BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Following a 19-14 victory in the season opener a week ago in Latrobe, Pa., the Bridgewater Eagles football team is geared up for this weekend's Jopson Field home opener against the Hornets of Shenandoah.
Last week, the Eagles jumped out to a 17-7 third quarter lead before holding off a late rally from the Saint Vincent Bearcats to win their sixth straight season opener and move to 1-0 on the young season.
The Bridgewater defense was up to the task, shutting down the Bearcats offense all game long, including a first half shutout. Junior Dominic Jeter (Yorktown, Va./Tabb) earned ODAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his outstanding three sack performance in the opener.
Bridgewater's offense produced another 100-yard rushing game from tailback Thomas Tate (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) while the special teams game put a touchdown on the board with a kickoff return from the feet of senior Tyler Beiler (Ronks, Pa./Conestoga Valley).
On the other hand, the Hornets come into the contest fresh off of a tough loss to the Catholic Cardinals at Shentel Field in Winchester, Va.
Shenandoah's offense exploded through the air with a 250-yard game as wide receiver Rico Wallace hauled in eight passes for 168 yards in the loss.
Quarterback Daniel Wright's first game of the season saw the Shenandoah trigger man equal the number of 250-yard games from a season ago. Wright connected on 17-of-33 passes in his Shenandoah debut.
Defensively, the Hornets had two players earn USA South Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors. Junior Corey Giffing and freshman Caleb Hartsook each recorded 13 tackles for the Hornets defensive unit which held Catholic to just 7-of-21 on third down.
Last season during week two, the Eagles traveled to Winchester with revenge on their minds. In the 2008 home opener, the Hornets ended a 66-year losing streak to the Eagles with a 10-6 victory over Bridgewater.
Bridgewater jumped out to an early lead on the Hornets when quarterback Hagan Driskell (Ruther Glen, Va./Caroline) connected with Beiler on a 98-yard strike to put the Eagles up 7-0 early.
The Eagles never looked back en route to a 21-13 victory over Shenandoah, which improved Bridgewater to 2-0 on the season.
Tate had his coming out party a season ago at Shenandoah as the Staunton, Va. native rushed for a career high 192 yards in his first career start in the Crimson and Gold.
Offensively, the Eagles racked up 423 total yards of offense in the victory.
Bridgewater head coach Michael Clark sees a slightly different Shenandoah team than the one his team defeated a year ago.
"This is a Shenandoah team that has lost seven of its last eight games by a touchdown or less. At some point, they will take off and it's going to be our challenge to make sure that they don't take off until a week from now," said Clark on the Hornets.
Shenandoah lost nine games last year by a combined 41 points, including six games by a field goal or less.
The Eagles and Hornets clash is slated for a 1:00 p.m. start at Jopson Field. For fans attending Saturday's game, please note the new entrance procedure for the 2010 season following the summer construction of the Alumni Plaza.
For fans unable to attend, the game will be streamed live online with live audio and video to. For Bridgewater fans in the Shenandoah Valley, the game will be broadcast live on ESPN 1360 WHBG starting at 12:30 p.m. with Bill Phipps and the Pregame Show brought to you by Second West.