(Carlisle, Pa.) – The Dickinson football team turned in an outstanding performance in the season opener on Saturday, taking Washington & Lee to overtime before the Generals escaped with a 16-10 victory at Biddle Field.
The Generals, who were on the verge of a preseason national ranking after a trip to the NCAA Playoffs last season, found themselves trailing 7-0 until late in the third quarter. W&L received the opening kick-off but were stalled immediately behind a great tackle-for-loss from junior captain James Turner (Ridgefield, Conn./Suffield Academy) on fourth down.
Turner would go on the break the program record for tackles in a game, recording 23 stops on the afternoon.
Sophomore Phillip Butler (Ambler, Pa./Upper Dublin) stormed out of the backfield and rushed for 28 yards on the opening drive. Sophomore quarterback Robert Geiss (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) added a couple of timely passes and then dove in from the one-yard line to put the Devils on the board with 9:13 remaining in the quarter.
The teams traded punts as they headed into the second quarter with the score holding at 7-0. Senior Billy Burger (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle) moved from quarterback to wide receiver this season and will also handling the punting duties for the Red Devils. Burger boomed his second punt of the day 73 yards, pinning W&L on its own one-yard line.
Senior Matt Butz (Monkton, Md./Hereford) recovered a fumble and first-year Johnny Knight (Warwick, Pa./Bohemia Manor) recorded his first collegiate interception as the Red Devil defense kept the Generals off the scoreboard as they headed into halftime.
Montgomery Owen countered a 43-yard punt from Burger with a 34-yard return to set up the game-tying touchdown for W&L. Josh Breece broke away for a 31-yard touchdown to tie the game with 5:18 remaining in the third.
Dickinson regained the lead as junior Ethan Fusco (Caldwell, N.J./Montclair Kimberley) split the uprights with a 32-yard field-goal at the 9:44 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Red Devils were able to hold on the next possession but would have to give the ball back with 3:18 on the clock. The Generals worked the ball to the 11-yard line and pulled even on a 29-yard field-goal from Jarrett Wright with 25 seconds left on the clock.
The Devils ran out the clock and would have the first possession in overtime. The Generals held and then Breece had the last carry from the one-yard line to slip away with the win.
Turner finished with eight solo stops and 15 assists, adding a sack and 3.5 tackles-for-loss on the day. Butz tallied 12 tackles, including two-for-losses to go with the fumble recovery. Brian Snow (Media, Pa./Episcopal) reached double-figures with 10 tackles.
Butler finished with 62 yards on 15 carries while Geiss completed 9-of-18 passes for 55 yards. Burger averaged 40.1 yards per punt on nine attempts, putting two inside the 20-yard line.
The Red Devils are on the road next weekend, traveling to Muhlenberg College for the Centennial Conference opener. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.