Big stage, huge win for W&L
There was a different feel in the air at the Eagle’s Nest in Montross Friday night. Sure, it was Homecoming, the band marched (quite well, I might add), and the Eagles wore throw-back, Columbia blue jerseys. There was also a change in attitude and outcome as the Washington & Lee football team took the field.
On its first play from scrimmage, Spotsylvania fumbled, and the Eagles’ Kaleel Pratt recovered. On first down, Treshaun Brown connected with Davon Hamilton for
Kaleel Pratt celebrates after defeating Spotsylvania last Friday
a 10-yard gain setting up first and goal. Two plays later, Brown took it in himself from seven yards out for a quick Eagles lead.
The Eagles’ quick strikes continued as Spotsylvania fumbled on two of its next three plays, with Ryan Taylor recovering one and Gabe Loesel recovering the other. W&L turned both of those into touchdowns as well, the first coming on a five-yard run by D.J. Weldon and the second on a two-yard run by Weldon. With seven minutes to play in the first quarter, the Eagles had run out to a 20-0 lead. Eagles coach Antron Yates was pleased by the performance. “The last few games, we have not capitalized. We finally seized the momentum.”
Spotsylvania finally put some points on the board in the second quarter when Charlie Petitt scored on a 4-yard run, but the Eagles responded just before halftime. Hamilton intercepted a pass and returned the ball to the Spotsylvania 42. On the next play Brown hooked up with Jarret Sumiel for a 37-yard completion. With 16 seconds left, Marion Pollard ran it in for a four-yard touchdown, and the Eagles led 26-7 at halftime.
After the halftime Homecoming festivities, where Davon Hamilton and Alexa Weeks were named king and queen, it looked like the momentum might shift the other direction. Kevin Reifenberg intercepted a Tre Brown pass and returned it for a touchdown. The Knights also scored a field goal later in the quarter, but in the fourth quarter, Brown found Hamilton all alone for a 48-yard touchdown pass. From there, the Eagle defense was stifling. Coach Yates was pleased by the great defensive performance of Hamilton and Keith Johnson and, what he called, “the hard hat kids Markeyse Thompson, Kaleel Pratt, Alex Lane and Ryan Taylor.”
Washington & Lee played a solid game all night, and it paid off with an impressive win. Coach Yates said, “Friday night, we were relentless. When we play all four quarters, we are a tough team to beat.” The Eagles will take their tenacity to Lancaster this Friday night.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.