Friday night football in Montross was an Eagle fan delight. Winning the nicknamed “Border Brawl,” the W&L Varsity team out-lasted and out-played their neighbors from Richmond County. The formidable Raiders were more than a worthy opponent; but, could not overcome the home field determination from the Eagles. Final score posted was 38-27. W&L is now 3-0.
A scoring frenzy occurred in the first half with both teams adding points to the board at each possession. In the first possession, senior quarterback Carson Bell found Sophomore Shane McNeil in the end zone. Rappahannock answered with their own rushing score but opted and made a two point conversion taking the lead 8-7. W&L struggled through a hard set of downs that included a sack. Remaining composed, Bell found Junior James McNeil on third down bringing the ball into scoring territory on the Raiders 20-yard-line, a 40-yard gain. Garret Oliff was the receiver of the touchdown pass from Bell and with the PAT good, the score 14-8.
Richmond County scored two more times but opted and missed a two-point conversion resulting in a score of 14-21. W&L tied the score with a rushing TD by James Kelly, Jr., his first of the night.
With the Eagle defense forcing a Raider punt, W&L hit the ground running. Kelly had a huge 65-yard run to the end zone called back for a penalty followed by a 20-yard Bell run also being called back with a flag. So back to the air the Eagles went with Bell hitting JJ McNeil for a 75-yard touchdown run. The half ended 28-21.
The second half was a different game. Defenses came alive and turnovers abounded. Rappahannock intercepted Bell twice, one for a touchdown. W&L also forced two turnovers: an interception by Raquan Dameron and a fumble recovery by JJ McNeil that was turned into a field goal by kicker Jacob Ristau, who was perfect for the night including 5 extra points.
Defensively, the Eagles again tackled as a team with 14 players credited for at least two tackles and led by Oliff with four.
Head Coach Joe Taylor remains undefeated in his inaugural year at Washington and Lee winning his first three games. Taylor is confident of his team, calling them “tough” and states that as coaches, they know their potential. “We work on three things. We work on protecting the program. That applies on and off the field. We work on no whining, no complaining, and no excuses – that is taking responsibility for our actions. And we are working on being early. Those things apply to everything we do.” And, so far in 2017, the team is heading in the right direction. The Eagles are soaring.
Next week the Eagles travel to King William. The next home game is September 29 against Charles City and also the W&L “Hall of Fame” game where new members will be inducted. Kick off at 7 p.m.
Bell: 15 attempts 10 completions, 195 yards, 3 TD, 2 Int
James Kelly: Jr. 24 attempts for 155 yards, 2 TD
Carson Bell: 8 attempts for 86 yards
James McNeil: 4 catches for 130 yards, 1TD
Shane McNeil: 2 catches for 45 yards, 1 TD
Carl Baylor: 2 catches for 10 yards
Garrett Oliff: 1 catch 20 yards, 1 TD