BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Coming off of a heartbreaking 35-34 loss, the Bridgewater Eagles football team will look to send the seniors away from Jopson Field with a bang when the squad hosts Emory & Henry in their home finale on Saturday.
Last week, the Eagles were mere feet away from moving to 6-1 on the season and remaining in clear contention for their first conference title in five years, but a missed extra point and a field goal that went wide left in the waning minutes proved costly.
Bridgewater's offense fired on all cylinders against the Generals, continuing the team's improvements in the red zone and effectively moving the ball at will against the Washington and Lee front.
Running back Darrin McKenzie (Rustburg, Va./Brookville) cruised to his third-straight 100-yard game, with 146 yards on 26 carries. McKenzie's three touchdowns on Saturday was a season-best for the Eagles rushing attack. On the season, the Rustburg, Va. native has 727 yards to place him in 46th in Division III with 103 yards per game.
Through the air, quarterback Hagan Driskell (Ruther Glen, Va./Caroline) had an off day, completing just 9-of-19 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. Driskell continues to climb through the career records list at Bridgewater, moving into the top three in nearly every category with three games yet to play.
Wide receiver Tyler Beiler (Ronks, Pa./Conestoga Valley) continues to lead all of Division III in all purpose yards per game, with 199 per contest. Beiler hauled in a touchdown pass for the seventh straight game, when he scampered 40 yards to the end zone in the second quarter. The Ronks, Pa. native also took over the top spot in career receptions, breaking a nearly 35 year old record set by C. Jay DeWitt in 1975, when he hauled in his 131st career pass.
Defensively, Bridgewater enters the game off of its worst performance against the run in four years. T.J. Montague (Reston, Va./South Lakes) and Darrin Stephenson (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) led the Bridgewater defense with 11 tackles a piece. Despite Washington and Lee's big day on the ground against the Eagles, Bridgewater still ahs the ODAC's top-rated rushing defense and the fifth most tackles for a loss per game in Division III.
On the flip side, Emory and Henry rolls into Bridgewater on a four-game skid after opening the season with a four-game winning streak.
The Wasps are led by 2009 first team All-ODAC selection Caleb Jennings. Jennings has 869 yards on the ground despite getting dinged up earlier in the year. Jennings is second in the conference in rushing, behind Washington and Lee's Luke Heinsohn, who jaunted for three touchdowns last week at Jopson Field.
Through the air, Dustin Beck takes over behind center for 2009 starter Drew Piscopo. Beck is having a standout year for the Wasps with 1491 yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensively, middle linebacker Devan Sproles leads the Wasps with 62 stops on the season.
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.
Following the game, the Bridgewater women's basketball team will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner in Nininger Hall. Fans can also catch a sneak peek of the 2010 version of the Bridgewater Eagles men's basketball team following Saturday's game.