St. Louis, Mo., September 10, 2011 – Senior wide receiver Easton Knott hauled in three catches for 62 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Washington University in St. Louis football team to a 48-21 victory over Rhodes College in its 2011 home opener on Saturday afternoon at Francis Field.
Knott had a pair of touchdown receptions in the first quarter (37 yards, nine yards), and a 16-yard TD catch in the second quarter as Washington U. jumped out to a commanding 35-7 lead at halftime. Washington U. has now won seven-straight home games dating back to the 2009 season, and its 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
The Bears jumped ahead 7-0 on its opening drive of the contest following a 37-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Dan Burkett to Knott. Rhodes (0-1) answered right back, taking advantage of the no-huddle offense to tie the score at 7-7 following a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Perkins to Buddy Legins.
Knott caught a nine-yard pass from Burkett to make it 14-7, and then hauled in a 16-yard TD reception from junior quarterback Adam Banks to put Washington U. up 21-7 with 14:07 to play in the second quarter.
Banks would toss his second TD of the contest, this time a 12-yard screen pass to sophomore running back John Hagemann, pushing the lead to 28-7. Junior Eric Chalifour added a 34-yard field goal to make it 31-7 at halftime. The Bears outgained Rhodes, 219-150, in the first half, and controlled possession, 19:55-10:05.
Banks added a five-yard TD run with 5:10 left in the third quarter to make it 38-7. Chalifour had a 42-yard field goal and freshman Tim Bartholomew added a 56-yard TD reception from sophomore QB Alex Hines late in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.
Burkett was 9-of-15 for 92 yards and two touchdowns, while Banks connected on 7-of-10 passes for 96 yards and two TDs. Junior running back Chris Castelluccio led the rushing attack with 60 yards on 10 carries. Sophomore Nelson Nwumeh led the defensive unit with a career-high eight tackles, while sophomore defensive back Tate Byers had seven tackles and his first career interception. Sophomore defensive back Scott O'Brien also had three tackles and four pass break-ups.
Washington University returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 17, at home against No. 19 Wittenberg University. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., at Francis Field. The game will be broadcast live on http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/wustl.portal#.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. recovered an onside kick by senior Austin Morman, which led to the Knott's second TD of the game … Rhodes leads the all-time series with Washington U., 24-23-1 … Senior Joe Rhein made his 32nd-consecutive start at center, while senior Dan Sufranski made his 22nd-straight start on the defensive line … Saturday's home opener lasted two hours and 57 minutes … The Bears were 11-of-18 on third down in the victory.