LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee football team held 23rd-ranked Centre College scoreless for nearly 40 minutes of game action in producing a 34-16 win over the Colonels on Saturday evening at Wilson Field.
The Generals (2-1) led Centre 14-10 after the first quarter of play, but scored the game's next three touchdowns to push out to a 34-10 lead with 9:33 remaining in the contest.
Senior running back Brett Murray (Lookout Mountain, Tenn./Baylor) gave W&L a 21-10 lead when he scored on a 17-yard touchdown run with 6:53 left in the first half. The Generals forced a 3-and-out on the next possession and took over on the Colonel 38-yardline after junior linebacker Peter Partee (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's) blocked the CC punt. W&L advanced it to the Centre 9-yardline before a fumble gave possession back to the Colonels. Centre then drove to the W&L 25-yardline with just under a minute remaining, but W&L turned back the Colonels on a 4th-and-1 play.
Centre again drove deep into W&L territory on its first drive of the third quarter, but senior placekicker Jordan Gay (Danville, Ky./Danville) missed from 32 yards to keep the score at 21-10.
The Generals made it 27-0 when senior running back Luke Heinsohn (Charlottesville, Va./Covenant) capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive with a 28-yard touchdown run with 3:55 to go in the third quarter. The subsequent PAT was missed, breaking a string of 104-straight made PATs dating back to the 2010 season.
Centre again drove deep into W&L territory on its next possession only to be stopped again on fourth down, this time at the W&L 23-yardline. The Generals took advantage 12 plays later when junior quarterback Nick Lombardo (Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) hooked up with junior tight end Alex Evans (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) for a 9-yard touchdown and a 34-10 lead with 9:33 left in the game.
The Colonels retaliated with a 14-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Heath Haden (Kingsport, Tenn./Sullivan South) with 6:00 remaining. Centre then executed a perfect onside kick to regain possession, but the Generals again held on fourth down and ran out the clock for the win.
Both teams finished with 434 yards of total offense, with the Generals gaining 338 yards on the ground led by Murray, who rushed 16 times for 120 yards and one touchdown. Heinsohn gained 97 yards on 14 rushes, scoring twice, while Lombardo rushed 19 times for 89 yards. He also completed 5-of-6 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Evans caught both touchdown passes, hauling in three balls for 67 yards. Junior cornerback Mitchell Thompson (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School) led the W&L defense with 10 tackles, including nine solo stops. First-year defensive lineman Patrick Wright (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) notched three tackles for a loss, including a sack.
Centre gained 311 yards through the air led by Haden, who completed 22-of-32 passes for 284 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed 14 times for 28 yards and a score. Senior running back Monte Scotton (Cleveland, Tenn./Cleveland) was limited to just 58 yards on 17 carries, while junior wide receiver Rob Melillo (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) caught six passes for 61 yards. Junior defensive back Erich Vogelsang (Northbend, Ohio/Elder) recorded a game-high 11 tackles.
Washington and Lee will return to action on September 29 as it travels to Guilford College for a 7:00 pm contest.