LEXINGTON, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Football Team (7-1, 4-1 ODAC) overcame cold, windy weather Saturday afternoon as it racked up 568 yards of total offense to defeat Washington and Lee University (1-7, 1-4 ODAC) by a 36-9 score at Wilson Field. It is the first time since the 2009 season that the Wasps have defeated the Generals.
Emory & Henry started its first offensive possession at its own 20 yardline after W&L was unable to convert a fourth-down attempt. The Wasps went down the field in nine plays to get on the board as freshman quarterback Kevin Saxton (Monroe, N.C.) hit freshman wideout Elijah Van Dorn (Powder Springs, Ga.) with an eight yard pass for the score.
After trading punts with Washington and Lee, the E&H offense went back on the attack. Freshman running back Isaiah Rodgers (Canton, Ga.) plunged in from one yard out to put Emory & Henry up 14-0 with 3:01 left in the first quarter. Freshman Chris Thompson (Blue Ridge, Va.) had 33 yards on the ground during the drive.
The Wasps made it 21-0 early in the second quarter when Saxton hit junior tight end Ashton Cline (Gilbert, W.Va.) with a 37 yard touchdowns pass over the middle as Cline went untouched into the end zone. E&H added another score to go up 28-0 when Rodgers rushed in from three yards out for his second score of the contest.
Washington and Lee got on the board with 5:12 to go before halftime as Evan Hinkle scored a nine-yard touchdown to make the score 28-6. The snap on the resulting point-after attempt went through the hands of the holder and was scooped up by E&H junior linebacker Rennel Marshall (Rustburg, Va.), who rumbled 93 yards for the defensive two-point conversion and the 30-6 advantage.
The Generals closed the gap to 30-9 at the half thanks to a 37-yard field goal by Matt Underhill with 29 seconds to go. Emory & Henry attempted to streak down the field for a last-minute score before going into the break, but the weather and the clock were too much to overcome.
After a scoreless third quarter that saw four of the five combined possessions end via a fumble, Emory & Henry got the ball back with 13:25 to go in the game. Saxton and his offense put together a four-play, 81-yard strike, highlighted by a 49-yard reception by Rodgers. After Cline caught a 22-yard pass to set up first-and-goal at the one, senior running back Joe Vaughn (Gate City, Va.) finished things out for the touchdown, making the score 36-9 after the subsequent point after was blocked.
Washington and Lee would only run two plays inside Emory & Henry territory in the final 11 minutes of the game as the Wasps cruised to their first win over the Generals in five years.
Saxton finished the game with 379 yards on 29-for-39 passing for two touchdowns. Rodgers had 155 all-purpose yards, rushing for 65 yards and two scores while adding five catches for 90 yards. Thompson rushed seven times for 56 yards while senior wideout Josh Smith (Radford, Va.) caught six balls for 84 yards. Cline finished the game with four receptions for 63 yards and a score as 10 different Wasps caught passes on the afternoon.
Emory & Henry ran for 185 yards and threw for 383 on the day, and was able to overcome three lost fumbles and an interception. The Wasps were nine-for-18 on third down and converted all three of their fourth-down attempts in the game, averaging 6.5 yards per play.
Washington and Lee's triple option attack gained 285 yards but fell victim to a total of seven fumbles (four lost) in the less than ideal weather. Walker Brand had 82 yards on the ground while Marshall Hollerith notched 64 yards. Hinkle finished the contest with 60 yards to go along with his touchdown. Charlie Nelson went nine-for-19 for 79 yards and added 27 rushing yards as he hit Jimmy Dugan six time for 43 yards though the air.
Defensively for E&H, Marshall had 10 tackles, including two for a loss of seven yards, and forced a fumble. Senior safety Clint Peregoy (Salem, Va.) led all players with 11 stops while senior safety Roth Healey (Easton, Pa.) had seven tackles, a pass defended and a fumble recovery. Sami Khabir (Capitol Heights, Md.), Tre'von Lightfoot (Big Island, Va.) and Carter Harlow (Bristol, Va.) each recovered fumbles in the game.
The Generals' defense was led by Brandon Taylor and Michael Shields, who made 10 tackles each. Taylor recovered two fumbles for 47 yards while Shields returned an interception 37 yards and blocked a kick.
Emory & Henry will return home next week for an Old Dominion Athletic Conference game against Shenandoah University. The Wasps and Hornets will kick things off in a key league contest at 1:00 p.m., at Fred Selfe Stadium.