BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater couldn't get over the hump in a game where the Eagles never led, falling 37-27 at Hampden-Sydney to open ODAC play.
William Clift forced a fumble in the third quarter, leading to Malivai Barker gaining a combined 31 yards on two carries. His TD rush made it 23-21. After cutting the lead to two points, the Eagles allowed an 11-play, 80-yard drive later in the third to increase the deficit to 30-21.
After another fumble that was forced by Joe Cellini and recovered by Braden Thomson, the Eagles drove down to the five yard line, but a field goal attempt from 25 yards out hit the left upright to keep it a two-score game.
Bridgewater went down 37-21 in the fourth quarter but again had a chance to make it a one-score game after Dakoda Shrader caught a 14-yard TD pass on fourth-and-goal from the 14. The two-point conversion failed however.
Barker rushed for 111 yards and a score. Corey Jochim had six catches for 75 yards and Shrader caught five balls for 65 yards and a TD.
Clift led the defense with 10 tackles, including his forced fumble. Brandon Pitt had nine stops, and Josh Brooks added two pass breakups and an interception.
After a near fumble was ruled to be caused by the ground on the game's second play, the Tigers drove right down to score on Cam Johnson's 22-yard catch. A two-point conversion made it a quick 8-0 lead for the hosts.
A Benjamin Carson strip sack gave the Tigers a chance to seize early momentum, but the BC defense came up with a crucial fourth down stop. Bridgewater drove down the field and Alex Galloway took a pitch in from eight yards out to make it 8-7.
Isaac Evans then had his fourth interception in as many games, but the Eagles were forced to punt. The defense made another fourth down stop near the end of the first, with the offense coming up empty again.
Major Morgan had two 15-yard TD catches in the second quarter as the Tigers took a 23-14 lead into the break. After HSC tacked on another two-point conversion for a 16-7 lead, Barker broke a screen pass 28 yards to get BC back within two.
Morgan caught a fade pass to make it 23-14, and it could have been worse after Brendan Weinberg picked off Jay Scroggins (30-of-47, 266 yards) in BC territory. Brooks took the ball right back with an interception on the 1-yard line on the very next play.
Johnson caught 12 balls for 139 yards to lead Hampden-Sydney, part of a 291-yard, 4-TD performance by quarterback Alec Cobb. Kendall Blankenship led the defense with nine tackles.
Bridgewater falls to 3-1, 0-1 ODAC and faces a crucial home matchup next weekend with defending ODAC champion Randolph-Macon. Hampden-Sydney improves to 2-2, 1-0.