BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Junior quarterback Carlos Gonzalez threw for a school record 406 yards and four touchdowns as the Bridgewater Eagles football team came to within three points of visiting Randolph-Macon midway through the fourth quarter, but a rigid Yellow Jacket rushing attack was too much to overcome as the Eagles fell by a 51-36 margin.
Gonzalez's 406-yard effort was the most for a Bridgewater quarterback in school history, surpassing Brandon Wakefield's 378-yard performance against Emory & Henry in 2004. Bridgewater's 469 total passing yards is the second highest total in program history, right behind the Eagles' 478-yard output in 2001 against Catholic.
Randolph-Macon jumped all over Bridgewater from the get go as the Yellow Jackets stormed out to a 17-0 lead late in the first half. Midway through the first quarter, Josh Storm put Randolph-Macon on the board with a 38-yard field goal before a pair of Drake Sanders touchdown runs put R-MC up 17-0 with 1:28 to play in the first half.
Following Randolph-Macon's third score, Bridgewater got on the board when a 74-yard drive was capped off by a 42-yard strike from Gonzalez to Leigh Bradley to chip the lead to 17-6 with 23 ticks remaining the first half.
Randolph-Macon quickly responded on the ensuing kickoff when Brandon Harrison went 83 yards to the endzone to give the Yellow Jackets a 24-6 halftime lead.
Out of the intermission, Bridgewater struck first when Gonzalez connected with John Lezcano on a 25-yard crossing pattern to cut the R-MC lead to 24-14 after the two-point conversion to Bradley was successful.
Following the Eagles score, the two teams traded possessions before Yellow Jackets running back Thaddeus Scruggs bolted 52 yards to paydirt to put Randolph-Macon back up by a 31-14 score with 5:32 to play in the third.
With its back against the wall, the Eagles responded with a methodical 12-play, 84-yard drive that was capped off by a six-yard Shawn Lee touchdown reception to chip the lead to 31-20 after the PAT failed.
Bridgewater's defense continued to shine, holding the Yellow Jackets off of the scoreboard, before the Eagles struck again with 9:44 to play in the fourth on a 10-yard Cassidy Burns touchdown catch to bring the game to a 31-28 margin after the Gonzalez to Burns two-point attempt was successful.
After Bridgewater stormed back, Randolph-Macon used a quick four-play scoring drive to extend its lead back to double digits at a 38-28 gap with 7:55 remaining in the game.
The Yellow Jackets added two more scores over the next six-and-a-half minutes to take a 51-28 lead with 81 ticks to play before a 26-yard pitch and catch from backup quarterback Willie Logan to Burns finalized the scoring at a 51-36 margin, handing Bridgewater its fourth loss of the season.
Through the air, Gonzalez was outstanding. The junior trigger man went 26-of-48 for 406 yards and four scores on the afternoon. His outing was the second-best single-game performance from an ODAC quarterback this season, behind Greg Cordivari's 459-yard game in Catholic's season opening win at McDaniel.
On the ground, the Eagles struggled as Anthony Carter led the way with 54 yards on nine carries. Bridgewater rushed for just 55 yards on the afternoon.
On the receiving end, Bradley was outstanding hauling in five catches for a game-high 150 yards and a touchdown. Burns was also solid with six catches for 94 yards and a pair of scores.
Defensive end Dominic Jeter paced the Eagles defense with nine tackles, including a pair of sacks and four tackles for a loss.
Scruggs paced the Yellow Jackets on the ground with 122 yards on 20 carries. The senior tailback also added touchdown runs of 3, 4, and 52 yards on the afternoon. Drake Sanders was also explosive for Randolph-Macon jaunting for 94 yards and two scores on 21 carries. The Yellow Jackets rushed for 217 yards on 49 carries on the afternoon.
Freshman quarterback Zac Naccarato was solid going 10-of-15 for 153 yards on the day.
Wide receiver Christian Cook paced the Yellow Jackets on the receiving end with three catches for 44 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Jeremy Bowry paced the way with nine tackles, including one for a loss.
Bridgewater outgained Randolph-Macon by a 524-to-370 margin on the day.
The Eagles wrap up the 2011 season on Saturday when they play host to Catholic. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. with Saturday's game also marking Senior Day.