On Saturday afternoon, the Bridgewater Eagles football team will put its unbeaten record on the line and close out the non-conference slate when it travels to Newport News, Virginia to meet up with Apprentice.
Bridgewater is coming off its annual early-season idle week while the Builders are coming off of a tough loss at Catholic last week.
The Eagles were last in action on Sept. 13 when they hosted Greensboro College in the first-ever, on-campus night football game in school history. Bridgewater upended Greensboro 43-14 in front of the Jopson Athletic Complex faithful.
Last week in the nation’s capital, sophomore Joseph Hodge ran for a career-high 139 yards, while freshman quarterback Deon Lavender threw for 163 yards and a touchdown as the Apprentice School lost a tough 31-24 decision to Catholic. Apprentice had the ball with time left on the clock but couldn’t move past the midfield as the Builders’ comeback effort came up short.
Offensively, the Eagles have struggled to find any rhythm on the ground and are still searching for the every-day starting quarterback as Pisarcik and fellow junior Ross Rushing battle it out for the starting job.
On the ground, senior Jacob Wright leads the squad with 146 yards. The Eagles’ ground attack is averaging 131 yards per game, but has yet to produce a score.
Pisarcik continued to shine in Bridgewater’s victory over Greensboro after leading the team on the game-winning touchdown drive in the season opener at Gettysburg. The junior is completing 68.5% of his passes and owns six touchdown passes against just one interception.
Sophomore Jeffrey Moore leads the Eagles with 12 receptions on the year, while Cliff Woodard owns eight receptions for 175 yards and three scores. Jayme Perry adds three touchdown receptions and 110 yards on six catches. Overall, 16 different players have made a catch this season for the Eagles.
Linebacker Alex Collins leads the defense with 21 tackles, two sacks and a pair of tackles for a loss. Bridgewater’s traditionally opportunistic defense has yet to produce a turnover after posting a defensive score in three of the first four games last season.
Apprentice is led offensively by the ground efforts of Hodge. The Builders’ premiere tailback has rushed for 205 yards and three scores on 30 carries.
Behind center, the Builders are in a similar situation to that of the Eagles under first-year year head coach Paul White. Three different players have seen significant playing time during the first three games of the season. Caleb Heath has started two of the three games and has seen action in all three. Heath’s thrown three touchdown passes and is 27-for-46 for 298 yards.
Trevon Johnson is the premiere receiving threat with 13 receptions for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Erol Collins leads the way with 26 tackles, including five stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Bridgewater and Apprentice haven’t met on the gridiron since the 2012 season when the Eagles rode off from the Virginia coast with a 44-14 victory. Junior quarterback Willie Logan threw for 293 yards and three scores as the Bridgewater Eagles rolled up 582 yards of total offense behind a balanced attack.
The Eagles own the all-time series with the Builders, winning 15 of the 29 games in series history. Bridgewater won the last two games to take the all-time lead in the series. The series dates back to the 1949 season, following the restart of the Bridgewater program. Apprentice defeated Bridgewater by a 26-13 score in the first-ever meeting.
Bridgewater seeks its 48th victory in September under Clark when action kicks off on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Apprentice Athletic Facility. Clark will also be looking for his 130th victory and ninth career 3-0 start. In eight of the previous nine seasons in which the Eagles opened the season with a 3-0 mark, the squad posted a winning season with seven or more victories.
For fans who are unable to attend, the game will be aired live on 95.5 WBOP FM in the Shenandoah Valley starting with the pregame show at 12:30 p.m.