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Block party: Bridgewater special teams key in 27-7 win over Apprentice

Bridgewater AthleticsBridgewater earned the 300th victory in program history, with the punt block squad leading the way in a 27-7 win over Apprentice.

The Eagles disrupted three different Builders punts that then led to scores, with Jamel Johnson and Freddie Watkins each heavily involved in two of those plays.

Chad Jones caught five passes for 94 yards and a score, while Malcolm Anderson (5-of-11, 77 yards, TD) came off the bench to help lead the Eagles back in the second half.

Apprentice still led 7-3 when they lined up to punt midway through the third quarter. Johnson got around the left end and blocked the kick, which Watkins returned for a touchdown.

The next time the Eagles got the ball it took just four offensive plays to score, as Anderson hit Jones down the left sideline for a 36-yard touchdown and a 17-7 BC lead.

The punt block team came through yet again when Johnson forced a rushed punt that Dominic Jordan barely got off his foot as it spun backwards and came to rest 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Jackson Hendren tacked on three points to make it 20-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

The turnovers continued for Apprentice as Tucker Harris forced a fumble that was recovered by Alexander CromwellRonald Robinson Jr. capped the ensuing drive with a rushing TD to make it 27-7.

Bridgewater struggled to move the ball early but a special teams play helped get the Eagles on the board. Apprentice lined up to punt late in the first quarter and Harris got through the line so clean that the punter just had to eat the ball and was tackled by Watkins at the 14.

A near disaster was averted when Apprentice forced a fumble and returned it all the way to the Bridgewater 1 yard line, but a defensive holding flag was already down on the field. Hendren ultimately kicked the field goal for a 3-0 BC lead.

The Builders answered with a 12-play, 75-yard drive that finished when Grant Swanger bought time on a rollout and hit a diving Ricardo Corpus in the end zone.

Apprentice then drove 86 yards to the shadow of the goal line with one snap remaining in the half. The Builders didn’t take the three points and went for a QB sneak that was stuffed by Malik Crowe and the rest of the Bridgewater line to keep it a 7-3 game heading into the break.

The Eagles improve to 3-4 overall and will travel to face first place Washington & Lee next Saturday.