W&L Football Escapes Catholic with a 23-22 Win

W&L Football Escapes Catholic with a 23-22 Win

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior placekicker Matt Underhill (Bethesda, Md. / Landon) booted a 23-yard field goal with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter to give the Washington and Lee football team a 23-22 win over Catholic on Saturday at Cardinal Stadium.

The Generals (3-2, 2-0) trailed 22-14 until senior running back Evan Hinkle (Glen Allen, Va. / Deep Run) capped off an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 22-yard touchdown run at the 4:06 mark of the fourth quarter.  W&L could not convert on the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt.

The Cardinals' offense picked up one first down on the next series, but were forced to punt three plays later.  The punt snap was fumbled in the wet conditions and the Blue & White took over on downs at the CUA 15-yardline with 2:38 remaining.  The Generals could not pick up a first down and faced a 4th-and-1 from the CUA 6-yardline.  After attempting to draw the Cardinals off-sides, the Generals elected for the field goal and Underhill kicked the game-winner. 

The W&L defense then held the Cardinals without a first down and the Generals ran out the clock for the victory.

Catholic jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Nick Esposito and a 19-yard field goal from senior placekicker Peter Rosa.  The Generals produced several drives that failed in CUA territory and could not dent the scoreboard until 28 seconds remained in the half when senior running back Connor Chess (Fairfax, Va. / Flint Hill) scored on a 1-yard touchdown run.  The ensuing PAT snap was fumbled and the teams went into the half with CUA holding a 14-6 lead.

The Cardinals took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 73 yards on eight plays, taking a 13-6 lead on a Rosa 22-yard field goal with 12:22 left in the quarter.  The Generals muffed the ensuing kickoff and took over on their own 4-yardline.  On the first play of the series, senior quarterback Charlie Nelson (Redding, Conn. / St. Luke's) was brought down in the end zone by junior defensive lineman Patrick Vidal for a safety that made it 15-6 at 12:04.

After forcing a punt following the free kick, the Generals were backed up again on their own 2-yardline.  W&L responded with a 14-play, 98-yard drive that was finished off with a 2-yard touchdown run from senior running back Marshall Hollerith (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher's).  Junior running back Walker Brand (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley) ran in a two-point conversion to pull the Blue & White within one point (15-14) with 6:07 left in the third period.

Catholic answered the Generals' score with a touchdown of its own, converting on a 3rd-and-22 and scoring on a 25-yard touchdown pass from first-year quarterback Alejandro Ros to senior wide receiver Billy Smith on a 4th-and-17 with 59 seconds left in the quarter for a 22-14 lead.

The Generals finished with 455 yards of total offense, including 434 yards on the ground.  Nelson led the way with 110 yards on 11 carries, while Hinkle tallied 92 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.  Chess added 88 yards and a score on 19 carries, while Brand notched 66 yards on nine carries and caught one pass for 21 yards.  Sophomore linebacker Nate Faber (Virginia Beach, Va. / Princess Anne) recorded a career-best 14 tackles and one sack to lead the defense. 

Catholic had 404 yards of offense led by Ros, who completed 23-of-47 passes for 334 yards and one touchdown in his first career start.  Esposito carried 11 times for 32 yards and a score, while senior wide receiver Joe Taylor III caught seven passes for 126 yards.  Junior linebacker Anthony Santo had a team-high 12 tackles on defense.

Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Guilford for a 1:00 pm contest. 

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