College Football Final – Washington and Lee 20, Guilford 17

LEXINGTON, Va. – Washington and Lee University quarterback Charlie Nelson rushed for 154 yards as Guilford College dropped the windy and rainy Saturday afternoon Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) contest, 20-17. Guilford entered the week ranked 21st in the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll and 23rd in the latest Top 25 poll.

Both sides created long opening drives but failed to convert with the Quakers (3-1, 0-1 ODAC) forcing a fumble on the 11th play of Washington and Lee’s (4-0, 1-0 ODAC) opening possession while the Quakers turned the ball over on downs after marching 61 yards on 13 plays. After the Generals gave the Quakers the football back on downs, Tyler Hunt (Gibsonville, N.C./Eastern Guilford) capped a six-play, 52-yard drive with a 44-yard field goal, the longest of his career, to claim the early advantage.

After a Matt Underhill 31-yard field goal to tie the contest, Mitch Ferrick entered the game at quarterback after Matt Pawlowski (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) exited the game due to injury. After a Guilford missed field goal, Washington and Lee committed their second turnover of the half on a fumble, keeping the score even, 3-3, entering halftime.

After Guilford’s opening second-half drive stalled, Washington and Lee took advantage by capping a 13-play, 86-yard drive with an Evan Hinkle one-yard touchdown run to take the lead, 10-3. The Generals followed their next possession with an 81-yard drive capped by a Nelson five-yard touchdown rush to push the lead to 14 points.

Guilford’s passing attack resurrected on the next drive as Ferrick connected with Adam Smith three times as part of a 75-yard drive. Benefiting from a key Washington and Lee holding penalty in the red zone, Ferrick found Trey Dill on a second down, eight-yard reception to put the Quakers back in the contest.

With Guilford stopping Washington and Lee at the Quakers’ 34-yard line, Underhill took advantage of a stiff wind at his back to convert on a 51-yard field goal to cushion the Generals’ lead after taking 5:35 off the clock on the nine-play drive.

Pushing to rally, Ferrick fired a 21-yard pass to Daniel Woodruff (Tobaccoville, N.C./North Forsyth) to close within three points of the Generals after marching 75 yards in just 1:31. The Quakers attempted an onside kick to continue the momentum, but Washington and Lee recovered and ran the ball for the remaining 2:43 of the contest to seal the victory.

The Quakers amassed 358 yards of total offense, led by De’Eric Bell’s 107 yards on 23 carries and 32 yards receiving on four receptions. Ferrick finished the contest 13-of-24 passing for 139 yards and two scores. Chad Christopher led Guilford receivers with four receptions for 65 yards.

The Generals totaled 485 yards of total offense with the triple-option scheme producing 381 yards on the ground. Nelson added 104 yards passing for Washington and Lee on just three completions. Hinkle ran for 90 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown.

Robert Smith (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) led the Quakers’ defense with 11 tackles, two for a loss of yards. Jaylan Martin and Hunter English (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) added nine tackles while Hunter Hoots totaled eight tackles and added a fumble recovery.

Jimmy Moynahan and Max Garrett made 11 tackles for Washington and Lee while Will Dyson totaled five tackles, one for a loss, and broke up two passes.

The Quakers look to bounce back next Saturday, hosting Shenandoah University for a 1 p.m. ODAC contest inside Appenzeller Field at Armfield Athletic Center.