CARLISLE, Pa. – Sophomore running back Josh Breece (Lorton, Va. / Stone Bridge) rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift the Washington and Lee football team to a 16-10 win over Dickinson on Saturday at Biddle Field.
The win snapped a 23-game losing streak for W&L (1-0) in season-opening contests on the road. The last time the Generals won on an opponents' field to begin a campaign was against Towson State in 1969.
The game was a defensive battle from the start, and it was the Red Devil defense that set up the game's opening score. Dickinson (0-1) stopped the Generals on a 4th-and-2 from the Red Devil 49-yardline on the game's opening drive, and the Red Devils then strung together a nine-play drive capped on a 1-yard run by sophomore quarterback Robert Geiss for a 7-0 lead just 5:47 into the game.
The W&L defense stiffened from there, allowing only on 49 yards total on Dickinson's final six possessions of the first half. However, the Generals managed just 101 total yards and committed a pair of turnovers in trailing 7-0 at the break.
After holding Dickinson to -10 yards on its opening possession of the third quarter, it appeared the Generals had tallied their first points of the contest on a 49-yard punt return for a touchdown by sophomore running back Montgomery Owen (Nashville, Tenn. / Montgomery Bell). However, the Blue & White was whistled for an illegal block on the play and the Generals were forced to punt on the ensuing series, ending any threat.
The Generals continue to play excellent defense and the offense finally strung together a scoring drive with 5:18 left in the third quarter to knot the game at 7-7. Breece capped a 3-play, 39-yard drive with a 31-yard touchdown run.
Playing with a short field following a punt, Dickinson reassumed the lead on a 32-yard field goal by junior placekicker Ethan Fusco with 9:44 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Generals were stopped on downs at the DC 31-yardline with 4:50 left in the game, but the W&L defense once again rose to the challenge, forcing a 3-and-out that that was followed by just a 24-yard punt. That set up W&L at its' own 41-yardline for a final drive.
The Blue & White then amassed 48 yards on 10 plays, finishing with a 29-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Jarrett Wright (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell) that tied the game at 10-10 with 25 seconds remaining.
In the extra frame, the Generals won the coin toss and went on defense first. Dickinson gained nine yards on its first three plays, setting up a 4th-and-inches play from the W&L 16-yardline. The Dickinson running back and Geiss ran different plays via miscommuniction on the handoff on the fourth-down play, allowing W&L junior safety Davis Waldrop (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Christian) to penetrate the line and throw Geiss for a 3-yard loss to end the DC possession.
W&L then used seven plays to seal the win on a 1-yard touchdown run by Breece, his second of the game. It marked W&L's first overtime win since a 2012 four-overtime win over Hampden-Sydney.
W&L tallied 291 yards of total offense, including 260 yards on the ground. Breece led the way with his ninth straight 100-yard rushing effort on 26 carries, setting a new W&L record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games (9). Sophomore quarterback Trey Laughlin (Henrico, Va. / Douglas Freeman) rushed for 59 yards on seven carries and completed 3-of-4 passes for 23 yards, while senior running back Collin Sherman (Virginia Beach, Va. / Cox) tallied 55 yards on 13 carries. On defense, Waldrop and sophomore linebacker Sam Murphy (Henrico, Va. / Douglas Freeman) led the way with eight tackles each.
Dickinson was limited to just 137 yards of total offense and only seven first downs. Geiss completed 9-of-18 passes for 55 yards and he had the lone DC touchdown. Sophomore running back Phillip Butler added 62 yards on 15 carries. Junior linebacker James Turner set a program record with 23 tackles and a sack to lead the Red Devil defense.
Washington and Lee returns to action next Saturday when it travels to Sewanee for a 1:00 pm CDT contest.