BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Bridgewater College football team clinched its first winning season since 2014, wrapping up the 2018 campaign with a 21-14 home victory over North Carolina Wesleyan.
Senior Brendon Maturey rushed for 128 yards on 23 carries, while Jay Scroggins completed 9-of-13 passes as the Eagles controlled the clock for over 38 minutes.
Roger White had a team-high seven tackles and a game-ending sack, and Gary Ramey Jr. added five tackles and 1.5 sacks as the Eagles largely shut down the Battling Bishop offense. However, two long TD catches by Tyler Roberts and three special teams fumbles by the Eagles left Bridgewater facing a tied game into the fourth quarter.
The Eagles drove deep into Battling Bishop territory midway through the fourth. Keyon Washington made a nice tackle to keep Maturey out of the end zone on a third down sweep, and then Isaiah Williams stood Maturey up on fourth down, but he picked up the first down inside the one-yard line. Scroggins carried it in on the next play for the go-ahead score.
Chase Rosenthal broke up a near-TD on second down as the Eagles forced 4th-and-5 at the 24, leading to an incomplete pass into the end zone to seal N.C. Wesleyan's best chance at the tying score.
After kicker Nathan Chaput had made a big hit on the opening kickoff, the Eagles forced a three-and-out with a sack from Ramey and Muhammad Khan on third down.
Maturey picked up a fourth down rush on BC's first drive and the Eagles' other kicker, Logan Weis, drilled a 40-yarder with room to spare to put Bridgewater ahead 3-0.
After another Ramey sack ended the next Bishops drive, Scroggins hit Dakoda Shrader for 24 yards deep in Wesleyan territory. Weis made a 28-yarder to double the early BC advantage.
After getting nothing going in the first quarter, the Battling Bishops re-took the lead early in the second as Roberts got behind the secondary for a 45-yard touchdown catch.
Bridgewater took the lead back as Demetreus Japeles sliced 26 yards right up the middle, and carried the conversion in to put the Eagles back on top, 14-7.
Bridgewater got the ball back with five minutes left in the second quarter and Devonte Smith high-pointed a 39-yard catch over a defender to get BC in range. A 42-yard attempt by Weis with 41 seconds left had distance into the wind, but went just wide left.
Bridgewater fumbled a punt snap in the third quarter, giving N.C. Wesleyan a chance deep in Eagle territory. Deshomd Denny picked off Nate Gardner in the end zone to prevent the visitors from pulling even.
The Bishops would tie it late in the third as Gardner found Roberts wide open in the deep corner for a 35-yard score, sending the game into the final 15 minutes knotted at 14-all.
Bridgewater finishes on a four-game winning streak with a mark of 6-4, the second-highest win total in the ODAC this season behind conference champs Randolph-Macon (9-2)- who edged the Eagles for the league title with a head-to-head overtime victory, and advanced today to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a win vs. John Carroll.