BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Senior running back Anthony Carter rushed for a career-high 152 yards on 18 carries and struck pay dirt twice as the Bridgewater Eagles football team turned up the offensive firepower in a 57-13 victory over visiting Newport News Apprentice at Jopson Field.
Bridgewater's 57-point output was its largest since a 76-point showing in 2007 at home against Guilford.
Carter got the scoring started for the Eagles midway through the first quarter when he took a 33-yard carry to the house to put Bridgewater ahead 7-0.
Following a defensive hold on a fourth and two for the Builders, a strike from quarterback Carlos Gonzalez to senior wide receiver Leigh Bradley set the Eagles up inside the redzone after a personal foul moved the ball to the Apprentice 14.
Four plays later, a Will Davis 29-yard field goal attempt split the uprights to extend the lead to 10-0 with 2:28 to play in the first.
The Builders moved the ball on their next possession before a 35-yard strike from Apprentice quarterback Paul Morgan to wide receiver Trevon Johnson went the distance to cut the Bridgewater lead to 10-7 with just 26 seconds left in the opening stanza.
But the scoring explosion was just set to begin. On the ensuing kickoff, sophomore Cliff Woodard fielded the ball at the 17 and hit a seam to roll 83 yards to the endzone to put the Eagles back up 10 at a 17-7 gap. The kickoff return was the first for Bridgewater since Tyler Beiler's kick return for a score against St. Vincent in the 2010 season opener.
Midway through the second quarter, the Carter train kept steaming ahead as the senior bulled for 49 yards on the next drive to set up a four-yard Gonzalez to Bradley connection to extend the lead to 23-7 with 8:42 left on the second quarter clock. The Davis PAT failed keeping the Eagles up by 16.
Apprentice looked to respond when a methodical 15-play drive stalled out at the Bridgewater 16. Kicker Blake Penix's 33 yard field goal missed wide right to keep the Builders off the scoreboard, giving the ball back to the Eagles with under two minutes left in the half.
Following an incomplete pass and a 22-yard run from Carter, Gonzalez connected with wide receiver Julius Delbridge on a 58-yard pitch and catch to put Bridgewater up 29-7 after another Davis PAT failed.
With time running down in the first half, the Eagles dialed up the defensive pressure to get the ball back on the Apprentice 35 with just 28 ticks left in the opening stanza. Gonzalez went 3-for-3 on the short drive with the final completion being a 13 yard touchdown connection with Justin Bingham to put Bridgewater up 36-7 as the teams headed to the locker room.
The two teams settled in over the first 10-plus minutes of the second half before Carter bulled in for his second score of the day, this time from two yards out to put the Eagles up by a 43-7 tally with 4:22 to play in the third.
On the Builders' next possession, replacement quarterback Jonathan Whelan fumbled on the first play of the drive to set the Eagles up with good field position inside the Apprentice 30.
Sophomore Ryan Green-Ellis bulled for 20 yards on the ensuing Bridgewater drive, including a one-yard burst with 2:09 to go in the third quarter to put the Eagles ahead 50-7 which is where things would remain as the game headed to the fourth quarter.
Apprentice wouldn't lay down though, the Builders wasted little time in getting back on the scoreboard when a six-yard jaunt from running back Chris Virgin with 14:24 to play cut the Bridgewater lead to 50-13 after the Penix PAT failed.
After both teams traded possessions, Bridgewater backup quarterback Willie Logan put the Eagles back on the scoreboard when he tossed his first career touchdown pass to Tyler Staton from nine yards out to put the Eagles up 57-13 after the Stephen Hardy PAT split the uprights.
Bridgewater had another opportunity late but couldn't punch the ball in on fourth and goal but the score wouldn't be needed the Eagles posted a solid 57-13 victory over the visiting Builders.
Carter's 152 yards on 18 carries led the offensive barrage for the Eagles. The senior also dashed for two scores and averaged over eight yards per carry on the afternoon. Freshman Jacob Wright also approached the century mark with 65 yards on just seven carries.
Through the air, Gonzalez was solid going 8-of-17 for 144 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Logan was a perfect 5-for-5 for 40 yards and a score in a replacement role.
Four different receivers caught touchdown passes on the day, including Delbridge who led the receivers with two catches for 67 yards and a score.
Defensively, senior linebacker Chris Wholey led the way with seven tackles. The Eagles recorded six sacks and 13 tackles for a loss in the win.
Virgin led the Builders on the ground with 100 yards on 13 carries. Morgan also aided the rushing attack with 78 yards on 15 carries before leaving the game in the third quarter.
Morgan went 7-of-11 passing for 94 yards and a score, while Whelan was 2-of-8 for 15 yards on the day.
Johnson paced the Builders on the receiving end with two catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.
On the defensive side of things, Marlon Lane led the way with a game-high eight tackles.
Bridgewater forced three Apprentice turnovers on the day, while not surrendering a turnover of its own.
Apprentice owned the time of possession battle by a 32:49-to-27:11 tally.
The Eagles held the Builders to just 2-of-13 on third down and 1-of-3 on fourth down.
Bridgewater is back in action on Saturday, October 8 when the team travels to Hampden-Sydney for the conference opener against the Tigers. Action from Hampden-Sydney is slated for a 1:00 p.m. start.