By Harry Davis
On September 2, the Sewanee Tigers started the season with a victory against the Kenyon College Lords 43-10. The Tigers returned home on Saturday, September 8, and lost 47-14 to the Washington and Lee Generals.
Last year, the Tigers finished the season with a record of three and seven under new head coach Travis Rundle. Sewanee showed potential with a couple close games that slipped away from them late. This season, the Tigers started on the road against Kenyon College, the team that they opened against last year and won 45-20 behind a strong defensive performance that saw the Lords throw five interceptions.
Sewanee started the game with a dominant 11 play, 73-yard drive, but stalled on the Kenyon six-yard line after two short rushes and an incomplete pass and settled for a field goal by Michael Jacobs (C’19). The Tiger defense held the Lords to a three and out before the Tigers pushed down the field again, highlighted by a 28-yard run by quarterback Alex Darras (C’20) before they stalled on the Kenyon 16-yard line and kick a field goal.
The Tiger’s defense continued their dominance against the Lords with an interception by Thomas Richardson (C’20). This time, the Sewanee’s offense moved to the Kenyon 17-yard line before a field goal put them up nine to zero despite having been in the red zone three times.
Sewanee’s defense stifled Kenyon, which led to a punt and another opportunity for the offense. After three drives that stalled deep in Kenyon territory, the Tigers finally broke through as Darras completed five of six passes for 70 yards capped with a 13-yard pass to Warren Holland (C’20) to put Sewanee up 16-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began as it ended for the Tigers, as they scored two more times: one a four-yard run by Darras and another a catch by Micah Maes (C’20). At half time, the score was 30-3 Sewanee with a late Kenyon field goal as their only points on the board. On the opening drive of the second half, Kenyon showed life with an eight play, 65-yard touchdown drive to make the score 30-10 before the Tigers scored two late touchdowns in the third to put the game away at 43-10.
The Tigers played their next opponent, Washington and Lee, at home, and they lost 47-14. Despite only allowing 75 passing yards, the Generals’ rushing game gashed the Tiger’s for 554-yard rushing with two players rushing for more than 100 yards and five players rushing for more than 50 yards.
Sewanee’s defense began the game against the Generals with a turnover as Karim Antoine (C’19) forced a fumble and Lee Menefee (C’19) recovered it. Sewanee’s offense struggled early with a three and out on their first drive before Washington and Lee scored a touchdown and missed the extra point on the following drive. The Tigers missed a field goal early in the second quarter and the Generals scored one more touchdown with 3 minutes left in the first half. The defenses for both teams were the story of the first half as the first half ended with a score of 13-0.
The second half began with a three and out for the Tigers before Washington and Lee returned a punt for a touchdown. The offense struggled to move the ball when the Tigers pulled off a trick play as Maes threw a 48-yard pass to Colin May (C’21) to cut the Generals’ lead to 20-7. Washington and Lee’s rushing offense pulled away in the second half as they scored 34 points to Sewanee’s 14 to make the final score 47-14 Washington and Lee.
Washington and Lee’s offense continued to be driven by the run and the triple option as they only attempted three passes in the entire game. The Generals instead rushed for 402 yards on 62 carries. Sewanee’s offense moved the ball well, as Darras threw for 325 yards and tallied 490 overall yards of offense compared to the Generals’ 501, but the Tigers were plagued by turnovers late as they tried to get back into the game.
To highlight a notable performance by two of the players, in the game against Kenyon College, running back Holland rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown and caught two passes for 41 yards a touchdown. In the game against Washington and Lee, wide receiver Maes was in on both Tiger scoring plays, as he caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown and threw a 48-yard touchdown pass.
Sewanee is now at one loss and one win and will continue their homestand against Austin College on Saturday, September 15 and Millsaps College on Saturday, September 22.