Special Photo: Nick Lombardo rushes the ball for Washington and Lee on Oct. 6 against Emory & Henry. Lombardo finished the game with 164 yards on the ground.
For a backup quarterback, Nick Lombardo got plenty of action last season.
He played portions of 10 games, completing all seven of his passes for 88 yards and rushing for 160 yards in Washington and Lee's spread option offense. But second-string status wasn't his goal, so he patiently waited his turn behind a four-year starter senior at quarterback.
Now the Generals' offense belongs to Lombardo, and the junior is having a blast.
"It makes football a lot more fun again (to start)," Lombardo said. "It's tough waiting your turn. It's a lot more fun to be out there contributing and helping your football team."
The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder, with a great deal of option experience from high school, thrives in the spread option, essentially the triple option out of a shotgun formation. The run-heavy attack is first nationally in rushing offense at more than 390 yards per game.
Just last week, Lombardo carried 17 times for 168 yards and also threw a touchdown pass in a 41-14 win over Catholic. He has rushed for 765 yards (95.6 per game) and thrown for 517.
"Our offense is really rolling," Lombardo said.
Washington and Lee is 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference entering today's home game with top rival Hampden-Sydney. The Generals close the regular season the following week at home against Shenandoah.
"We really want to win the ODAC conference and after that hopefully win a playoff game and get into Round 2," Lombardo said. "Coach says he wants us to be playing at Thanksgiving so to do that we have to make the second round. Hopefully we can do that. That would be a big step for our program."
Roby named Thorpe Award semifinalist
Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby, a sophomore from Peachtree Ridge, was named one of 15 semifinalists this week for the Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive back.
Roby has a national-best 18 passes defended, with 16 pass breakups, this season and a pair of interceptions, one returned for a score.
Eagles' Parker shines on Thursday
Collins Hill grad Jordan Parker, a freshman running back, was one of the stars Thursday night in Middle Tennessee's 34-29 win over Western Kentucky.
The 6-foot-1, 207-pounder carried 32 times for 149 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It was his second 100-yard game of the season.
Greater Atlanta Christian's Colton Chapple had 258 all-purpose yards (170 passing, 88 rushing) last Saturday as Harvard defeated Dartmouth 31-14. ... Norcross' D.J. Adams rushed for 139 yards and a TD in Portland State's 49-21 win over UC-Davis. ... Meadowcreek grad Phillip Pickens, a senior at Virginia Military Institute, caught a two-yard TD pass for his team's only score in a 34-7 loss to Coastal Carolina.
Mitchell, Gwinnett players lead Peach Belt honors
Armstrong Atlantic forward Morgan Mitchell, a Parkview grad, was named the Peach Belt Conference player of the year this week, leading a strong group of local players on the list.
Mitchell also was a first-team selection, joining fellow Armstrong forward, and former Parkview teammate Kristina Pascutti, who was the conference's player of the year last season. Mitchell had 16 goals and seven assists this season and Pascutti scored nine times.
A third Parkview grad, Columbus State defender Kansas Bayly, also made the first team, as did North Georgia midfielder and North Gwinnett grad Kelly Penston. In addition to her defense, Bayly had seven goals (two game-winners) this season. Penston has a team-high 11 goals and four assists.
Dacula's Ado Junuzovic, a forward at Clayton State, was a first-team selection on the All-Peach Belt men's team after tallying 11 goals and three assists this season. North Georgia goalkeeper Kris Alonzo, also a Dacula grad, made the second team.
Sabina, Edwards make all-conference
Gwinnett grads Arielle Sabina and Abbi Edwards, teammates at Valdosta State, were named to the All-Gulf South Conference first team this week.
Sabina, a senior from Central Gwinnett, has played all 1,684 minutes of the Blazers' season at defender. The team leader also had four assists.
Edwards, last season's Gulf South freshman of the year, also started all 18 matches as a midfielder. The North Gwinnett grad has two goals and an assist.
Au earns academic honor
South Carolina junior forward Danielle Au, a North Gwinnett grad, was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 4 Women's Soccer Team this week.
Au, also a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, led the Gamecocks in goals, assists and points this season and ranks eighth in school history in goals (16) and ninth in points (41).
Wehr named conference's top player
Regis College (Mass.) freshman Abigail Wehr, a Collins Hill grad, was named the New England Collegiate Conference co-player of the year this week.
In conference play, Wehr went 8-2 at the No. 1 singles spot and also was 9-0 at No. 1 doubles. She helped Regis to the conference title by earning NECC Tournament MVP honors, going 2-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles in the semifinal and final matches. Her doubles team was 13-0 overall and also claimed the NECC Tournament doubles championship.
Wehr was named the NECC rookie of the week three times this season.