for 319 yards and one touchdown.  On defense, the Eagles are allowing 348.9 yards and 25.0 points per game.  Junior linebacker T.J. Montague and junior cornerback Darius Burrus have paced the defense with 42 and 38 tackles, respectively.  Burrus also has one interception.

The Generals may be just 3-5 overall and 2-2 in the ODAC, but the record could be a bit deceiving.  W&L's five losses are by a combined 27 points for an average of 5.4 points per game.  The largest margin was an 8-point loss to Randolph-Macon that ended with three straight passes to the end zone in an attempt to get the tying score as time expired.  The Generals also had a chance for the tying score with under three minutes left at Hampden-Sydney, fell to Greensboro in overtime and were stopped on a game-tying two-point conversion attempt in the final minutes against F&M.

Washington and Lee boasts the top rushing offense and rushing defense in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference this season.  The Generals are averaging 4.2 yards per carry and 203.2 yards per game on the ground.  Defensively, the Generals are allowing just 85.9 yards per game and 2.6 yards per rush this season.  In eight games this season, W&L has allowed just two teams (Catholic & Guilford) to rush for more than 100 yards.  W&L will be challenged this week as Bridgewater enters the game with the conference's second-ranked rushing offense at 200.0 yards per game.

Sophomore running backs Jonathan Clemo and Harrison Hudson have both been solid in the W&L offensive backfield this season.  However, playing together in the same backfield is nothing new as they both attended Salem High School near Roanoke, Va.  Through eight games this season, the duo has accounted for 1,200 of the team's 2,158 offensive yards -- 48.6 percent of the team's offensive production.  They have also produced 14 of the team's 26 touchdowns thus far.  Clemo currently leads the team and ranks fourth in the ODAC in rushing yards (734), leads the team in scoring (54 pts.) and is third in receiving (10 rec., 69 yds.).  Hudson has rushed for 258 yards and two touchdowns and his 7.4 yards per carry lead the team.  He is also the team's leading receiver with 18 catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns.  His five total touchdowns are tied for second-most on the team.

Sophomore quarterback Charlie Westfal is already moving up several all-time statistical lists at W&L.  Westfal currently has 936 career rushing yards, just 174 yards from eclipsing Hall of Famer Gil Bocetti '52, '54L for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in school history.  Westfal also has 2,153 career passing yards and 3,089 career total offensive yards -- both of which are close to breaking into the Top 15 all-time at W&L.

Senior wide receiver Ryan Welsh had a career day against Hampden-Sydney, catching nine passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns.  All totals were career-highs and, entering the game, Welsh had totaled just six catches for 57 yards and one touchdown on the season.  Currently, Welsh has 16 grabs for 240 yards and four touchdowns for the year.

Senior defensive end Matt Cassilly is continuing to have a career-best season after moving to defensive line after playing linebacker during his first three seasons.  For the year, Cassilly has totaled 49 tackles and he is second in the ODAC with 7.0 sacks.  He also has 12.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. With one more sack, Cassilly can climb into a tie for seventh on the school's single season sack list. Robert Hull '96 holds the record with 14 sacks during the 1995 season.  Cassilly is also currently tied for 11th all-time at W&L with 12 career sacks.

Sophomore linebacker Rob Look has quietly put together a pretty good season.  Look had seven tackles and a sack on Saturday at Guilford and he leads the team with 59 tackles on the season.  He also ranks second on the team with three sacks and has four pass breakups.

The Generals have consistently led the ODAC in kickoff return average and this season is no different, with the Generals averaging 27.8 yards per return.  A big reason has been the play of sophomore John Kavanagh, who is averaging a league-leading 40.6 yards per return -- a total which will likely lead Division III when the latest statistical report is released.  Kavanagh had a 99-yard return for a touchdown last week, W&L's 11th kickoff return touchdown since 2000.  He is the fifth different player to post a kickoff return TD during that stretch and his 99-yarder was the longest of any return over the past 10 seasons.  Not to be outdone, first-year Brett Murray is averaging 26.4 yards per return this season, the second-best average in the conference.  Together they have produced six returns of greater than 40 yards this year.