W&L football travels to Calif. and upends the Stags in a record win

The W&L football team goes into ODAC play next weekend with a 2-1 record. The team traveled to Claremont, Calif., and beat the Stags 24-14.

Elly Cosgrove

didn’t stop the Washington and Lee football team from beating Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) 24-14 on Sept. 16.

Tight end Reid Ostrom, ’19, who is from California, said the game against CMS was the program’s longest distance road win in W&L history.

“We had a huge showing of parents and alumni who made the trip out to California for the weekend,” Ostrom said. “There were more W&L fans at the game than Claremont fans and our sideline was way louder.”

Besides besting the Stags, the team also visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and had dinner across from the Santa Monica pier. On the way to the Ronald Reagan Library, the offensive team’s bus broke down on the side of the highway. Other than that minor bump in the road, the team had an overall successful weekend in Stags territory.

It was an impressive game across the board for the Generals, with safety Thomas Freeland, ‘19, capturing two interceptions and running back Walker Brand, ‘18, marking a career high of 154 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Josh Breece, ‘21, added a touchdown bringing the score to 24-0 in the third quarter.

“It’s been great working with and learning from Walker,” Breece said. “He’s a great leader for the team and I look up to him.”

Freeland and several others on the team said the time change did make playing football a little more challenging.

“It brings a whole different perspective to D1 teams who do this week in, week out, it was really tough, but it was a lot of fun,” Brand, who is also a captain, said about the quick turnaround. “I think to go all the way out there and to play a really good team like Claremont and beat them looks really good for us.”

This game followed a win against Sewanee and a very close loss in overtime to nationally ranked Johns Hopkins. In their season opener, W&L lost to then 13th ranked Hopkins with a score of 29-32. Brand led the Generals in rushing yards during this contest as well.

“We wanted to have won against Johns Hopkins,” Brand said. “But I think we’re happy with the outcomes so far. I think we just need to recognize that we have the potential to be really, really good.”

The Generals had a “bye week” this past weekend, but ODAC play starts on the road against Emory & Henry on Sept. 30.

“We’re hungry, especially with ODAC play starting up,” Brand said.

After a strong start, the team anticipates to see continued success as the season progresses.

“Our main goal is to win an ODAC championship and after coming up short last year, I believe the experience and leadership of our senior class will be the key for us heading into ODAC play,” Freeland said. “On top of winning ODACs, winning our first ever playoff game is something that would be really special for our program.”

In preparation for ODACs, Freeland said the Generals used their “bye week” to give younger players a lot more reps, get players healthy and increase depth on both sides of the ball.

The team’s next home game is during W&L Parents Weekend on Oct. 7 against Washington University.