W&L Football Drops a Heartbreaking 32-29 Overtime Decision to Johns Hopkins

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LEXINGTON, Va. – Thirteenth-ranked Johns Hopkins battled back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to post a 32-29 overtime victory over Washington and Lee in football on Friday evening at Wilson Field.

The win improved the Blue Jays' regular-season winning streak to 42 games and gave JHU its fifth straight victory over the Generals.

W&L jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter on the strength of a pair of touchdown runs from senior running back Walker Brand (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley).  The Generals opened the game with a 12-play, 63-yard drive that was finished off on a 4-yard touchdown run by Brand.  W&L limited the Blue Jays to just nine yards in the opening quarter and held a two-touchdown lead after Brand scored a second 4-yard touchdown run with 13:16 left in the half.

Hopkins got on the board with 8:21 left in the half when senior placekicker Jamie Sullivan booted a 21-yard field goal to make it 14-3.  The Generals went 3-and-out on the next possession and JHU produced a 15-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run from sophomore quarterback David Tammaro with 1:34 left in the half that made it 14-10.

W&L was driving in the waning seconds of the half, moving to the Hopkins' 29-yardline with just over 20 seconds remaining.  However, W&L senior quarterback Matt Sgro (Wilmington, Del. / Salesianum) was picked off by JHU first-year defensive back Macauley Kilbane at the 18-yardline, ending the threat.

Just as W&L dominated possession in the first period, the Blue Jays held the ball for much of the third period, eventually taking a 16-14 lead after a pair of Sullivan field goals.  The Blue & White forced a punt on the opening possession, but fumbled the ball back to JHU after Brand picked up first down yardage to the Hopkins 34-yardline. 

The Blue Jays then went on a 12-play drive that led to a 44-yard field goal by Sullivan.  Sullivan then pulled off a successful onside kick and JHU drove to the W&L 1-yardline.  However, the Generals' defense held, forcing a 21-yard field goal by Sullivan with 5:23 left in the penultimate quarter.

W&L wrestled the lead back (20-16) on an 8-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 6-yard touchdown run from first-year running back Josh Breece (Lorton, Va. / Stone Bridge) with 1:49 left in the quarter.  The two-point conversion try failed. 

The Generals stopped the Blue Jays on a fourth-down play from the W&L 24-yardline on the next series and pushed the lead to 26-16 with 8:33 left on a 3-yard touchdown run by Brand, his third of the game.  The PAT sailed wide, keeping it a 10-point game.

JHU then started a frantic comeback with a 62-yard drive that lasted just 2:51. Tammaro found first-year wide receiver Ryan Hubley with a 5-yard scoring strike with 5:35 left to make it a 26-23 game and the Hopkins defense forced a 3-and-out to get the ball back on their own 30-yardline with 3:30 remaining.  JHU drove to the W&L 33-yardline, but then faced a 3rd-and-17 from the 40 yardline with just over a minute remaining following a sack from W&L senior linebacker David Hogan (Matthews, N.C. / Charlotte Christian) and an incomplete pass.  On third down, Tammaro's pass to senior wide receiver Brett Caggiano was nearly intercepted by W&L senior cornerback Grey Reames (Nashville, Tenn. / Montgomery Bell), but Caggiano was able to wrestle the ball away for a 15-yard gain to the W&L 25-yardline.  Sullivan then booted a 42-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, to knot the score at 26-26 with just 22 seconds remaining.

In overtime, the Generals picked up one first down, but were stopped on a 3rd-and-4 from the 7-yardline.  First-year placekicker Jarrett Wright (Charlotte, N.C. / Ardrey Kell) knocked home a 24-yard field goal to give W&L a 29-26 lead.

JHU picked up one first down on its overtime series, before Tammaro found junior wide receiver Luke McFadden with a 17-yard touchdown pass that won the game.

W&L gained 384 yards in the game led by Brand, who rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.  Breece gained 95 yards and a score on 12 carries, while Sgro rushed for 79 yards on 15 carries and completed 7-of-12 passes for 73 yards with one interception.  Junior defensive back Thomas Freeland (Franklin, Tenn. / Ensworth) totaled a team-high 12 tackles, while senior linebacker Max Garrett (Fairfield, Conn. / Choate Rosemary Hall) and defensive back Michael Shields (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Country Day) notched 10 tackles each.

Hopkins amassed 484 total yards, but was held to just 58 yards rushing.  Tammaro did much of the damage, completing 42-of-61 passes for 426 yards and two touchdowns.  McFadden finished with 10 catches for 141 yards and one touchdown, while senior wide receiver Brett Caggiano snared nine passes for 138 yards.  Junior defensive back Michael Curry and junior linebacker Robby Johnson each posted nine tackles.

Washington and Lee returns to action next Saturday when it hosts Sewanee for a 1:00 pm contest.

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