LEXINGTON, Va. – Washington and Lee and Alma combined for 91 points and 1,132 yards of offense as the Generals emerged with a 49-42 victory on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field.
W&L (3-1) gained a school-record 657 yards, including 444 yards on the ground, in winning the first-ever match-up between the two schools. Alma (1-3) totaled 475 yards, including 350 yards through the air.
The Generals trailed 42-34 early in the fourth quarter, but climbed to within 42-40 on a 15-yard touchdown run by junior running back Brett Murray (Lookout, Mountain, Tenn./Baylor) with 10:38 left in the game. Senior quarterback Charlie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) then found sophomore tight end Alex Evans (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) with a two-point conversion pass to knot the score at 42-42.
The teams exchanged fumbles on the next two possessions before the Scots strung together seven plays that led them to the W&L 15-yardline with just under six minutes remaining. However, Alma sophomore quarterback Jarrett Leister (St. Louis, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) was intercepted by W&L senior linebacker John Kavanagh (Cos Cob, Conn./Greenwich) at the 9-yardline one play later and a Kavanagh return set the Generals up on their own 31-yardline with 5:47 to play. W&L proceeded to march 69 yards on 11 plays, scoring the game-winner on a 4-yard touchdown run by junior running back Luke Heinsohn (Charlottesville, Va./Covenant) with 37 seconds remaining.
The Generals stretched a 10-7 second quarter lead to 24-7 with 4:41 left in the half on a 62-yard touchdown run by Murray at the 7:00 mark and a 54-yard touchdown pass from Westfal to senior wide receiver Tate Davis (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) with 4:41 left in the half. Following an Alma touchdown that made it 24-14 with 1:31 left before the break, the Generals drove 66 yards in nine plays, capped off by a 35-yard field goal from senior placekicker Peter Alston (Norfolk, Va./Norfolk Academy) as time expired for a 27-14 lead at halftime.
Alma sandwiched a 21-yard touchdown catch by sophomore wide receiver Ricky Roth (Washington, Mich./Romeo) and a 5-yard touchdown catch by junior wide receiver Nate Wade (Syracuse, Mich./Eastern) around a 4-yard touchdown run by Heinsohn to make it a 34-28 game with 5:17 left in the third quarter. A W&L fumble on the ensuing kickoff return set the Scots up on the W&L 26-yardline and Alma took its first lead of the game (35-34) four plays later on a Leister touchdown pass to Roth from 14 yards out. Another touchdown pass from Leister to junior wide receiver Mike Lenneman (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea) with 13:11 left in the game stretched the Alma lead to 42-34, setting up the Generals' late game comeback.
Washington and Lee's 657 yards of offense broke the former record of 652 that had stood since a 67-7 win over the University of Richmond during the 1950 season. Murray led the way with a career-high 200 yards and two touchdowns rushing on just 15 carries. He also caught three passes for 22 yards. Heinsohn rushed 26 times for a season-best 123 yards and two scores, while Westfal completed 13-of-16 passes for a season-high 213 yards and one touchdown. He also carried 13 times for 72 yards. Davis snared five passes for a career-high 119 yards and one touchdown, while junior running back Russell Stewart (Elkin, N.C./Elkin) totaled 50 yards rushing and receiving, along with one touchdown.
Alston booted a pair of field goals (20 & 35 yards) and nailed all five of his PAT attempts to extend his school-record string of consecutive PAT's to 61-straight. Senior linebacker Rob Look (Dallas, Texas/Hillcrest) notched a team-high nine tackles, while junior linebacker Stephen Peck (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Cranbrook-Kingswood) amassed eight tackles and a pair of sacks. Kavanagh posted two tackles and picked off two passes.
Leister completed 21-of-39 passes for 350 yards and five touchdowns (2 INTs). He also rushed 11 times for 42 yards and another score. Junior running back Ed Mason (Grand Rapids, Mich./Creston) rushed 18 times for 79 yards, while Roth snared seven balls for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Lenneman had four catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Barak Henderson (Dallas, Texas/Oscoda) caught five passes for 174 yards. Junior defensive back Andrew Funsch (West Branch, Mich./Ogemaw Heights) and senior defensive back Scotty Cole (Alma, Mich./Alma) led the Scots' defense with 12 tackles each.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday as it hosts Guilford for a 1:30 pm homecoming contest.
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