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Bridgewater Facing Nation's Top-Ranked Passing Attack

safety william clift waits for the snap

Bridgewater College Eagles (3-2, 0-2 ODAC) at Shenandoah University Hornets (4-1, 2-0 ODAC)

After a tough day against the run last weekend, Bridgewater will look to get back on track against the nation's leading passing offense.

When: Saturday, October 14
Where: Sprint Field at Shentel Stadium
Start Time: 7:00 p.m.

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Bridgewater had no answer for Randolph-Macon's rushing attack, as the Eagles fell 52-24 to the Yellow Jackets at Jopson Field.

RMC rushed for 449 yards and six scores, while needing to pick up just 18 first downs in the process. They were led by defending ODAC Player of the Year Tre Frederick, who totaled 269 yards and four first half scores on just 18 carries. The Yellow Jackets had four TD rushes over 40 yards, culminating in Eric Hoy's 61-yard wildcat run in the fourth quarter that made the final scoreline 52-24.

Frederick was unstoppable in the first half, as the RMC back averaged 13.9 yards per carry- racking up 223 yards and four TDs, including rushing scores of 42, 49 and 82 yards. The Eagles were also hurt by two turnovers deep in their own end, which quickly added 14 more opposition points to go with Frederick's three long runs.


A big third quarter run helped the Shenandoah Hornets pull away, as the Bridgewater College football team lost its Hall of Fame game 34-10 under the lights at Jopson Field. The Hornets broke the game open with 14 points in 24 seconds early in the third quarter. After SU took the first drive of the second half down the field for seven points, Jake Shaffer forced a fumble on the next play that was recovered by Michael Wroble.

Shenandoah made it two touchdowns on two offensive snaps, with Michael Ashwell catching a 25-yard Hayden Bauserman pass for a 24-3 scoreline. The visitors made it 21 unanswered third quarter points on a 21-yard pick-six by Steve Gebhardt.

Malivai Barker rushed for 137 yards for Bridgewater, while Shenandoah back Cedrick Delaney totaled 174 yards for the visitors.

Freshman quarterback Kyle Edwards, who is on the roster as a QB at Alabama this fall, made his first collegiate start for Bridgewater in the game with both Jay Scroggins and Brendon Maturey out with injuries.


Bridgewater holds a 14-3 record against Shenandoah, with the teams meeting every year since 2000.


Michael Clark is 146-92-1 in his 23rd season at Bridgewater. Scott Yoder (22-23) is looking to push his career mark to .500 this week after a 4-1 start to the year.


Barker had his lowest rushing total (47 yards) in a 10-game stretch, dating back to a 17-yard day vs. Randolph-Macon a year earlier, but did rush for three touchdowns in the contest- giving him six rushing TDs in the past three games. Quarterbacks Scroggins and Maturey have still thrown only three interceptions combined (against eight TD passes), but BC's team completion percentage is down to 52.9%.


The Eagles still rank third in the conference in points allowed (27.2 ppg) and second in takeaways behind Shenandoah (14) despite giving up 52 points and forcing just one turnover last weekend. That one turnover was a strip-sack by freshman LaDarion Rivers that he returned 38 yards to the two-yard line, leading to a BC touchdown.

Sophomore William Clift III now leads the Eagles in tackles for the season with 31; he and Rivers have each forced two fumbles. Another freshman, Rashad Wood, leads the pass rush with 5.0 sacks.


Sophomore Plato Eliades continued his strong punting campaign vs. Randolph-Macon, averaging 45.0 ypa on four kicks, with three inside the 20 and again not allowing any return yardage. The Eagles have only kept the same placekicker for consecutive games once, with Cameron Gieseman making a 26-yard field goal and all three PATs last week.


The nation's top-ranked passing offense is quarterbacked by Bauserman, who leads Division III in passing yards (2085) and ranks second in touchdown passes (24). He was a first team All-State and All-ODAC selection last year as a sophomore.

Michael Ashwell ranks sixth in the nation with 48 catches and 45th in receiving yards (502). Bauserman has spread the ball around, with six different Hornets recording double-digit catches in five games; Leonard Scott leads the team with six TD catches.


Shenandoah is last in the ODAC in total defense (452.8 ypg), but higher in points allowed (29.2, fifth). The Hornets' 17 forced turnovers leads the conference, including a league-best 11 interceptions.

Sophomore safety Nate Hill's four interceptions is tied for the ODAC lead with Bridgewater's Isaac Evans. Up front, Chris Grady has four sacks and Thomas Whalen has 5.5 tackles for loss, while linebacker Jordan Heisen has 3.5 sacks and a team-leading 6.5 TFLs.


All-State and two-time All-ODAC punter Christian Arias is averaging 40.5 yards per attempt this season, with just one touchback. Fellow senior Jacob Newton has made 7-of-8 field goals and 26-of-27 extra points.


Through two weeks of league play, there are two teams standing atop the table at 2-0. Shenandoah eclipsed 40 points for the fourth time in five games in its win over Emory & Henry. Hampden-Sydney out-lasted Guilford for a three-point win, the Tigers' third victory by 10 or fewer points this season. Randolph-Macon evened its league record at 1-1 with a win at Bridgewater, while Washington and Lee capped its non-conference schedule with a victory over Washington-St. Louis.

Bauserman picked up his second straight Offensive Player of the Week honor after leading Shenandoah to a fourth win in five games with another strong passing performance. Bauserman set a school-record with 40 completions in going 40-of-61 (65.6%) for 495 yards and five touchdowns. The 495 yards are the fourth-most in Division III this year, giving him two of the top-four performances this year. That total is also eighth in ODAC history. His 40 completions tie for ninth in league history. His five TD passes are tied for 11th in the NCAA (3rd-most in a game this season) and tied for fifth in ODAC history. Bauserman has thrown for at least 303 yards and four touchdowns in each game this season.


The Bridgewater Office of Alumni Relations will hold its second and final Away Game Tailgate of the season this Saturday, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early, as the contest will be Shenandoah's Homecoming game.


Bridgewater is on the road for four of its final five games, and travels next week to face ODAC preseason favorite Emory & Henry; the Wasps are currently 2-3 on the year and the only conference school with a losing record vs. Division III opposition.