Washington and Lee Football Release

Week 1 - W&L at Johns Hopkins - September 13 - 1:30 pm
THE SERIES: This is just the eighth all-time meeting between these two schools and the first since a 22-8 victory by W&L in Lexington on October 20, 1962. W&L holds a 5-1-1 series advantage, including a 4-1 mark in games played in Baltimore. The first meeting was a 34-3 W&L win in 1913. Hopkins only win was a 13-12 victory in 1957. THE TEAMS: W&L - 0-0 (5-5 in 1996) Johns Hopkins - 0-0 (7-3 in 1996) THE COACHES: W&L - Frank Miriello (East Stroudsburg '67) Overall Record: 10-8-1 (2 years) ODAC Record: 5-5 Record vs. JHU: 0-0 Record in openers: 0-2 Record vs. Centennial opponents: 1-2 JHU - Jim Margraff (Johns Hopkins '82) Overall Record: 37-30-3 (7 years) Record vs. W&L: 0-0 A LOOK AT JOHNS HOPKINS The Blue Jays are coming off of a 7-3 season in which they featured one of the top defenses in Division III. Hopkins allowed just 10.6 points per game, ranking 13th in Division III. Senior LB Mike Albert is the top returnee after making 58 tackles. Offensively, senior RB Don Zajick is back after running for 842 yards last season. Sophomore QB Wayne Roccia threw for 711 yards and five TD's last year and senior PK Todd Bencivenni had 12 field goals. ODAC STANDINGS TEAM W L W L Emory & Henry 0 0 0 0 Guilford 0 0 0 0 Randolph-Macon 0 0 0 0 W&L 0 0 0 0 Bridgewater 0 0 0 1 Hampden-Sydney 0 0 0 1 Last Week Western Maryland 21, Bridgewater 17 Sewanee 31, Hampden-Sydney 7 Generals' Notebook OFFENSE SHINES IN PRESEASON CAMP W&L head coach Frank Miriello was particularly pleased with the play of his offense during the preseason training camp. The biggest area of improvement has been the offensive line, led by senior center Stefan Neumeister and tackles Marc Granger and John Sensing. Senior Craig Lavender, sophomore Jady Koch and freshmen Justin Holton and Colin Fitzgibbons have also been impressive at the guard position. The Generals piled up over 200 yards of offense in just two quarters of action in last week's scrimmage against Fork Union. DEFENSE RELIES ON EXPERIENCE W&L returns only six starters on defense from a year ago, but the group is still experienced. The Generals may start as many as eight seniors, led by cornerback John Benazzi, a first team All-ODAC pick in 1996, and defensive end Jack Boyd, a second team All-ODAC honoree last year. INJURIES COSTLY TO GENERALS A number of anticipated starters have been sidelined at times during the preseason camp due to injuries, with the biggest blow coming to senior wide receiver Nick Hodge. The tri-captain suffered a broken collarbone during the first week of practice and will likely miss at least half the season. Hodge caught 27 passes for 419 yards and two touchdowns a year ago and has been one of the top receivers in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference the last two years. Sophomore J.T. Malatesta, a big target at 6-foot-5, will fill in for Hodge. BATCHELLER READY TO CONTINUE SUCCESS After a remarkable freshman baseball season, W&L sophomore quarterback Christian Batcheller appears ready to carry his success over to the football field. Batcheller won the ODAC Triple Crown in baseball with school records for batting average (.490), home runs (9) and RBI (45). The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder has been impressive throwing the ball throughout camp and was equally impressive in W&L's testing the opening day of practice. He bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times. TURF WARS W&L will find itself on unfamiliar footing at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field on Saturday. The game will mark the first time that W&L has played on artificial turf since beating Georgetown 27-12 in the 1991 season finale. W&L also beat Georgetown on turf in 1980, 1982 and 1989 and has not lost on artificial turf since falling to the Hoyas in 1978. REPEATING HISTORY? W&L's last trip to Homewood Field was in 1975 when the Generals' lacrosse team shocked Johns Hopkins with an 11-7 victory in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I Tournament. That victory snapped a 27-game home winning streak for Hopkins' lacrosse team. Hopkins football team opens the 1997 season with a five-game home winning streak after going 5-0 at Homewood last year. GENERAL NEWS Senior tailback Seth McKinley enters the year ranked eighth on W&L's all-time rushing list with 1,388 career yards...McKinley needs 86 yards to pass Randy Broyles (1950-52) for seventh place...Saturday's game will be W&L's first in the state of Maryland since playing at Towson State in 1974...W&L has not won a season opener since beating Dickinson 33-7 in 1984...of the 12 straight opening day losses, 11 came against perennial ODAC power Emory & Henry and last year's was to Ursinus, which qualified for the NCAA playoffs...E&H qualified for the NCAA's four times during that span...W&L coach Frank Miriello needs one win to move into a tie for 10th place on the school's all-time winningest coaches list...he has reached 10 wins faster than any coach since Tex Tilson in 1934.
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