PAC Backyard Brawl Game Notes (Waynesburg vs. W&J)

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Waynesburg University (5-3, 5-2 PAC) at Washington & Jefferson College (5-4, 4-3 PAC)

NCAA Division III Football – Presidents' Athletic Conference


Live Stats:



Time:  1:30 pm

Site: Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Series:  W&J leads 35-3


Series Streak: +7 W&J

Last Meeting: W&J 31, WAY 30 (OT) -- 11/13/2010

First Meeting: W&J 22, WAY 0 -- 11/18/1897

Last W&J Win: W&J 31, WAY 30 (OT) -- 11/13/2010

Last WAY Win: WAY 27, W&J 17 -- 10/25/2003

Last W&J Win at W&J: W&J 35, WAY 12 -- 11/14/2009

Last WAY Win at W&J: WAY 42, W&J 12 -- 10/30/1954

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson and Waynesburg renew their local rivalry, the PAC Backyard Brawl, on Saturday for the 39th time.  The Presidents lead the series by a 35-3 margin and have claimed 19 of the 20 meetings since the Yellow Jackets joined the PAC in 1990.  The Yellow Jackets last beat W&J in 2003, a 27-17 victory at Wiley Stadium.  In the seven games since, Washington & Jefferson's average margin of victory is 14.4 points. 

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns an 84-18 (.824) record at W&J in his ninth season as the head coach.  Sirianni is a three-time PAC Coach of the Year and the 2004 South Region Coach of the Year.  Rick Shepas (Youngstown State '87) is in his seventh season as the Yellow Jackets' head coach with a 39-30 (.565) record.

W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J has amassed a 254-84-4 (.751) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  Washington & Jefferson has claimed 22 PAC Championships throughout history.  The Presidents have won 67 of their last 74 conference contests.

Bethany (68-20)                  

Geneva (38-19-2)                        

Grove City (34-13) 

Saint Vincent (4-1)      

Thiel (41-22-2)

Thomas More (3-4)

Waynesburg (35-3)

Westminster (31-2)

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 31, WAY 30; 11/13/2010, Waynesburg, Pa.}:  Washington & Jefferson stopped Waynesburg on a two-point conversion attempt in overtime and recorded its seventh consecutive victory to end the regular season after outlasting the Yellow Jackets 31-30 at John F. Wiley Stadium.  The Presidents withstood Waynesburg's 39-yard field goal attempt as time expired and used Jordan Roycroft's 25-yard touchdown reception on the first play of overtime to clinch its 12th-straight season with at least eight victories.  The teams traded field goals early in the game and the Yellow Jackets scored the first touchdown at the 7:51 mark of the second quarter on Brad Dawson's six-yard touchdown pass to Mike Ferraro.  The Yellow Jacket defense stymied the Presidents on their final two drives of the half and WU took a 10-3 lead into halftime.  W&J exploded for 21 points in the third quarter to grab a 24-10 advantage.  Mike Trunzo intercepted a Dawson pass on the third play of the half and Gino Rometo capped a seven-play, 69-yard drive by scoring a 1-yard quarterback sneak.  The Presidents forced a quick Waynesburg punt and five Rometo completions to five different receivers led to Tim McNerney's two-yard touchdown run.  W&J stopped WU on downs two minutes later and McNerney's career-long, 55-yard touchdown run gave the Presidents a 14-point lead with 28 seconds left in the third quarter.  Frank Gigler recovered a Dawson fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter, but McNerney fumbled on the ensuing play to give the ball back to the Yellow Jackets.  Ten plays later, Dawson drilled a 24-yard scoring pass to Kyle Kiper to bring the hosts to within 24-17.  W&J was forced to punt three plays later and Dominic Moore capped a quick, four-play drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge to tie the game with 7:39 remaining.  Washington & Jefferson took over on its own 25-yard line and drove to the WU 11, but a pair of losses forced a career-long, 40-yard field goal attempt by Colin Kracinovsky which fell short of the uprights.  Waynesburg took over with just over two minutes left and gained 55 yards on 10 plays; however, Jon Storck's 39-yard field goal attempt as time expired narrowly missed wide to the right and the teams headed to overtime.  Roycroft hauled in a tipped pass on the first play of overtime and scored for a 31-24 lead, but Waynesburg answered three plays later on Dawson's 21-yard touchdown pass to Adam Moses.  The Yellow Jackets opted to go for the win, but Ryan Williams was stopped on his two-point conversion rush attempt and W&J celebrated its seventh-straight win over Waynesburg.  Waynesburg outgained W&J narrowly (418-395) and held a 22-19 edge in first downs.  WU converted 8-of-15 third down opportunities, while Washington & Jefferson won despite only making 2-of-12 third down chances.  Roycroft caught 10 passes, including the 100th of his career, for 139 yards and one touchdown.  McNerney notched a 100-yard rushing day with 107 on 23 attempts.  He also caught two passes for 25 yards.  Rometo completed 25-of-35 passes for 293 yards.  Dawson completed 32-of-46 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns to lead Waynesburg.   Jeff Young hauled in six receptions for 85 yards and was one of eight different Yellow Jacket receivers to catch at least one pass.

