College Football Final – Guilford 34, Washington and Lee 27

LEXINGTON, Va. – Justin Parker’s seven-yard touchdown run with 9:06 left in the game lifted visiting Guilford College past Washington and Lee University, 34-27, for the Quakers’ first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) win of the year. The go-ahead score broke a 27-27 tie, the game’s fourth and final deadlock.

Washington and Lee (4-4, 1-3 ODAC) drove to Guilford’s four-yard line on the ensuing possession, but the Quakers’ Richie Paul stuffed quarterback Charlie Westfal’s keeper on fourth-and-one with 5:16 left in the game. Guilford (4-3, 1-2 ODAC) preserved the win with three first downs that ran out the clock.

Paul’s stop marked Guilford’s second big defensive play of the half. Freshman cornerback Kenneth Hyman III returned a third-quarter interception 69 yards for a score, which gave Guilford a 24-17 edge.

The lead held until Washington and Lee senior Stuart Sitterson scored on a 48-yard run later in the third. Despite playing with sore ribs, Sitterson amassed 323 all-purpose yards, 91 on the ground. He also led the Generals with five receptions for 53 yards and returned four kickoffs for 179 yards. He also set the school’s career kick-return yardage record.

Guilford senior quarterback Josh Vogelbach completed 29 of 51 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns. He became just the sixth NCAA quarterback (all divisions) to surpass the 1,100 career completions mark and now has an NCAA Division III-best 1,108 completions. Vogelbach also passed Capital University’s Rocky Pentello for third place on Division III’s career passing yardage list (12,770). He needs 493 passing yards to break Justin Peery’s (Westminster (Mo.)) record.

Quakers’ receivers Chad Kastor and Kevin Vaughn combined for 20 catches and 227 receiving yards. Vaughn caught nine passes for 120 yards and two scores in his fourth straight game with 100 or more receiving yards. He moved into fifth place among the Quakers’ career touchdown receptions leaders (21) and into sixth place with 165 career catches. Kastor matched his season high with a game-best 11 catches for 106 yards. Parker finished with a game-high 98 rushing yards on 18 carries and tied the school record with his eighth rushing score of the year.

Both team’s scored on their first possessions in a back-and-forth opening quarter. Guilford took the game’s opening drive 66 yards in 11 plays and scored on Vogelbach’s seven-yard touchdown pass to Vaughn. Hunter Chappell’s extra point gave the Quakers a short-lived 7-0 lead. Sitterson, NCAA Division III’s third-leading kickoff returner, returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards and the Generals started their opening drive on Guilford’s 14-yard line thanks to a 15-yard facemask penalty on the Quakers. Westfal’s 15-yard scoring pass to Billy Murray on third-and-11 made it a 7-6 game. Martin Prichard’s PAT tied the score with 9:07 left in the first period.

The scored remained tied until the start of the second quarter. Guilford’s Brice Carlson recovered a Washington and Lee fumbled punt return at the Generals’ 14-yard line to end the first quarter. Three plays later Vogelbach threaded a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vaughn for a 14-7 Guilford lead. With Westfal and Sitterson nagged by injuries, the Quakers’ defense kept the Generals at bay. Guilford’s offense made two trips inside the Generals’ territory, but turned the ball over on downs and a fumble at the Washington and Lee 12-yard line. Tommy Matteo recovered the loose ball, which led to an eight-play, 88-yard scoring drive. Westfal completed three of four passes on the drive, including a 27-yard scoring pass to Cody Smith with 1:50 left in the half. The extra point tied the game at 14-14.

The teams traded field goals in the final minute to make the score 17-17 at the half. Chris Pruger set up a 25-yard Prichard field goal by picking off Vogelbach near midfield and returning the ball to Guilford’s 14-yard line. The Quakers responded by moving 46 yards in four plays to set up Chappell’s career-long 39-yard kick as the first half expired.

The Quakers return to action Saturday (11/1) at league-rival Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. The Generals look to snap a three-game losing streak at ODAC-foe Bridgewater College Saturday.