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Conference Leading Quakers Set to Visit for Homecoming

Conference Leading Quakers Set to Visit for Homecoming


The Bridgewater Eagles football team will look to get back into high gear this weekend when Guilford College comes to town for a key conference contest. 

A pair of teams on different ends of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference will meet up on the gridiron this weekend as an up-and-coming Guilford Quakers squad visits the Jopson Athletic Complex for Homecoming.

Guilford enters Saturday's game with a perfect 2-0 record in league play, with its latest victory coming from a 56-29 triumph over Shenandoah. The 2-0 start in conference play is the first for Guilford since 1999, while the Quakers are one of three ODAC teams remaining with an unblemished records in conference action.

On the other side of the coin, Bridgewater's conference championship hopes have effectively been dashed after a pair of tough league losses to open the league slate. The Eagles limited Hampden-Sydney on the offensive end, but couldn't make enough key plays a week ago in a 28-7 loss to the Tigers. With the loss, Bridgewater moved to 0-2 in conference play for the first time since 1998 and sits in unfamiliar territory in the basement of the league standings.

Last season, the Quakers stunned Bridgewater in Thursday primetime action at the Armfield Athletic Center. Bridgewater committed three turnovers on the evening and was penalized 13 times for 114 yards as Guilford snapped a five-game losing streak to the Eagles.

Senior Willie Logan continues to lead the offense for the Eagles. Logan moved into fifth place in the Bridgewater annals last week in career passing yards, moving past Robbie Jenkins. Logan set single-game records in pass attempts and pass completions in Bridgewater's loss to Shenandoah with 50 pass attempts and 27 completions. The Luray, Va. native ranks fourth in the league with 228 yards per game through the air.

Bridgewater turned to a heavy dose of Jacob Wright a week ago, and the Manassas, Va. native continues to lead the Eagles ground attack. Wright ranks third in the league in rushing touchdowns with six and is averaging 78.2 yards per game entering today's contest.

Defensively, the Eagles remain one of the top units in the league. Bridgewater has amassed four defensive touchdowns on the year and ranks third in the conference in yards per game allowed (276.8) and is second in the ODAC in scoring defense allowing opponents to score just 19.6 points per outing. Linebacker Andrew Palmer remains the statistical leader of the Bridgewater defense with 45 total tackles and five tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Guilford enters this afternoon's game with the reigning ODAC Offensive Player of the Week in sophomore quarterback Matt Pawlowski. Pawlowski set Guilford's completion percentage record by connecting on 83.9% (26-of-31) of his passes for 360 yards and six touchdowns, all career highs, in the Quakers' 56-29 ODAC win over Shenandoah. Through five contests, Pawlowski ranks third in the ODAC in total offensive yards per game (276.0), passing yards per game (230.2) and a 147.6 efficiency rating. The sophomore also leads the league with a 12-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio.

Quakers tailback Josh Schow adds a dual-threat nature to the Guilford offense as the sophomore is averaging 140.2 yards per game on the ground. Schow ranks second in the conference in yards per game and leads the conference with eight rushing scores. An opportunistic Bridgewater defense could get Schow off track early as the sophomore has committed three fumbles on the season.

Pawlowski spreads the ball around to a number of receivers, but a pair of receivers lead the Quakers with 20 or more receptions. Nick Mearite leads the way with 29 catches, while Adam Smith leads the team in receiving yards with 334 yards on 20 catches.

Defensively, the Quakers are similar to the Eagles as Guilford ranks second in the league with 13 forced turnovers on the season. Despite the turnovers, the Quakers defense is allowing teams to score an average of 27 points per game, and 373 yards per outing. Linebacker Robert Smith leads the Quakers defense with 40 tackles and three tackles for a loss.

Guilford visits Bridgewater for the 40th meeting between the two foes, with the Quakers owning a 22-17 advantage in a series that dates back to 1936. The Quakers won 15 of the first 17 meetings, including 12 straight from 1956-1985. Bridgewater has won 12 of the last 14 games between the two schools.

Since Guilford joined the ODAC in 1991, the Eagles hold a 15-7 series advantage.

Kick off on Saturday afternoon is set for 1 p.m. 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 12:30 p.m.