BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Junior quarterback Carlos Gonzalez hit sophomore wide receiver Cliff Woodard on the numbers and Woodard did the rest as the Bridgewater Eagles went 63 yards in 20 seconds to come from behind for a 22-19 victory on Senior Day over the visiting Catholic Cardinals in a thriller at Jopson Field.
Bridgewater struck first after holding Catholic off of the scoreboard on its first drive when senior Anthony Carter stormed in from three yards out to put the Eagles up 7-0.
Catholic responded on its ensuing drive when a 20-yard pass from Cardinals quarterback Greg Cordivari to Jeff Frusciante capped off an 11-play, 78-yard drive to knot the game up at seven each midway through the first quarter.
The Cardinals added another score with seven ticks left on the first quarter clock when Brian Gongaware punched a 29-yard kick through the uprights to put Catholic up by a 10-7 margin after the opening frame.
After a fumble on the ensuing drive set the Cardinals up in Eagles territory, Catholic marched to the Bridgewater 10 before Gongaware knocked his second field goal of the game over the crossbar to extend the Catholic lead to 13-7 which is where the game would stand as the two teams headed to the locker room.
Catholic ran a gaudy 56 plays in the opening 30 minutes, while the Eagles were limited to just 26.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Bridgewater knotted the game up with 6:34 to play in the contest when senior Darrin McKenzie went off the left side of the formation and bolted 39 yards to the endzone to put the Eagles ahead 14-13 after the PAT.
Both teams exchanged the ball twice as the two defenses ratcheted up during the final six and change before Cordivari connected with Tucker Hubbell on a 37-yard post pattern which went the distance to give Catholic a 19-14 lead after the two-point conversion attempt failed.
Catholic squibbed the ensuing kickoff as sophomore Nick Wimer returned the kick to the BC 37 forcing the Eagles to go 63 yards in 25 seconds.
Gonzalez struck Cassidy Burns on a 16-yard pass to get the Eagles across midfield before hitting Burns again on the next play to push Bridgewater deeper into Catholic territory. On the second completion, a Cardinals late hit tacked an additional 15 yards on to the pass to put Bridgewater inside the Catholic redzone with 11 ticks remaining.
The senior trigger man lofted a perfectly placed pass to a wide open Woodard from 15 yards out to give Bridgewater a hard fought 22-19 victory after Carter bolted into the endzone on the two-point conversion attempt.
With the win, the Eagles extend their winning streak to 12 games against Catholic.
On the ground, Carter was outstanding. The West Park, Fla. native bolted for 137 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries to become Bridgewater's 10th player to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season. Carter ends the season with 1,039 yards, good enough for 12th on the single-season rushing charts. McKenzie chipped in 74 yards on eight carries to cap off a solid career.
Bridgewater outgained the Cardinals on the ground by a 216-to-63 tally.
Through the air, Gonzalez was 11-of-22 for 90 yards and a score. The junior field general was sacked a season-high five times on the afternoon.
On the receiving end, Burns paced the way with five catches for 52 yards, while Woodard added four catches for 39 yards and the game-winning score.
Defensively, senior Terrell Corley paced the way with a game-high nine tackles. Corley added a tackle for a loss and recorded the final tackle of the day for the Eagles. Fellow senior Victor Williams added eight tackles, including seven solo stops, two tackles for a loss and an interception for the Bridgewater defense.
Cordivari was solid for the Cardinals going 38-of-67 for 345 yards and two scores. The junior tossed two interceptions on the afternoon, while setting a new school record with 67 pass attempts.
On the ground, sophomore Mike Pitsenberger was solid, rushing for 57 yards on 16 carries. Pitsenberger also added a game-high 11 receptions to pace the Cardinals on the receiving end.
Defensively, James Fucillo paced the Cardinals with eight tackles, including one for a loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Catholic outgained the Eagles by a 408-to-306 tally, despite the Bridgewater defense holding the visiting Cardinals to just 21 yards of total offense in the third quarter.
The victory secured Bridgewater's third-straight winning season and its 11th winning season in the last 12 years.
Bridgewater ends the season with a 6-4 overall record and a 3-3 mark Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play.