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Football Prepared to Open the Conference Slate on Saturday

Football Prepared to Open the Conference Slate on Saturday

Shenandoah Roster
2011 Game Recap
2011 Game Box Score

For the first time in the history of the series between the Bridgewater Eagles and the Shenandoah Hornets, the two teams will meet as conference foes when they tangle this weekend on the gridiron.

Saturday's affair with the Hornets also marks Family Weekend on the Bridgewater campus.

Bridgewater owns the all-time series with the Hornets, winning 11 of the 12 games in series history. Shenandoah's lone win came in 2008 by a 10-6 tally in a low-scoring affair at Jopson Field.

Shenandoah started football in 2000 and was a part of the USA South conference through the 2011 season before being welcomed into the Old Dominion Athletic Conference as a full member for the 2012-13 academic year.

Saturday's contest will mark the first time that the Eagles have opened up the conference schedule against an opponent other than Hampden-Sydney since the 2000 season when the Eagles opened with Emory & Henry and fell in a 37-35 thriller to the Wasps.

Last season, running back Darrin McKenzie scored three times and the defense forced four turnovers as the Eagles outdueled Shenandoah down the stretch to take home a 28-23 victory over the Hornets at Shentel Stadium.

Bridgewater enters this afternoon's contest with an unblemished 2-0 mark behind the stellar play of defensive coordinator Jack Johnson's 4-2-5 defense and solid special teams play.

The Eagles have yet to allow an opponent to rush for 100 yards on the year, while the Hornets average nearly 170 yards per game on the ground. After two games, the Eagles have forced five turnovers.

In Bridgewater's 33-7 victory over Greensboro, the special teams unit shined as sophomore Jordan Hartman returned a punt 69 yards to the endzone and amassed nearly 150 total return yards on the day.

Shenandoah enters Saturday's contest fresh off of a pair of tight losses. Last week, the Hornets dropped a 20-7 decision to former USA South rival Christopher Newport. Two weeks ago, Shenandoah dropped a tight 14-7 contest to another former USA South rival - Ferrum.

Senior tailback Carl Joseph is the leader for the Hornets on the ground, averaging nearly 100 yards per game. Joseph bolted for 168 yards in Shenandoah's season opening win at Stevenson, but has been held under 70 yards over the last two weeks.

Senior quarterback Shawn Lloyd is the leader for the Hornets through the air, averaging just under 70 yards per game. Fellow senior wide receiver Qiydaar Murphy is the leading receiver for the Hornets with eight catches for 80 yards and a score.

Shenandoah junior linebacker Josh Rogers paces the Hornets defense with 24 tackles on the year including three-and-a-half for a loss.

Bridgewater is paced offensively by sophomore Jacob Wright. Wright is averaging 103 yards per game on the ground and has one touchdown on the season.

Junior quarterback Willie Logan has shown his dual-threat nature behind center, throwing for more than 100 yards per game while rushing for more than 70 yards in just two contests.

Bridgewater's offensive front has also been outstanding, allowing just one sack through two games. 

On the defensive end, the Eagles have controlled the line of scrimmage, recording six sacks and 15 tackles for a loss on the year.

Bridgewater is looking for its seventh 3-0 start since 2000 and its first since the 2010 season when the Eagles finished 8-2. In the six seasons since 2000 that the Eagles have started off with a 3-0 record, Bridgewater has amassed a 58-11 overall mark.  

Head Coach Michael Clark, already the winningest coach in program history, will be looking for career win number 120 on Saturday afternoon when the Eagles take to the field against the Hornets.

Kickoff at Jopson Field is set for 1 p.m. Fans at the game will have an opportunity to be selected to participate in a halftime contest to win a brand new 2013 Nissan Altima from Staunton Nissan and Subaru.

Tickets for Saturday afternoon's matchup are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for students. Children under six are free. Programs are also available at the gate at a price of $2.

For fans who are unable to attend Saturday's contest, the game will be aired live on ESPN 1360 WHBG in the Shenandoah Valley starting with the pre-game show at 12:25 p.m. The game will also be video streamed via Bridgewater's partnership with NMTVNetworks.