Eagles Travel to Washington and Lee on Saturday
BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater Eagles football team finds itself in relatively unfamiliar territory as the Eagles will look to end a three-game skid in conference play when they travel to Washington and Lee on Saturday afternoon.
After a 3-0 start to the season, the Eagles have dropped three straight games in conference play to find themselves at 3-3 on the season following Saturday's 21-14 loss to Guilford. Bridgewater's 0-3 start in league play is the first for the program since 1998.
Last season, Bridgewater's defense had its coming out party against the Generals. The Eagles held visiting Washington and Lee to its lowest points total since the 2010 season and forced four turnovers, including an interception return for a score late in the fourth quarter to secure a 31-14 upset victory over the Generals at Jopson Field.
Bridgewater never trailed the Generals in the contest and ended a two-game skid in the series. The win handed the Generals their first conference loss of the season.
While Bridgewater has backed its way into a .500 record as the season enters its stretch run, the Generals own a conference win but also find themselves at 3-3 on the year. Washington and Lee is also in relatively unfamiliar territory as the Generals have three losses for the first time since 2009.
On the year, the Generals offense is more of the same with its triple option attack being one of the most effective in the nation. Washington and Lee ranks second in Division III in rushing yards with 363.5 yards per game on the ground. The Generals have only attempted 44 passes on the year and have thrown just 16 complete passes.
Despite having the league's top rushing attack, the Generals have the seventh-best total offense as the team averages just 384.5 yards per game.
Quarterback Nick Lombardo leads the way for the Generals on the ground with 693 yards and four rushing touchdowns on the year. Lombardo is turnover prone as the senior has committed seven fumbles on the year. Senior running back Luke Terna completes the 1-2 punch for the Generals' rushing attack with Terna averaging over 100 yards per game on the ground. Terna adds a team-high five rushing touchdowns as well.
Freshman Marshall Hollerith also adds another element to the Washington and Lee rushing attack with 484 yards and five rushing touchdowns on the season.
Senior linebacker Mike Palicz leads the Generals offense with 39 total tackles while fellow linebacker Peter Partee adds 37 tackles, including 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage.
Washington and Lee's defense ranks fifth in the league in points per game allowed with 22.3. The Generals have forced a league-low eight turnovers on the year.
Bridgewater's offense continues to struggle in conference play as the Eagles are averaging just under 14 points per game against Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) foes.
Junior running back Jacob Wright got back on track last week after seeing limited action in the first two conference games as the Eagles turned to a pass-heavy attack. Wright rushed for a season-high 122 yards on 23 carries in last weekend's 21-14 loss to Guilford.
Quarterback Willie Logan struggled in last week's loss to the Quakers, but continues to lead the Eagles offense. Logan is averaging 216.5 yards per game through the air, despite last week's tough outing. Against Guilford, Logan completed a season-low 43.8% (14-of-32) of his passes for just 158 yards. Logan started the season by going two games without an interception, but the Luray, Va. native has tossed a pick in each of the last four games.
Senior Cassidy Burns leads the Eagles receivers with 22 catches on the year, while freshman Jeffrey Moore has been Logan's go-to receiver in conference games. Moore has caught a touchdown pass in each of the last two weeks and has hauled in five or more passes in each of the last three games to run his season total to 21 catches for 279 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Andrew Palmer leads the team with 55 tackles, including six for a loss. Defensive lineman Logan Whitaker has also been active as of late and the sophomore leads the defense with 6.5 tackles for a loss.
Overall, the Bridgewater defense is third in the league in points allowed at 19.8 per game but it's been a tale of two tapes for the Eagles defense. In Bridgewater's 3-0 start, the defense posted three scores and forced nine turnovers. In league play, the defense has forced just one turnover with Darrick Gore's 38 yard interception return to the end zone in the conference opener at Shenandoah being the lone turnover forced by the Bridgewater defense over the last three weeks.
Washington and Lee and Bridgewater will be meeting for the 44th time on Saturday, with the Generals holding a 25-18 advantage in the all-time series that began during the 1964 season. Both teams have experienced extended winning streaks in the series, with W&L winning the first nine matchups and then seven in a row from 1993-99. Bridgewater won four straight from 1989-92 and then ripped off seven consecutive wins from 2000-06.
Kick off from Wilson Field is set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. For fans who are unable to attend, the game will be aired live on 95.5 WBOP FM in the Shenandoah Valley with the pregame show starting at 1 p.m.