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Eagles Look to Get Past Wasps on the Road

brandon pitt slips past an emory & henry defender

Bridgewater College Eagles (3-3, 0-3 ODAC) at Emory & Henry College Wasps (2-4, 1-2 ODAC)

The Eagles look to defeat senior quarterback Kevin Saxton for the first time in four years, as Bridgewater heads to Emory & Henry on Saturday.

When: Saturday, October 21
Where: Fred Selfe Stadium at Nicewonder Field
Start Time: 1:00 p.m.

Gameday Media:
Live Stats: http://www.gowasps.com/sports/fball/2017-18/boxscores/20171021_ph6l.xml
Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ehc/
Audio (Bridgewater): https://boxcast.tv/view/football-vs-emory--henry-audio-577260

Full Game Notes
Bridgewater Roster
Bridgewater Stats
Emory & Henry Roster
Emory & Henry Stats

LAST TIME OUT:

Shenandoah outscored the Eagles 21-0 in the third quarter, as Bridgewater fell 38-20 on Saturday night in Winchester.

The teams traded special teams turnovers to start the second half. Bridgewater forced a fumble on the opening kickoff but then had a punt blocked after a three-and-out. Shenandoah scored on the next play to take their first lead of the game, 17-13. Bridgewater drove down the field but missed a 40-yard field goal. Shenandoah quarterback Hayden Bauserman (35-55, 446 yards, 5 TDs to five different receivers), the nation's leading passer, completed a pair of jump balls- to Leonard Scott for 31 yards and then to Justin Ayres in the end zone to make it 24-13.

Shenandoah pushed its run to 28-0 with one second left in the third quarter. Jay Scroggins did find a wide-open Greg Ward over the top in the fourth quarter to make it 31-20 and Isaac Evans picked off a pass later in the period, but the Eagles couldn't get another drive going.

Evans led the defense with nine tackles, while junior Bobby Hix had two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

PREVIOUS MEETING:

The Eagles cut a three-score second half deficit to two points, but couldn't make it all the way back in a 42-33 Homecoming loss to Emory & Henry. Tight end Keith Jennings' 28-yard TD catch with 5:42 remaining gave the Eagles the chance to tie on a two-point conversion, but a quick slant pass fell incomplete.

Jennings totaled two touchdowns and 71 yards on seven catches, while Rayvon Johnson caught eight balls for 111 yards and a score. Scroggins completed 23-of-41 passes for 242 yards, three TDs and two interceptions in his return from injury.

EHC's Davon Keith had a monster game on the defensive line with 14 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 6.0 TFLs and four QB hurries.

SERIES:

Emory & Henry leads 30-12-1 after winning 26 of the first 27 meetings. Since 2001 however, the Eagles have won 11 of 16 matchups.

HEAD COACHES:

This weekend's coaching matchup features two former Virginia Tech assistants. Bridgewater's Michael Clark was the defensive coordinator in Blacksburg for five seasons and is now in his 23rd year as the Eagles' head coach. Emory & Henry's Curt Newsome, in his fourth year with the Wasps, was the Hokies' offensive line coach for seven years and was also an assistant for JMU's 2004 national championship roster that included Bridgewater offensive line coach Scott Lemn and strength coach Brandon Beach.

BRIDGEWATER OFFENSE:

The Eagles went with Brendon Maturey at quarterback vs. Shenandoah in an attempt to slow the game down and run the ball successfully. The plan worked early on, as the Eagles led 13-3 and were down at the SU 9-yard line before being stopped on fourth down. Malivai Barker rushed for 90 yards and two more touchdowns, giving him eight TDs in the past four games. That is one shy of his total of nine a season ago.

BRIDGEWATER DEFENSE:

The BC defense continues to rank second in the conference in takeaways (16) and third in total defense (411.8), but the Eagles are fifth out of seven in points allowed (29.0 ppg).

A promising young group continues to emerge on that side of the ball however, as the Eagles will likely start two freshmen at defensive end- Rashad Wood (5.0 sacks, 5.5 TFLs) and LaDarion Rivers (3.0 sacks, 5.0 TFLs, 2 forced fumbles), two sophomores at linebacker- Braden Thomson (34 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 1 fumble recovery) and Deshomd Denny (27 tackles), and three sophomores at safety- William Clift III (35 tackles, 2 forced fumbles), Brandon Pitt (21 tackles, 1 fumble recovery) and Gary Ramey Jr. (20 tackles, 3 pass breakups).

