EMORY, Va. – The 22nd-ranked Washington and Lee football team ran for more than 500 yards for the second straight week in moving to 8-0 with a 42-14 win over Emory & Henry on Saturday afternoon at Fred Selfe Stadium.
The Generals (8-0, 5-0) amassed 555 total yards and 508 rushing yards, had three players go over 100 yards rushing for the first time since its last game at E&H two seasons ago. Sophomore running back Walker Brand (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley) tallied 122 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, junior running back Marshall Hollerith (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher's) gained 117 yards and three touchdowns on 17 rushes, and junior running back Connor Chess (Fairfax, Va. / Flint Hill) totaled 113 yards on 13 carries.
The Wasps (5-3, 3-2) held the Generals on the opening series of the game, but fumbled the punt return and W&L recovered on the E&H 27-yardline just 3:31 into the game. Brand found pay dirt three plays later as the Generals assumed a 7-0 lead at the 10:39 mark of the first quarter.
E&H went 3-and-out on its first series and W&L marched 87 yards on 12 plays, taking a 14-0 lead at the 4:28 mark following a 10-yard touchdown run by Hollerith.
Emory & Henry made it 14-7 with 1:00 left in the first quarter as first-year running back Sam Wagner scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, but the Generals strung together an 11-play, 70-yard drive for a 21-7 lead with 11:59 left in the half. Brand finished things off with his second touchdown, this time for 1-yard out.
After the Generals' defense held on a 4th-and-5 at the W&L 41-yardline on the next possession, an 8-play, 59-yard drive resulted in a 4-yard touchdown run from Hollerith for a 28-7 lead at the 6:17 mark.
E&H made it a 28-14 score heading into halftime when sophomore quarterback Kevin Saxton found senior tight end Ashton Cline with a 12-yard touchdown pass with 3:08 left in the second quarter.
The Wasps got the ball to start the second half, but the Generals' defense held and the offense strung together a 10-play, 80-yard drive for a 35-14 lead with 6:47 left in the third period. Hollerith finished things off with a 3-yard touchdown run.
Emory & Henry looked to cut it to a two touchdown game early in the fourth quarter, but sophomore linebacker Max Garrett (Fairfield, Conn. / Choate Rosemary Hall) tackled E&H sophomore wide receiver Nick Webb just inches shy of the goal line on a 4th-and-goal from the 7-yardline.
It remained a three score game until sophomore running back McKenna Johnston (Jupiter, Fla. / Benjamin School) scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 14 seconds left that produced the final score.
A week after totaling the second-highest rushing total in ODAC history (506), the Generals eclipsed it with 508 yards on the ground and did not commit a turnover for the second time in three weeks.
The trio of century backs were supplemented by 73 yards on 13 carries from junior quarterback Charlie Nelson (Redding, Conn. / St. Luke's). He also completed 3-of-10 passes for 33 yards. Johnston logged 51 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Garrett led the defense with a career-high 16 tackles, including the goal line stop.
Emory & Henry gained 375 total yards led by Saxton, who completed 26-of-42 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore running back Isaiah Rodgers rushed for 72 yards on 16 carries, while senior wide receiver Jake Hess caught seven passes for 46 yards. Senior safety Ryan Byrd notched a team-high 14 tackles on defense.
Washington and Lee will attempt to clinch the ODAC title next Saturday when it hosts Catholic for a 1:00 pm contest. One win in the final two weeks of the season will give the Generals the title and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.