W&L (4-1, 3-0) at EMORY & HENRY (3-2, 2-1)
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Emory, Va. • 1:00 pm
WASHINGTON AND LEE HEAD COACH GARRETT LeROSE:
Garrett LeRose (W&L ‘07) is in his second season as the head coach at Washington and Lee. He carries a 9-5 overall record across his first 14 games. LeRose had served as an assistant coach with W&L ever since finishing his playing career with the Generals in 2006. He won one ODAC title as a player (2006) and has had a hand in four more (2010, 2012, 2015, 2017) as a coach.
EMORY & HENRY HEAD COACH CURT NEWSOME:
Emory & Henry is led by sixth-year Head Coach Curt Newsome (E&H ‘82), who is 30-24 (.556) in his first collegiate head coaching opportunity. Newsome earned the 2014 ODAC Coach of the Year Award after leading the Wasps to an 8-2 overall record. He came to Emory & Henry from James Madison, where he was the assistant head coach and offensive line coach. He was also the offensive line coach at Virginia Tech from 2006-12.
W&L and Emory & Henry will be meeting for the 49th time, with the Wasps holding a 30-18 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1921 campaign. Despite the lopsided overall totals, the Generals have won seven of the last nine encounters, including a 40-29 victory last season in Lexington. W&L had won three straight at E&H until falling 45-42 during the last visit to Fred Selfe Stadium in 2017. Overall, W&L is just 6-16 against the Wasps in Emory, Va.
W&L has a storied tradition that began with the first officially recognized game in the South, an 1873 matchup with neighboring VMI. The first official season was 1890 and over their 127 seasons, the Generals have compiled a 526-535-39 (.495) overall record.
SCOUTING EMORY & HENRY:
Emory & Henry has won three straight after falling in its first two games to start the season. Most recently, the Wasps defeated Southern Virginia in Buena Vista on Saturday by a score of 56-14. After the Knights jumped out to a 7-0 lead, E&H scored 42 unanswered points to cruise to the win. Emory & Henry posted 433 yards of total offense and forced three SVU turnovers. Junior quarterback Hunter Taylor completed 13-of-24 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He also rushed for 24 yards and a fourth score. First-year running back T.J. Tester amassed 141 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries, while first-year running back Grayson Overstreet tallied 40 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Senior wide receiver Derrick Yates also had a big day, totaling 125 yards and three touchdowns on six grabs. Defensively, Overstreet and senior defensive lineman Josh Fleenor led the way with seven tackles each. For the year, Taylor has completed 55.8 percent of his passes for 1,012 yards and 12 touchdowns with six interceptions. He’s also rushed for 165 yards and four touchdowns. Tester has a team-high 367 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 72 carries, while Yates ranks among the league leaders in receiving with 37 catches for 673 yards and 10 touchdowns. Fleenor and Overstreet are tied for the team-lead in tackles with 27 apiece. Senior defensive lineman Da’von Keith and sophomore defensive lineman Donovan Pinnix rank 1-2 in the ODAC in sacks. Keith has eight and Pinnix has posted five.
