EMORY, Va. - After a 1-4 start to the season, it seemed unlikely the Emory & Henry College Football Team would be in the running to compete for an Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship. However, a four-game winning streak gives the Wasps (5-4, 4-2 ODAC) a chance to win the league on Saturday with a victory and some help from other teams.
Last week, the Wasps defeated The Catholic University of America (3-6, 0-6 ODAC), 38-27. The E&H ground game was the key to their victory as sophomore running back Sam Wagner (Marion, Va.) ran for 112 yards and a score. Wagner, who now has a touchdown in five straight games, has eight scores on the season. The offensive line was efficient in opening holes, most notably junior right tackle Grayson Williams (Martin, Ga.), who tallied five pancake blocks on the day. This week the Wasps host Guilford College (4-5, 1-5 ODAC) in their regular season finale.
Last season, Guilford dropped Emory & Henry 41-30 in an offensive shootout. Both quarterbacks played mistake free football, however the Quakers were able to get on the scoreboard a couple more times than the Wasps. Penalties also made a huge impact on the game, with Emory & Henry being penalized twelve times compared to nine flags for Guilford. The Wasps, who lead the all-timer series with the Quakers, 38-29, look to continue their current hot streak and snap a three-game skid against Guilford dating back to 2012.
Emory & Henry
While a dual-quarterback system has been run over the past four games, the Wasps wide receivers have not missed a beat. Senior A.J. Hampton (Roanoke, Va.) has caught 15 passes for 231 yards and three scores while freshman Derrick Yates (Abingdon, Va.) continues to find pay dirt as he has scored in seven consecutive games. Sophomore Jesse Santiago (Yorktown, Va.) has three games of over 100 yards receiving on the year.
The Emory & Henry defensive has stepped up its game of late. Sophomore defensive end Davon Keith (Colombia, S.C.) is third in the nation in tackles for loss with 22.5 and fourth in sacks with 11.5. Both of those numbers lead the ODAC. Sophomore Eric Johnson (Roanoke, Va.) and senior Tre'von Lightfoot (Big Island, Va.) are second and fourth in the ODAC in interceptions with four and three, respectively. Lightfoot had another highlight play against Catholic as he returned his latest interception for a 100-yard touchdown last week, which earned Emory &Henry the ODAC Play of the Week. With 16 interceptions on the season, the Wasps furthered their lead in that category from last week's standings.
Despite a sub-.500 record, Guilford has still proven to be an offensive juggernaut. The Quakers lead the ODAC in points per game (37) and yards per game (502.9). Two GC running backs have accumulated over 575 yards and their quarterback, Kartsen Miller, leads the league in completion percentage. Not only is their offense stout, but their defense is at the top of the conference as well. Guilford gives up the third fewest points and the second fewest yards. The major downfall, however, is penalties. Guilford has lost more yards on penalties than anyone in the conference.
Kickoff for Saturday's game is set for 1:00 p.m. at Fred Selfe Stadium on the campus of Emory & Henry College. Fans are reminded that tailgating lots open at 9:00 a.m. Please join us for Senior Day as we honor the seniors of the football team and cheerleaders just before kickoff.