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Emory & Henry Football – Offensive Season In Review

Emory & Henry Football – Offensive Season In Review

EMORY, Va. – It was a tale of two seasons for the Emory & Henry College Football Team in 2016. After a disappointing 1-4 start, the season seemed bleak. However, Head Coach Curt Newsome rallied the team to finish the season with five-straight wins (6-4) and a second place finish (5-2) in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. During the five-game win streak, the Wasps offense averaged 30.4 points and 422.2 yards per game. E&H also saw three offensive players named to All-ODAC teams after the season.

The offense's success started up front on the offensive line. Senior McFarland Murph (West Columbia, S.C.) was named to the All-ODAC First Team for the second consecutive season. After grading out at 92% and registering seven pancake blocks, Murph was also named to the D3football.com All-South Region Third Team. Murph was not the only lineman to be named to an All-ODAC team as junior Grayson Williams (Martin, Ga.) was named to the All-ODAC Second Team. He graded out at 89% and tallied six pancake blocks. They and the other three starting linemen provided the blocked for the Wasps to rush for an average of 213 yards per game.

At quarterback, the Wasps played both junior Kevin Saxton (Monroe, N.C.) and sophomore Dominic Dunnaville (Roanoke, Va.) throughout the year. Saxton started nine of the ten games and led the Wasps in all passing categories, throwing for 1,760 yards and 15 scores on the year. Dunnaville, who is a major running threat, tossed the ball for 739 yards and six touchdowns while running for 352 yards and four scores.

Emory & Henry had a talented group of wide receivers for the quarterbacks to target. Sophomore Jesse Santiago (Yorktown, Va.) was named to the All-ODAC Second Team after a great first season with the Wasps. The William & Mary transfer tallied a team-high 624 yards on 39 catches with five touchdowns. Freshman Derrick Yates (Abingdon, Va.) had 42 catches for 558 yards and seven scores, finding the end zone in seven-consecutive games. Senior A.J. Hampton (Roanoke, Va.) had a breakout season for the Wasps, catching 25 passes for 476 yards and five scores. Sophomore Chris Gannon (Alexandria, Va.) also added two receiving touchdowns.

E&H boasted a trio of running backs who made a huge impact throughout the year. Sophomore Sam Wagner (Marion, Va.) led the team in rushes (112), yards (625), and touchdowns (nine) which were third in the ODAC. Freshman Kendrick Kube (Culpeper, Va.) led the team in yards per rush (6.7) and all-purpose yards (1,151). He was especially dominant in the kick return game with a 25.9 yard average. Isaiah Rodgers (Canton, Va.) gained 517 yards on 106 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns.

Overall, the Emory & Henry used its depth and balance to put together a solid performance throughout the year. With the third-ranked offense in the ODAC, the statistics prove that even though many key players were underclassmen, the balanced attack the team put forth was important to its success. With the majority of this year's starters returning in 2017, the Wasps have their sights set on an ODAC Championship. 

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Team Leaders
Passing – Kevin Saxton – 143 completions, 1,760 yards, 15 touchdowns
Rushing – Sam Wagner – 112 rushes, 625 yards, 9 touchdowns
Receiving – Derrick Yates – 42 catches, 7 touchdowns
Receiving – Jesse Santiago – 624 yards, 83 targets