BRIDGEWATER, Va. – In the bullfighting world the term mano-a-mano means striving for the admiration of a matador's fans. On Saturday, it will take on a new meaning As the ODAC's top-ranked rushing offense, Washington and Lee, takes on the ODAC's top-ranked rushing defense, Bridgewater, go mano-a-mano in a pivotal gridiron showdown at Jopson Field.
Bridgewater enters the game fresh off of a 56-27 victory at Guilford, while the Generals come into Jopson Field on a three-game winning streak, including last Saturdays' upset-victory over then-No. 20 Randolph-Macon.
Last week at Guilford, Bridgewater used a trio of quarterbacks before finding its offensive rhythm with 35 second half points in a solid victory over the Quakers.
On the ground, senior Darrin McKenzie had an outstanding performance, solid enough to earn ODAC Offensive Player of the Week honors. McKenzie's 219-yard output against the Quakers ranks 15th on the single-game rushing list for the Eagles and is the highest total for a Bridgewater player in nearly a decade.
Sophomore Dwight Sweatt also posted a career game with two touchdowns, as the Eagles rushing offense galloped for 312 yards, its highest single game total in nearly 20 years.
Senior wide receiver Tyler Beiler continues to roll for the Eagles, after a five catch, 106 yard performance on Saturday. Beiler enters the game against Guilford needing just four receptions to become the career receptions leader at Bridgewater. The Ronks, Pa. native's streak of 26 straight games with a catch is the seventh longest active streak in Division III.
Defensively, the Bridgewater defense continues to stifle the run, holding six straight opponents to under 100 yards on the ground. Leading the Bridgewater defense on the defensive line is junior defensive end Dominic Jeter. Jeter leads the ODAC and is sixth in Division III with eight sacks on the year.
Bridgewater's defense is ranked second in Division III and fourth in the NCAA with an average of 10 tackles for a loss per game.
Washington and Lee got off to a slow start before running off a string of three straight games with over 400 yards on the ground.
Running back Luke Heinsohn leads the Generals spread option attack with 807 yards on the year. Heinsohn scooted for 223 yards against Guilford and is in the midst of a streak of five games with 100-plus yards on the ground.
Quarterback Charlie Westfal has only thrown 56 passes on the season, but has 441 yards and six touchdowns for the Generals.
Defensively, Jesse Jenkins leads the Generals with 54 tackles on the season.
During Washington and Lee's three-game winning streak, the Generals are averaging 47 points per game, as opposed to just eight points per game in their two losses.
Saturday's game has major ODAC implications, as both teams need a win to stay in the hunt for the conference title and playoff considerations.
Action from Jopson Field kicks off on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. For fans unable to attend, the game will be streamed live online with live audio and video. 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.