On a day when sophomore Chandler DeHaven tied the single-season Bridgewater record for made field goals, the Bridgewater Eagles football team couldn’t overcome five turnovers and an efficient Catholic offense in a 42-19 loss to the Cardinals at the Jopson Athletic Complex.
The win for the Cardinals snaps a 13-game winning streak for Bridgewater in the series and marks Catholic’s first win over the Eagles since the 1999 season.
After forcing a Catholic punt on its opening series of the game, the Bridgewater offense moved into Cardinals territory before Patrick Thomas stepped in front of a Willie Logan pass to put the ball back in the hands of the Catholic offense.
The Cardinals used a 39-yard run by Mike Pitsenberger on fourth down to get into the Bridgewater redzone before TJ Tutone hit Alex Evans for a 17-yard touchdown pass to put Catholic up 7-0 with 5:20 to play in the first quarter.
Logan was intercepted again on Bridgewater’s next drive, while the Cardinals again pushed deep into Bridgewater territory to open the second quarter. The Cardinals lined up for a 27-yard field goal but Richard Roach pulled the snap and his pass was intercepted by William Hanna to give the Eagles new life at their own six.
Bridgewater turned the ball over seven plays later when Logan connected with Nick Wimer and Catholic’s Mike Skehill jarred the ball loose and set the Cardinals up with stellar field position at the Bridgewater 27.
Catholic pushed the 21 before attempting a 38-yard field goal. Peter Rosa’s kick was blocked by Sammy Coleman and returned by Coleman to the Bridgewater 45 to set the Eagles up with solid field position.
The Eagles moved into Catholic territory before a Jacob Wright carry pushed Bridgewater to the Catholic 19. Logan’s third down pass fell incomplete, setting up a DeHaven 36-yard attempt. The sophomore split the uprights on the kick to trim the Catholic lead to 7-3 with 3:29 left in the first half.
Following the Bridgewater score, Catholic moved downfield quickly before quarterback EJ Montgomery hit Tim Murphy on a five-yard pitch and catch to put the Cardinals up 14-3 at the intermission.
Out of the halftime break, the Eagles moved deep into Catholic territory yet again but the Cardinals defense jarred the ball loose from the grasp of Hanna at the 11 and fell on the loose ball to put the ball back in the hands of their offense. Ten plays later, Pitsenberger capped off a 91-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown carry to put the Cardinals out in front 21-3.
Bridgewater answered back quickly following a solid kick return from Daryus Beale. Logan bolted 47 yards to the Catholic one before Wimer stormed in on the next play to trim the Catholic advantage to 21-10 with 4:56 left in the third.
Catholic answered with a touchdown of its own as Montgomery tossed his second touchdown pass of the day, this time a 25-yard strike to Andrew Oullette to build the Catholic lead to 28-10 with two and change left in the third stanza.
Beale used another big return to give the Eagles outstanding field position as the game shifted to the final quarter. The Bridgewater drive stalled out at the Catholic 27 to start the final frame before DeHaven connected on his 13th field goal of the season, this time a 44 yard boot to cut the Catholic lead to 28-13. DeHaven’s 13 field goals matches the single-season record set by Mike Padgett in 1998.
Following the score, the Eagles elected to boot an onside kick. Catholic recovered the kick and Ben Powers bolted 45 yards to the endzone to break Bridgewater’s momentum andextend the Cardinals lead to 35-13.
Catholic came up with a fourth-down stop of the Eagles on Bridgewater’s next offensive series before the Cardinals added to their lead on a Pitsenberger one-yard keeper out of the Wildcat formation to put Catholic out in front 42-13 with 8:08 to play.
Bridgewater scored late on a Logan three-yard keeper to cut the gap to 42-19 but the Eagles would get no closer as Catholic finished off the season with a 42-19 win over the Eagles.
Through the air, Logan struggled to a 14-of-25 effort for 153 yards and two interceptions. Sophomore Ross Rushing also threw a pick at the end of the game as the Eagles struggled on the offensive end.
Sophomore Kevin Barr led Bridgewater’s receivers with two catches for 35 yards.
Defensively, freshman Sonny Romine led the way with 14 tackles including six solo stops. Senior Andrew Palmer tallied 10 tackles to eclipse the 100-tackle barrier on the season. Palmer ends the season with 103 total tackles, which is the highest total for a Bridgewater player since Jermaine Taylor’s 148 tackle effort in 2003 and is the most for a player in a non-playoff season since Francois Fabiato’s 109 tackles in 1992.
Catholic was led on the ground by Pitsenberger’s 129-yard effort and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
Montgomery led the Cardinals with 166 yards and two touchdowns on a 10-for-15 effort. Tutone added 71 yards and a score off of a 5-for-8 afternoon.
Oullette hauled in eight passes for a game-high 128 yards and a touchdown.
R.J. Allison led the Catholic defense with 10 tackles.
Bridgewater ends the 2013 season with a 4-6 overall record.