LAST TIME OUT:
(W&L 30, FERRUM 10 - 10/5/19 - LEXINGTON, VA)
W&L scored three touchdowns in the second quarter and held Ferrum to just 177 total yards in registering a 30-10 victory over the Panthers at Wilson Field. The Generals limited Ferrum to just 50 yards rushing in the contest, with 58 yards coming on the Panthers’ final drive of the game against W&L’s second team defense. W&L opened the scoring with 9:58 left in the second quarter when sophomore running back Alex Wertz scored on a 7-yard touchdown run. The Generals made it a 14-0 game with 2:30 left in the first half when sophomore running back Coby Kirkland took an option pitch on the second play of the drive and rumbled 76 yards for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Will Corry then picked off Zack Clifford on the fourth play of the next series, returning the ball 18 yards to the Ferrum 35-yardline. Three plays later, sophomore quarterback Jack Pollard found junior wide receiver Montgomery Owen with a 29-yard touchdown pass with just 49 seconds left in the half for a 21-0 lead at the break. Ferrum got on the board with a 37-yard field goal by Brad Green at 10:32 of the third quarter, but W&L responded with a 9-play, 78-yard drive to take a 27-3 lead with 5:38 left in the period. Junior quarterback Trey Laughlin hooked up with Owen for another touchdown pass, this time from 32 yards out. Junior placekicker Jarrett Wright knocked a 31-yard field goal through the uprights with just 42 seconds left in the third quarter for a 30-3 lead and the Generals substituted often for the remainder of the game in posting the 20-point win. W&L finished with 490 yards of total offense, including 320 yards on the ground. Despite the ground success, Owen led the Generals’ offense with seven catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns. It was the most receiving yards by a W&L player since the 2009 season and was his third straight game with 100 or more receiving yards. Kirkland tallied 93 yards rushing and one touchdown on just three carries, while Pollard rushed for 57 yards on nine carries and completed 5-of-7 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Laughlin amassed 52 rushing yards on eight carries and he also completed 6-of-8 passes for 73 yards and one score. Wertz finished with eight carries for 42 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Corry had five tackles and his first career interception. Senior defensive end Oak Mize added three tackles, all for a loss (-11), one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Ferrum finished the game 0-for-11 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down.
LAST MEETING WITH EMORY & HENRY:
(W&L 40, E&H 29 - 10/13/18 - LEXINGTON, VA)
W&L jumped out to a 27-0 lead in the opening 17:50 of the game en route to posting a 40-29 victory over Emory & Henry at Wilson Field. The Generals took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards on just four plays, taking a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard touchdown run by running back Josh Breece just 1:52 into the game. Senior running back Collin Sherman capped a 10-play, 61 yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run that made it a 14-0 game at the 6:20 mark of the first quarter. The lead grew to 21-0 with 38 seconds left in the first quarter when running back Alex Wertz finished off an 8-play, 68-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. On the ensuing possession, the Generals produced three consecutive sacks, the last of which was a strip sack by linebacker Will Corry, who recovered the fumble and carried it six yards for a touchdown. The PAT was missed, making the score 27-0 with 12:10 left in the second quarter. Emory & Henry stopped the early bleeding with a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hunter Taylor to wide receiver Derrick Yates at the 10:58 mark of the second quarter. The PAT failed making the score 27-6. The Generals added a 31-yard field goal by placekicker Jarrett Wright to make it 30-6 with 6:43 to play, but the Wasps responded with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Taylor to senior wide receiver Jesse Santiago with 3:23 remaining in the half. Senior running back Sam Wagner converted a two-point play to make the score 30-14 heading into the half. Taylor found Santiago with a 20-yard scoring strike at 6:35 of the third period, and Taylor converted a two-point conversion to pull E&H within a single score (30-22). However, the Generals responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trey Laughlin to wide receiver Montgomery Owen. The score made it 37-22 with 1:22 left in the penultimate quarter. Taylor hooked up with Santiago for a third time, once again making it a one score contest. The 9-yard touchdown pass made it 37-29 with 14:03 remaining in the game. W&L had the answer on offense, producing a 19-play drive that covered 64 yards and used 9:38 on the clock. Wright booted a 23-yard field goal to make it a two-score game with 4:24 left. The Wasps drove to the W&L 1-yardline on the next series, but the Generals held on downs with just 1:12 remaining. The Blue & White gained 447 yards of total offense led by Breece, who carried 23 times for 163 yards and one touchdown. Richardson rushed for 70 yards on 11 carries and completed 3-of-8 passes for 39 yards. Sherman added 42 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, and also contributed two catches for 30 yards. On defense, Corry amassed a team-high seven tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Linebacker Fred Benham added six tackles and a sack. Emory & Henry had 356 yards of offense thanks to Taylor, who completed 24-of-30 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns. Santiago hauled in eight passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns, while Yates had five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Defensive back Tyler Redmond accumulated a game-high 13 tackles and an interception.
