W&L football earns key victory in their fight for conference champions

The 32-30 win over Hampden-Sydney puts the team on track for their first conference win since 2017.


The football team has an undefeated conference record. Photo by Grace Mamon, ’22.

Will Davis

The Washington and Lee University football team squared off against longtime rival Hampden-Sydney College on Oct. 2 in a game that carried large implications for the race to win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). 

It was a back and forth battle, but the Generals ultimately pulled out the 32-30 victory to improve to 4-1 on the season and 3-0 in conference. 

Down 17-8 two minutes into the third quarter, the Generals executed a 15 play, 82 yard drive that ended in quarterback Stephen Murrin, ’24, finding tight end Alex Vaught, ’23, in the back of the end zone to make it a one possession game.

After forcing another three and out, Murrin let one fly and hit Coby Kirkland, ’22, streaking down the sideline for another 70 -yard touchdown pass. This gave the Generals a 24-17 lead — their first lead of the game. 

With 28 seconds left in the game, Hampden-Sydney had a chance to take the lead back after recovering an onside week, but the Washington and Lee defense held strong. 

Defensive back Charlie Fleming, ’25, knocked down a last-second, fourth down Hail Mary try, securing the Generals’ 32-30 win.

Per usual, the Generals ran the ball efficiently, racking up 262 yards on the ground on 61 attempts. 

Currently, Washington and Lee has the No. 1 rushing offense in all of Division III football, averaging over 330 yards on the ground per game. 

Left tackle Will Jackson, ’22, attributes this success to the positive and competitive mindset on the team. 

“Whether it be practice, film or meetings, we approach everything with the same attitude,” Jackson said. “We are going to be the toughest and most dominant unit on the field.”  

The Generals defense held Hampden-Sydney offense to only 41 yards rushing on 21 attempts. 

Linebacker David Onyejekwe, ’23, was a crucial part of that effort. He racked up 10 total tackles, two  being tackles for loss and a sack. 

Onyejekwe received ODAC defensive player of the week honors for his efforts in the game. 

He gave credit to the team’s opponent from the weekend before, Randolph-Macon, for preparing the Generals front seven for this weekend’s challenge, giving them the confidence to show their strength.  

“Randolph-Macon was an extremely run-heavy team with one of the best offensive lines we’ll play all year,” he said. “Knowing we could handle and contain their run game made us very confident we could do the same with Hampden-Sydney.”

The win on Oct. 2 cemented Washington and Lee at the top of the ODAC standings and showed fans that as long as you win, it really doesn’t matter how you do it. 

The Generals also defeated Newport News Apprentice School on Wilson Field with a score of 42-13 over the weekend. 

They now face a slate of four straight conference games. 

As the Generals win their weekly games, they have a higher goal: bringing home their first ODAC championship since 2017.