Last-minute TD lifts Bridgewater to win in football opener

In one of the most exciting games at Jopson Field in years, Corey Jochim‘s 65-yard catch-and-run score in the final minute gave Bridgewater a 27-24 win over stunned Gettysburg in the 2017 season opener.

bridgewater eaglesBackup quarterback Brendon Maturey was 1-of-8 for -5 yards passing as he faced 3rd down from his own four yard line with two minutes left and no timeouts. He proceeded to lead the game-winning 96-yard drive, capped by Jochim breaking a play down the right sideline and out-running the Gettysburg defense for the go-ahead score.

Before that drive, Bridgewater’s defense made a game-saving stop inside their own 10-yard line. Gettysburg recovered a fumble on the nine with a 24-20 lead and eventually elected to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking for the seven-point lead, with Sammie Harperforcing an incompletion on the play.

Isaac Evans made several huge plays down the stretch to keep BC in the game, including a tiptoe interception at the sideline of a deflected pass with 11:06 remaining. He broke up a third down pass to end a drive later in the fourth quarter, and then broke up a dangerous looking deep ball from Justin Davidov on Gettysburg’s last-gasp chance. Josh Brooks intercepted a pass two plays later to clinch the win.

Evans finished with 10 tackles in addition to those three passes defensed. Defensive end Muhammad Khan had a sack and two tackles for loss.

Starting quarterback Jay Scroggins (11-of-18, 107 yards) was knocked out of the game after two first half TD passes, as the Eagles led 20-10 heading into the fourth quarter. Bridgewater’s offense stalled at that point however, and consecutive Gettysburg touchdowns seemed to give the visitors the victory, before Bridgewater’s late drive.

Bridgewater had taken the lead in part due to three Gettysburg special teams turnovers in the Bullets’ own end, though the Eagles gave points back with two blocked kicks.

With BC trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, the Eagles scored (with the PAT blocked) and then immediately recovered a fumble on the kickoff. Scroggins was picked off at the 2-yard line, but the Bullets could only punt to the Eagles’ 28. Rayvon Johnson made a nice back-shoulder catch to take the lead.

Gettysburg then fumbled a punt away inside the red zone, but avoided further damage when Thomeir Richardson blocked a field goal. The Bullets weren’t so lucky early in the third when punter Evan Tannenbaum’s knee touched the ground on a low snap, leading to a Maturey TD rush and a 20-10 scoreline.

The Eagles (1-0) will travel to Cincinnati next Saturday to face 2016 NCAA qualifier Thomas More. Gettysburg falls to 0-1 on the year.

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