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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Eagles open a new chapter with bang

Washington & Lee football coach Todd Jones didn’t resemble a man who had just led his team through its first contest together.

There was Jones Thursday night soaked in sweat, surrounded by his players, performing the same post-game victory chant he made popular during his 14 years at Essex.

The Eagles had just captured a heart-stopping 46–44 overtime victory over rival King George on the Foxes’ home field to open the season.

Jones was hired by Washington & Lee in June, but has already made quite an impression on his players.

“It’s fun to watch kids play hard and get behind somebody they really don’t know,” Jones said. “I’ve been there for two months maybe and they’ve gotten behind me. They’re working, pushing and coming together. It was really good.”

The Eagles (1–0) used a powerful ground attack to take down King George (0–1). Standout quarterback Treshaun Brown didn’t complete a pass, but Washington & Lee amassed 413 yards on the ground behind three 100-yard rushers.

Junior running back D.J. Weldon led the way with 176 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Marion Pollard added 130 yards, including a tackle-breaking 58-yard jaunt, while Dexter Thompson contributed 109 yards and a first-quarter score.

 

Weldon and Thompson attacked the Foxes on the outside, while Pollard pounded them in the middle.

“We want to pace it and push it as fast as we can keep going,” Jones said. “I thought it was good when we had the outside and inside attack. And we can still throw the ball. We just had some things going for us.”

The Foxes had some things going, as well.

They also had three 100-yard rushers. King George was paced by Jacolby White who rushed for 136 yards, including a 70-yard sprint down the left sideline on a fake punt.

But White may have made the biggest impact with his arm on two halfback passes late in the game.

His 65-yard bomb to Willie Calloway tied the game at 38 with 1:18 left in the fourth quarter. White added a 3-yard toss on fourth down to tight end JaQuar Burnett to give King George a 44–38 lead in overtime.

But Washington & Lee pulled out the victory on Weldon’s 1-yard touchdown run and Thompson’s subsequent two-point conversion burst up the middle.

“This game had so many ups and downs but I feel like we pulled through it,” Weldon said. “The o-line kept us in it. And the defense, when we needed a stop, we got it.”

Jones was pleased with his team’s resiliency. The Eagles fell behind 21–6 on White’s fake punt score, but bounced back with two second-quarter touchdowns from Weldon to take a 22–21 lead with 1:08 left before halftime.

King George regained the lead on Chas Parker’s 40-yard field goal with 4.9 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

The Foxes increased their lead to 31–22 on wide receiver Jordan Aley’s 56-yard touchdown run before the Eagles struck back with Pollard’s touchdown to pull within 31–30 with 10:10 left in the fourth quarter.

The Eagles later went ahead 38–31 on Weldon’s 3-yard touchdown run with 1:28 remaining. But King George immediately answered when Calloway was able to haul in White’s pass and race past his defender into the end zone, setting the stage for overtime.

However, Weldon said the Eagles were determined to begin Jones’ tenure with a victory.

“I love that man to death,” Weldon said. “I’d do anything to give him his first win.”

Washington & Lee hosts Windsor next Friday. King George hosts Stafford the same night.

 

  Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   OT   —   F
Washington & Lee   6   16   0   16   8   —   46
King George   14   10   7   7   6   —   44

First Quarter

WL-D. Thompson 6-yard run (kick failed)

KG-W. Clift 70-yard run (C. Parker kick)

KG-W. Clift 12-yard run (C. Parker kick)

Second Quarter

KG-J. White 70-yard run (C. Parker kick)

WL-D. Weldon 13-yard run (D. Thompson 2-pt run)

WL-D. Weldon 1-yard run (D. Weldon 2-pt run)

KG-C. Parker 40-yard field goal

Third Quarter

KG-J. Aley 56-yard run (C. Parker kick)

Fourth Quarter

WL-M. Pollard 58-yard run (D. Weldon 2-pt run)

WL-D. Weldon 3-yard run (D. Thompson 2-pt run)

KG-W. Calloway 65-yard pass from J. White (C. Parker kick)

Overtime

KG-J. Burnett 3-yard pass from J. White (kick failed)

WL-D. Weldon 1-yard run (D. Thompson 2-pt run)

TEAM STATISTICS

  WL   KG
First Downs 19 14
Rushing yardage 69-413 51-354
Passing yardage 0 116
Passes 0-3-0 5-14-1
Punts-Avg. 5-31.8 1-42.0
Fumbles-lost 5-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 7-44 6-44

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing:King George—Jecolby White 12-136, TD; Jordan Aley 8-110, TD; Will Clift 11-106, 2TD; Antonio Johnson 6-27; Chad Blaser 10-3; Zach Johnson 2-2; William Drury 1-(-1); Team 1-(-29). Washington & Lee—D.J. Weldon 22-176, 4TD; Marion Pollard 21-130, TD; Dexter Thompson 13-109, TD; Treshaun Brown 13-(-2).

Passing:King George—Will Clift 2-10-1 35; Jecolby White 2-2-0 68, 2TD; Zach Johnson 1-2-0 13. Washington & Lee—Treshaun Brown 0-3-0 0.

Receiving:King George—Willie Calloway 4-113, TD; JaQuar Burnett 1-3, TD.

 

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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