BRIDGEWATER SPECIAL TEAMS:

Bridgewater's special teams had been on a remarkable run in punt coverage, allowing a total of just four punt return yards over the 2016 and 2017 seasons (and zero yards this season). That streak was broken in unfortunate circumstances Saturday, as a bad snap led to a blocked punt that was returned 12 yards by Nate Hill.

Field goals have been hard to come by on both sides of Eagles games, with Bridgewater now 3-of-8 on the year, while opponents are 4-of-9.

EMORY & HENRY OFFENSE:

Quarterback Kevin Saxton will be facing the Eagles for a fourth straight year as the starter after transferring from Appalachian State and winning 2014 ODAC Rookie of the Year honors as a redshirt freshman. In three games against BC, he is 3-0 with 592 yards, 8 TDs and 2 interceptions.

Freshman running back Brady Justice leads the team with six TD carries, while sophomore Derrick Yates has a team-best 39 receptions, 554 receiving yards and four TD catches.

EMORY & HENRY DEFENSE:

The Wasps have struggled defensively, giving up 49.3 ppg over their past four contests (a 1-3 run that included a 45-42 home victory over Washington & Lee).

Keith sat out last week but is expected to return this weekend. An All-Region selection as a sophomore, he has 6.0 tackles for loss in five games this year. While the Wasps have just four sacks all year, they have 48 TFLs for a total loss of 146 yards. That includes linebacker Zack Manley (54 tackles, 7.5 TFLs) and defensive tackle Josh Fleenor (30 tackles, 7.0 TFLs).

EMORY & HENRY SPECIAL TEAMS:

Sophomore Matt Seals' 49-yard field goal is the seventh-longest kick in Division III this season. Overall, he has made 8-of-10 attempts, while classmate Garrett Morgan has punted 29 times for an average of 38.4 yards.

ODAC WEEKLY UPDATE:


There was no shortage of offense in week seven with ODAC teams posting a combined 270 points to average more than 38 per squad. Shenandoah scored just that many in remaining unbeaten in the ODAC. Hampden-Sydney maintained its unblemished league mark by capping its non-conference schedule with a win. Randolph-Macon and Washington and Lee both ran their way to a pair of league victories with the latter squad notching its first ODAC triumph of the season.

Randolph-Macon churned out 303 yards and six touchdowns via its ground game and controlled possession for 37:15 of game-time in defeating Emory & Henry, 52-29. That marks two straight weeks that R-MC has posted 52 points to win conference games.

SVU JOINING ODAC AS ASSOCIATE FOOTBALL MEMBER:

For the second time in the last four months, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) will see an adjustment to its membership. Southern Virginia University has accepted an invitation to join the NCAA Division III league as an associate member in football. The Knights will begin ODAC competition on the gridiron in the 2019-20 academic year.

Already seen as one of the most competitively balanced conferences in Division III football, the ODAC gains further parity via Southern Virginia's inclusion with nine well-balanced programs vying for the league's championship hardware and ultimately its automatic qualifier to the national tournament. All nine members have the added advantage of only needing to schedule two non-conference games to complete a full 10-game slate. SVU also happens to be a geographic fit for both school and conference with its Buena Vista, Va., campus situated along the Interstate-81 corridor that already features four of the ODAC's football member schools (just 59 miles from Bridgewater).

NEXT TIME OUT:

Bridgewater has its final home game of the season on Homecoming, welcoming Guilford at 2 p.m. next Saturday. The Eagles are wrapping up 2017 with four of five on the road.

The Eagles will also celebrate Senior Day and recognize their graduating class of Adam Albrecht, Barker, Josh Brooks, Joe Cellini, Joshua Cretaro, Sammie Harper, Jacob Heaton, Adam Hill, Horatio Hodge, Corey Jochim, Isaiah Johnson, Kevin McKeon, Jason Monroe, Christopher Owens and Devonte Speller.