LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee football team rushed for 566 yards and forced six Hampden-Sydney turnovers en route to posting the Generals’ most lopsided win in series history with a 52-7 victory over the Tigers on Saturday at Wilson Field.
The previous mark for the largest margin of victory in favor of W&L in the 117-year old series was a 41-0 win over the Tigers in 1946. The win was also W&L’s 12th-straight conference victory, the program’s longest-ever win streak in conference play.
W&L (5-2, 4-0) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the opening 19:50 of the contest on three scoring drives of better than 70 yards. Senior running back Marshall Hollerith (Richmond, Va. / St. Christopher’s) opened the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown run at 7:19 of the first quarter and then senior running back Evan Hinkle (Glen Allen, Va. / Deep Run) scored on a 3-yard run at 2:35. Junior running back Walker Brand (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley) scored the third touchdown on a 1-yard run at the 10:10 mark of the second quarter.
The Tigers (2-5, 2-2) broke through with a 10-play, 69-yard drive that was finished off with a 13-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Alec Cobb to junior wide receiver Cam Johnson at 6:47 of the second quarter, but the Generals responded with one more score for a 28-7 lead at the break. Hinkle scored his second touchdown of the day, this time on a 2-yard jaunt with 1:37 left in the half. W&L picked off a Cobb pass and returned it to the H-SC 15-yardline on the first play of the next series, but the Generals fumbled at the 3-yardline and the Tigers recovered to end the threat.
W&L scored its lone touchdown of the third quarter on a 6-yard run by Brand at the 7:29 mark for a 35-7 lead, and the Generals added a 26-yard field goal from senior placekicker Matt Underhill (Bethesda, Md. / Landon) for a 38-7 lead with 11:59 to play.
First-year running back Oliver Herndon (Crozet, Va. / Western Albemarle) capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run at the 6:04 mark and sophomore cornerback Patrick Ryan (Wilton, Conn. / Wilton) recorded a pick-six on the next series, returning an interception 24 yards for a score and the 45-point victory.
W&L produced a season-best 591 total yards in the contest and amassed the second most rushing yards in school and conference history (566). The only mark better was a 649-yard rushing effort against Averett in the 2015 season-opener. Hollerith led the way with a season-high 127 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries. In the process, he moved into second-place on the school’s all-time rushing list with 3,173 career yards. He is now just 344 yards behind Luke Heinsohn ’13, who totaled 3,517 yards.
Hinkle tallied a career-best 119 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, and senior running back Connor Chess (Fairfax, Va. / Flint Hill) notched 84 yards on 13 carries. Brand totaled 47 yards and two scores on 13 carries. Junior linebacker Dominic Volpe (Germantown, Tenn. / Christian Brothers) totaled a team-high nine tackles and junior safety Michael Shields (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Country Day) notched five tackles and two interceptions.
Hampden-Sydney was limited to 216 total yards and committed six total turnovers, four interceptions and two fumbles. Cobb completed 25-of-38 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown (4 INTs) and Johnson was his favorite target, hauling in eight balls for 50 yards and a score. Junior running back Mike DeMasi registered 43 yards on 11 carries as well. On defense, junior safety Kendall Blankenship and sophomore safety Ryan Mallory each posted 15 tackles.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Randolph-Macon for a 1:00 pm contest.