Hampden-Sydney hands Bridgewater first L
Hampden-Sydney quarterback Nash Nance threw for 291 yards and two scores and the visiting Tigers controlled play throughout to defeat the Bridgewater Eagles football team by a 24-7 tally in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) action on Homecoming Saturday at Jopson Field.
The loss for the Eagles (4-1, 1-1 ODAC) is the sixth straight at the hands of the Tigers.
Bridgewater established a solid first drive after receiving the opening kick, but came away empty when quarterback Willie Logan’s pass fell incomplete on fourth down to turn the ball over to Hampden-Sydney.
The Eagles’ defense forced a Tigers three-and-out on the ensuing drive before Bridgewater again marched into Hampden-Sydney territory. Bridgewater’s drive stalled at the Tigers’ 41 yard line, forcing a Michael Cook punt.
Hampden-Sydney (3-2, 1-1 ODAC) got on the board when a 10-play, 70-yard drive was capped off by a six-yard Evan King touchdown scamper to put the Tigers up 7-0 with 2:48 to play in the first quarter.
Following a three-and-out for the Eagles, Hampden-Sydney tacked on an additional three points on their next offensive possession. Hampden-Sydney embarked on a 16-play, 73-yard drive which culminated in a 30-yard Max Antwerpes field goal to extend the Tigers’ lead to 10-0 with nine and change to play in the first half.
Bridgewater again established a solid offensive drive, moving deep into Hampden-Sydney territory. The Eagles moved inside the Hampden-Sydney 30 before a Logan pass fell incomplete to force a field goal attempt from John Griggs. Griggs’ 41-yard boot missed wide left to keep the score at a 10 point Hampden-Sydney advantage with under five minutes to play in the second stanza.
The Bridgewater defense came up with a big turnover two plays later to give the Eagles good field position, but the drive would stall out at the Hampden-Sydney 35.
After the turnover on downs, the Tigers used a 10-play drive to extend their lead at the half. Nance tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to Holton Walker to put the Tigers up 17-0 at the break.
Both teams battled to a scoreless third quarter in a defensive struggle with the Tigers still owning a 17-point lead with a quarter left to play.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Nance connected with Walker from 48 yards out to extend the Hampden-Sydney lead to 24-0.
Following an offensive series from both teams, Bridgewater got on the scoreboard midway through the fourth. Logan hooked up with Michael Colee to get inside the Hampden-Sydney five before the junior quarterback punched it in from the one on a QB keeper to cut the Tigers’ lead to 24-7.
Hampden-Sydney was forced to punt on its next drive, and the Eagles looked to move into Tigers territory on the first play of their offensive series. Logan connected with Jayme Perryand the wide receiver ran to the Hampden-Sydney 47 before the ball was jarred loose from his grip by Zach Morgan and Morgan recovered the fumble to quickly end Bridgewater’s possession with under six to play.
The Tigers effectively wound out the rest of the clock to seal the victory and hand Bridgewater its first loss of the season by a 24-7 tally. Bridgewater did have a late drive with under two minutes to play, but turned the ball over on downs.
Bridgewater was paced on the ground by a 48-yard effort from Jacob Wright. Logan added 27 yards on eight carries as the Eagles were limited to 89 rushing yards on the afternoon.
Logan finished the day 16-of-32 for 218 yards.
On the receiving end, Cord Keating hauled in four passes for 57 yards, while Perry hauled in a three passes for 96 yards.
Defensively, James Winfield was stellar with a game-high 15 tackles. Linebacker Andrew Palmer also chipped in a dozen stops in the loss.
Nance’s 291-yard effort paced the way for the Tigers’ offense. The quarterback was 23-of-32 on the day, throwing a pair of touchdowns passes, but the transfer trigger man was intercepted twice.
Hampden-Sydney rolled up 446 yards on the day, while the Eagles compiled 314 yards of total offense.
Halfback Regis Craft was the leading rusher on the afternoon, rushing for 82 yards on 19 carries to pace the Tigers’ ground attach.
Walker was outstanding on the receiving end, hauling in 10 passes for 181 yards and two scores.
Russ Leboff and Kenny Fryman led the Tigers defensively with eight tackles each.
The Tigers went 8-of-15 on third down and 2-of-3 on fourth, while Bridgewater was held to a 6-of-16 effort on third down and a 1-for-3 effort on fourth.
Hampden-Sydney controlled the time of possession battle, owning a 34:48-to-25:12 advantage on the clock.
Bridgewater has a short week of preparation before getting back to the gridiron on Thursday evening on the road at Guilford. Start time against the Quakers is set for 7:30 p.m.