WINCHESTER, Va. – The Washington and Lee football team saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end with a 14-6 loss at Shenandoah on Saturday afternoon.
The Generals (8-2, 5-1) opened an early lead when senior running back Alex Wertz (Sterling, Va. / Dominion) capped a 7-play, 92-yard drive with a 44-yard touchdown run for a 6-0 advantage. W&L went for two, but was unsuccessful.
The Blue & White forced a 3-and-out on Shenandoah’s next series and W&L opened the next offensive possession with a 33-yard run by senior running back Josh Breece (Lorton, Va. / Stone Bridge). However, the drive stalled on downs four plays later at the SU 45-yardline.
The Hornets (7-3, 3-3) found offensive success for the first time after the defensive stop, driving 55 yards in nine plays to take a 7-6 lead on an 18-yard touchdown pass from first-year quarterback Steven Hugney to senior wide receiver Austin Ragan at the 10:23 mark of the second quarter.
W&L picked up two first downs on the following series, but fumbled the ball away, setting up the Hornets at the Generals’ 40-yardline. This time the W&L defense would hold, stopping Shenandoah on a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yardline and the teams would head to the half with the Hornets leading 7-6.
Shenandoah received the opening kickoff of the third quarter and proceeded to march 72 yards on 15 plays to assume a 14-6 lead. Senior running back Rashadeen Byrd, Jr., completed the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run.
W&L drove to the SU 38-yardline on the next offensive possession, but the Generals were once again held on downs. Neither team proved much of a threat to score after that point, until W&L took over on the Shenandoah 48-yardline with 4:18 left in the game. The Blue & White drove to the SU 11-yardline with 44 seconds remaining, but sophomore quarterback Stephen Murrin (Fort Worth, Texas / Fort Worth Country Day) was intercepted in the endzone by Shenandoah senior defensive back Trammell Anthony with 37 seconds remaining and the Hornets ran out the clock for the win.
The Generals out-gained the Hornets, 356-255, but could not overcome two turnovers and going 2-of-5 on fourth down conversions. Murrin led the way with 138 yards rushing on 21 carries. He went 3-of-10 passing for 39 yards and one interception. Breece rushed for 97 yards on 17 carries, while Wertz finished with 82 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. On defense, senior linebacker Alex Andros (Fredericksburg, Va. / Courtland) posted a team-high 10 tackles.
Hugney led the Hornets with 198 yards and one touchdown through the air. Byrd rushed for 69 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries, adding six catches for 45 yards as well. Senior linebacker Ben Burgan registered a game-high 20 tackles.
Washington and Lee returns to action next Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Generals’ opponent will be announced on Sunday evening.