Eberle’s Field Goal; Wiegand’s Punt Block Highlight W&J 24-21 PAC Backyard Brawl Win
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Sophomore Eric Eberle (Mifflintown, Pa./Juniata) booted a career-long, 34-yard field goal as time expired to give Washington & Jefferson a 24-21 victory over Waynesburg in the 2011 PAC Backyard Brawl at Cameron Stadium.
The field goal was set up by sophomore Dion Wiegand (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks), who blocked a punt deep in Waynesburg territory with 2:15 remaining. The Presidents (6-4, 5-3 PAC) ran five plays and called a timeout with 1.3 seconds left to set up Eberle’s heroics.
The victory clinched W&J’s 28th consecutive winning season which is the third-longest active streak in NCAA Division III football, trailing only Linfield (55) and Mount Union (39).
W&J dominated the first half and raced out to a 21-0 lead. Senior quarterback Taylor Hockman (Martinsburg, W.Va./Hedgesville) connected with sophomore wide receiver Alex Baroffio (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) for all three scores, the first of which came on the Presidents’ first possession. Hockman, making his first career start, hit Baroffio for a nine-yard scoring pass.
The W&J defense forced a punt after just three plays and Hockman lofted a 45-yard touchdown pass to Baroffio on the first play after the punt.
The Presidents’ defense forced three turnovers in the first half. Sophomore safety B.J. Monacelli (Cassadaga, N.Y./Cassadaga Valley) intercepted a Josh Graham pass at the W&J 7-yard line late in the first half and senior linebacker Neil Sorice (Youngstown, Ohio/Canfield) forced a fumble midway through the second quarter which led to Baroffio’s 55-yard touchdown reception at the 7:28 mark.
Senior cornerback Josh Buckley (McKees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox) intercepted Graham on the next play from scrimmage and W&J took the 21-point lead into the locker rooms.
The second half was a different story as a pair of special teams miscues led to back-to-back Waynesburg touchdowns in the opening seven minutes of the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets (5-4, 5-3 PAC) blocked their second punt of the third quarter late in the period which led to Graham’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Adam Moses on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 21-21 tie.
W&J appeared to be in position to take the lead once again after driving 57 yards to inside the WU one-yard line. However, the Yellow Jacket defense held on three plays from that spot, forcing the Presidents out on downs.
Waynesburg gained one first down before punting. The Presidents set up Eberle for a 40-yard field goal with 4:21 left, but that attempt missed wide right. WU advanced the ball to their own 41-yard line, but could get no further after senior defensive tackle Darrick Dominick’s (Latrobe, Pa./Latrobe) sack. Zack Rogers’ punt was then blocked by Wiegand and Eberle ended the Presidents’ season on a winning note.
Baroffio had one of the top receiving days in school history with 10 catches for 207 yards. Hockman completed 15-of-24 passes for 252 yards, while junior running back Tim McNerney’s (Butler, Pa./Knoch) rushed 23 times for 71 yards.
The W&J defense was paced by Sorice’s nine tackles (1.5 for a loss). He finished the year with 95 tackles. Senior safety Jimmy Thompson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) added six stops for the Presidents, who were outgained 315-272.
Graham completed 21-of-41 passes for 269 yards for Waynesburg. Darryl Moore, Jr., produced a game-high 11 tackles.
W&J has not finished a season with more losses than victories since a 3-5-1 record in 1983. A total of 26 Presidents were honored on Senior Day prior to kickoff.