SCOUTING WAYNESBURG:  The Yellow Jackets picked up arguably the biggest win in the Rick Shepas era Saturday with a 26-23 triumph at sixth-ranked Thomas More.  The win ended the Saints' 29-game, regular-season win streak.  Waynesburg never trailed after rushing out to a 14-0 lead.  The Yellow Jackets built a 23-7 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter only to see TMC race back to tie the game just seven minutes later.  Waynesburg's offense strung together a long, methodical drive which ended with Chris Marini's 24-yard field goal.  The Saints had two chances to tie or win the game, but were unable to gain a first down on either possession.  Josh Graham led the WU offense by completing 27-of-51 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.  Adam Moses had nine catches for 67 yards and a score, while Christian Jackson added seven receptions for 46 yards.  Bryan Gary led the defense with nine tackles (two for a loss) and the game-ending sack.  The Yellow Jackets are second in the PAC with 26.9 points per game, but are sixth in yardage at 306.4 yards per contest.  Waynesburg easily owns the league's best-ranked pass defense (95.4 efficiency rating).  The WU defense has only allowed seven passing touchdowns all season.  The Yellow Jackets have also done a great job on the line of scrimmage with a PAC-high 25 sacks, while allowing a league-low four sacks (6th in NCAA Division III). 

SENIOR DAY:  W&J will honor 26 seniors (24 players, 2 coaches) this afternoon.  This year's senior class owns a 34-10 overall record and has made two appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs. 

TACKLING DRILL: Senior Neil Sorice, the PAC's second-leading leading tackler, is averaging 9.6 per game and is on pace to break the 100-tackle barrier.  With 14 stops against Waynesburg, Sorice would become the first President with 100 or more tackles in a season since 2001 when B.J. Swartzlander (115) and Matt Dietz (114) both accomplished the feat.

ONE MORE:  A victory over Waynesburg would increase W&J's consecutive winning season streak to 28 years.  The current 27-year streak ranks as the 10th-longest in NCAA Division III history and 16th among all divisions.  Only Linfield (55 years) and Mount Union (33) own longer active streaks among Division III schools.  Ithaca's 39-year streak came to an end this fall. 

BY LAND AND AIR:  As a team, W&J has rushed for at least one touchdown in 17 consecutive games.  The last time the Presidents were held without a rushing touchdown was at Thomas More on Sept. 25, 2010.  Presidents' quarterbacks have not been held to below 10 combined completions in a game since W&J competed 8-of-10 passes at Bethany on Nov. 11, 2006 (56-game streak).

NO RUMBLE:  The Presidents' defense has recovered 15 fumbles over the past two seasons, but has not recorded a return yard on any of them.  W&J does not have a return yard on any of its 18 fumble recoveries since Matthew Gal scored on a 16-yard return on Oct. 24, 2009, at Westminster.  In addition, W&J has 18 interceptions in the past two years and has racked up 81 return yards.  In 2009, the team had 17 interceptions which were returned for 326 yards.

FRIENDLY CONFINES:  W&J owns a 22-1 record throughout history against Waynesburg in Washington.  The Yellow Jackets' lone road win in the series came on October 30, 1954, a 42-12 triumph during an 0-7-1 season for the Presidents.  That victory also marked Waynesburg's first-ever against W&J.   

MILESTONE WATCH: Sophomore wide receiver Alex Baroffio has an opportunity to reach a personal milestone on Saturday.  With 105 receiving yards, Baroffio would produce a 1,000-yard season.  The last President to hit the 1,000 yard plateau was Craig Besong in 2009.  Baroffio averages a PAC-leading 99.4 yards per game (23rd in nation) and has scored seven touchdowns.

FINISH STRONG: W&J has won its last seven regular-season finales, including three against Waynesburg.  The Presidents have outscored their opponents 299-110 in those contests and only one game has been decided by less than 18 points, last season's 31-30 overtime victory over the Yellow Jackets.  W&J's last loss in a regular season finale was in 2003, a 10-7 setback to Buffalo State.

TURN IT AROUND: The Presidents have won the turnover battle only one time this season, a 4-2 edge at Bethany in week three.  W&J had the same number of turnovers as the opponent twice (Delaware Valley and Geneva) and has lost the battle six times, including 3-1 disadvantages the last two weeks.  W&J is 209th out of 239 teams in turnover margin (-1.11, 24-14).  In 2006, Washington & Jefferson finished second in the nation in the same category, committing only 10 turnovers in 12 games, while forcing 32. 

KEY STAT: Saturday's winner may be the team that can pressure the quarterback the best.  Waynesburg is sixth in the nation for fewest sacks allowed (4), while W&J is 26th in Division III with 2.67 sacks per game.  W&J has had trouble protecting Matt Bliss, ranking 205th in the country (2.89 sacks allowed per game), while Waynesburg produces a PAC-high 3.13 sacks per game (21st in NCAA).  WU's Brandon Fedorka is tied for ninth in the country with eight sacks.

VETERAN'S DAY:  W&J will hold pregame and halftime ceremonies honoring members and veterans of the military on Saturday. 

ON A ROLL:  Junior running back Tim McNerney is 191 yards away from 2,000 in his career.  With one year of eligibility remaining, McNerney is 1,434 yards away from tying Ryan Mendel '07 for fifth place on the school rushing list.  He is also 10 touchdowns shy of fifth place on the W&J career touchdown list.