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Bridgewater football improves to 7-2, defeats Ranolph-Macon, 28-25

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bridgewater logoSenior Jacob Wright rushed for three scores and junior quarterback Ross Rushing threw an additional touchdown pass as the Bridgewater Eagles football team ran past Randolph-Macon by a 28-25 score on Saturday afternoon at Day Field.

The win ended a three-game skid against the Yellow Jackets and marked Bridgewater’s third victory in a row.

After a scoreless first quarter of play which saw both defenses hold the opposing team in check, the Yellow Jackets got on the scoreboard with 10:12 to go in the first half as Zac Naccarato connected with Steven Quinn for a 61-yard touchdown pass to build a 7-0 Randolph-Macon lead.

Bridgewater (7-2, 4-2 ODAC) struck right back following the Randolph-Macon score. Rushing connected withJeffrey Moore on a 37-yard route to move into Randolph-Macon territory before the junior hooked up with senior Jayme Perry on a 34-yard strike to knot the game up at seven points each which is where the score would remain at the intermission.

Out of the halftime break, the Yellow Jackets regained the lead midway through the third quarter. Randolph-Macon moved downfield before its drive was halted at the Bridgewater 9. Seth Yurgel split the uprights on a 26-yard field goal to build a 10-7 lead with 8:04 to go in the third.

The Eagles responded back with a score of their own on the ensuing drive. Bridgewater converted three key third downs before Wright barreled into the endzone from the one for his first score of the day which put the Eagles back in front, 14-10, with two and change to go in the third. Wright’s touchdown run capped off a 13-play scoring drive that chewed up five and a half minutes of the third quarter.

Following the Bridgewater score, the Yellow Jackets kept the back and forth sequence going. On a drive the pushed the game into the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets went to a heavy dose of Dom Kapoua on the ground and Kapoua ran the ball in from the one to put the Yellow Jackets ahead for the final time by a 17-14 margin.

Bridgewater answered back with a scoring drive which put the Eagles up for good. Rushing connected withTyler Moneymaker on a key third down play before the junior hit Keith Jennings on a 38-yard pattern to get inside the Randolph-Macon red zone. One play later, Wright sprinted in from the 11 to put Bridgewater out in front, 21-17.

Randolph-Macon (4-5, 2-4 ODAC) was stopped at midfield on the next possession and the Eagles effectively put the game away on the next sequence. Bridgewater turned to a heavy dose of Wright on the ground and continued to grind the clock down. As the clock went underneath three minutes to play, the Yellow Jackets burned a pair of timeouts. After the second timeout, Wright punched it in from the 10 yard line for his third score of the day to build a 28-17 Bridgewater lead. The scoring drive took more than six minutes off the clock.

After the Bridgewater score, the Yellow Jackets struck in a hurry. Naccarato delivered a deep pass downfield and Sammy Coleman went for the interception but Mike Doe made the circus catch and scored on a 62-yard pass to trim the Eagles’ lead to 28-25 after the Yellow Jackets converted the two-point conversion.

Randolph-Macon attempted an onside kick, but the kick was recovered by Lucas Elliott and the Eagles ran off the remainder of the clock to earn their seventh win of the season by a 28-25 margin.

Wright was efficient on the day, rushing the ball 24 times for 79 yards and three scores. His three touchdowns matches his career high set earlier in the season in a loss at Guilford. On the year, Wright’s rushed for 13 scores which leads the league. His 13 rushing touchdowns to this point in the season are the most since Phillip Carter rushed for 19 scores in 2007.

Rushing was stellar in the win. The junior threw for a career-high 249 yards on 18-of-26 passing. His 18 completions also marks a new career-high.

Moore led the way with five catches for 74 yards as Rushing connected with nine different receivers in the win.

Alex Collins led the defense with 10 tackles on the day, while Kenneth Szabo amassed a pair of tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Bridgewater held Randolph-Macon to 105 yards less than its season rushing average.

Naccarato finished the day with a 14-for-20 effort for 225 yards and two scores. The senior was picked off once when Darrick Gore stepped in front a pass in the second quarter. The interception was Gore’s  fourth of the season.

Byrd led the Yellow Jackets with 19 carries for 83 yards.

Doe led all receivers with eight catches for 121 yards and a score.

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets were led by a 12-tackle effort from Norman Cade.

Bridgewater was stellar on third down, converting 8-of-16 third down attempts, while the defense was outstanding, limiting the Yellow Jackets to a 3-for-10 effort on third down.

The Eagles wrap up the season on Saturday at Catholic. Kickoff against the Cardinals is set for 1 p.m.

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