BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Following its most lopsided defeat since 2005, the Bridgewater Eagles football team will look to rebound this weekend at Jopson Field when the Apprentice School comes to town.
Saturday's game will mark the 28th game in the all-time series between Bridgewater and the Apprentice School with the Builders owning the all-time series by a slim 14-13 margin. The meeting will be the first since the Builders claimed a 21-0 shutout victory over Bridgewater in 1985.
Both teams are coming off of tough losses that were mirror opposites on the scoreboard. Last weekend in Ferrum, the Eagles offense marched downfield with ease on the first drive of the game before settling for a field goal. The rest of the game was all Ferrum as the Panthers forced three Bridgewater turnovers and outscored the Eagles by a 24-3 margin in the second half to claim a 37-6 win.
Apprentice is fresh off of a 14-3 loss to Gallaudet.
Bridgewater's offense rolled up over 200 first half yards, but only had three points to show for it as the offensive woes in the red zone continued to plague the Eagles. On the year, Bridgewater is just 8-of-14 inside the opponent 20 with just four of their chances reaching the endzone.
Senior tailback Anthony Carter rushed for 114 yards on 18 carries to lead the Eagles offense in the loss.
On the season, the Bridgewater offense is averaging nearly five yards per play but is being outgained by nearly 50 yards per game as the Eagles are averaging just 324 yards per outing.
Defensively, Bridgewater held Ferrum to 88 first half yards before surrendering nearly 300 yards in the second half alone and over 200 total yards to Panthers quarterback Marcus Mayo. Saturday's game marked the first time all season that the opportunistic Eagles defense didn't force a turnover.
Senior linebacker Chris Wholey leads the Eagles with 30 tackles on the season, including one tackle for a loss. The Eagles defense as a whole has 23 tackles for a loss on the year to go along with five sacks.
On the other side of the coin, the Apprentice School is also struggling offensively through the first four games of its 2011 campaign. The Builders are averaging just under four points per game and are being held to 107.5 yards per contest.
Through four games, Apprentice has yet to put up a double-digit points total and took a lump on week two with a 76-0 loss to Division I-AA Campbell. The lone win on the year for the Builders came two weeks ago against Greensboro by a 9-7 score. In the win, the Builders put up a season-high 191 yards of total offense and booted a 32-yard field goal with under five minutes to go to pick up the win.
Running back Chris Virgin leads a stable of running backs with 41.8 yards per game on the ground. The Builders are averaging just 41.2 yards per game as a team.
Quarterback Paul Morgan is the leading passer on the team, averaging 55 yards per game. Morgan is completing just 39 percent of his passes and hasn't thrown a touchdown against six picks.
Bridgewater head coach Michael Clark is seeking win number 113 on Saturday and his first victory over the Builders.
The Eagles are 2-0 under Clark against non-Division III opponents with wins over George Mason and Southern Virginia.
With a win on Saturday, the Eagles would snap a six-game Apprentice winning streak in the series with Bridgewater's last victory over the Builders coming by a 16-7 score in 1979.
Kickoff on Saturday is slated for 1:00 p.m. at Jopson Field. Saturday's game marks the week where the College honor's the players from the 1970's – The First All-Americans. If you are unable to make it to Saturday's game, the game will web aired live on ESPN 1360 WHBG starting at 12:25 p.m. with the pregame show brought to you by Hal Duff and the folks at Second West. Saturday's game will also be aired live on BridgewaterEagles.com with streaming video beginning at 12:30 p.m.