A winning season in 2019 would make five straight for the Generals. That would be the fourth-longest stretch of consecutive winning seasons in program history and the longest such streak since posting six straight winning campaigns from 1980-85. W&L also had six straight from 1919-24 and a record 13-straight from 1905-17.
Since the begining of the 2010 season, W&L has produced a 64-34 (.653) overall record and a 45-18 (.714) mark in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The Generals have also claimed four ODAC titles during that stretch.
THE MAGIC NUMBER:
The magic number for success for W&L is 400. The Blue & White has managed 400 rushing yards in a game 41 times since 2010 (97 games). In those games, the Generals are 38-3, scoring an average of 44.5 points per game with a scoring margin of +20.4 points per game. To contrast this point, when W&L fails to rush for 400 yards during the same span, it is just 26-31 with an average of 23.7 points per game and a scoring margin of -1.4 points per game.
Any talk of the Washington and Lee offense has to begin with its numero uno, junior running back Josh Breece. Breece leads the team in rushing this season with 276 yards and four touchdowns on 57 carries. Breece currently ranks third on W&L’s career rushing list with 3,225 yards, and he can move past Marshall Hollerith ‘17 for second-place with 226 more yards. Breece also has 31 career rushing touchdowns which rank fourth all-time. He can move past Marc Watson ‘01 for third-place with two more touchdown runs.
JACK OF ALL TRADES:
Sophomore quarterback Jack Pollard has quite literally been a jack of all trades. Currently, he is the Generals’ starting quarterback. However, prior to becoming the starting signal-caller in week three, Pollard had served as the team’s backup quarterback, long-snapper, and occasionally a wide receiver, recording a pair of spectacular catches in the opener against Dickinson. Since becoming the starting quarterback, Pollard has completed 19-of-26 (.731) passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns. He has also rushed 38 times for 225 yards and two more scores. He threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns against Hampden-Sydney, the most passing yards for a W&L quarterback since the 2008 season. In his last outing against Ferrum, Pollard played more sparingly, completing 5-of-7 passes for 97 yards and one touchdown, and rushing nine times for 57 yards.
THE FULL MONTY:
Junior wide receiver Montgomery Owen is off to a great start to the 2019 campaign. Owen currently has 18 catches for 456 yards and four touchdowns through five games. That is already the most season receiving yards by a W&L player since Alex Evans ‘14 tallied 470 yards during the 2011 season. Owen snared seven passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the last outing against Ferrum, the most receiving yards by a W&L player since Ryan Welsh ‘10 had 159 yards against Hampden-Sydney in 2009. Owen is currently on a string of three straight 100-yard receiving games, the most by a W&L player since Jack Martin ‘08 had four straight during the 2005 campaign.
The W&L offense produced 12 plays of 30 or more yards across its last three games, including plays of 76 yards, 63 yards and 32 yards against Ferrum. Sophomore running back Coby Kirkland scored on an 80-yard touchdown reception against Hampden-Sydney and then on a 76-yard touchdown run the next week against Ferrum. The catch was the longest passing play for W&L since Nick Lombardo ‘14 found Brett Murray ‘13 with an 84-yard touchdown against Catholic in 2012. The run was the longest for W&L since junior running back Josh Breece scampered 95 yards for a touchdown against Shenandoah in 2017.
The W&L defense has already produced 17 sacks on the season (3.4 per game), a total which is tied for second in the ODAC. Along those lines, Washington and Lee’s rush defense has resembled a stone wall this season, allowing an average of just 46.2 rushing yards per game and 1.5 yards per carry. The Generals have held each of the last four opponents to 50 rushing yards or less. Ferrum had -8 yards on the ground until rushing for 58 on the final series of the game against the second team defense.
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