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Bridgewater, Randolph-Macon Face Off For ODAC Football Championship

gary ramey blocks a randolph-macon kick

#23/24 Bridgewater College Eagles (8-0, 6-0 ODAC) vs. Randolph-Macon College Yellow Jackets (7-1, 6-0 ODAC)

The ODAC will have a championship game in football as the Eagles and Randolph-Macon play for the title.

When: Saturday, November 9
Where: Jopson Athletic Complex
Start Time: 1:00 p.m.

Gameday Media:
LiveStats: https://bridgewatereagles.com/sports/fball/2019-20/boxscores/20191109_187y.xml
Video Streaming: https://team1sports.com/Bridgewater/ 
Audio: https://tunein.com/radio/Radiall-s263083/

Full Game Notes
Bridgewater Roster
Bridgewater Stats
RMC Roster
RMC Stats

AROUND THE ODAC:

Randolph-Macon and Bridgewater will decide the 2019 ODAC football champion on Jopson Field, as both teams moved two games ahead of the rest of the field with their matchup looming in the penultimate week of the season.

We were seconds away from having just one team with an unblemished ODAC record through week nine, but some late heroics for Randolph-Macon helped the Yellow Jackets keep pace with nationally-ranked Bridgewater at 6-0 in the conference table. Randolph-Macon kicker Chris Vidal scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and started a recovered onsides kick to help set up his game-winning 38-yard field goal with 0:02 on the scoreboard vs. Washington & Lee.

LAST TIME BC WON THE TITLE:

Bridgewater defeated Washington & Lee 17-13 in 2005, then found out minutes after the game that Catholic and Randolph-Macon both lost which officially clinched the Eagles' fifth straight Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship and sixth straight NCAA playoff berth.

Deon Mayes intercepted three passes and had a defensive score, and the special teams came up with three blocked kicks as the Eagles won their 33rd straight ODAC regular season game.

Bridgewater would go on to beat Randolph-Macon and Catholic to close out the regular season, completing a fifth straight unbeaten ODAC campaign.

PREVIOUS MEETING:

The Eagles came from 17 points down and held a lead on three occasions, but fell 44-41 in double-overtime to ODAC leaders Randolph-Macon. The contest would ultimately decide the ODAC championship for both teams, as Bridgewater finished tied for second place with Hampden-Sydney and would have won the league on tiebreakers had they edged RMC.

Bridgewater had to settle for a field goal in the second overtime period, and forced a third-and-goal for the Yellow Jackets. With the defense keying on star running back Tre Frederick, RMC ran a play-action bootleg and QB Burke Estes had Robby Owens open for the winning score.

BC quarterback Jay Scroggins threw for 310 yards and three scores while rushing for a team-high 62 yards on 19 carries. Dakoda Shrader (five catches, 73 yards), Grant Monson (six catches, 62 yards, TD) and Devonte Smith (5 catches, 62 yards, TD) all contributed to the passing attack.

ALL-TIME CHAMPIONSHIPS:

The Yellow Jackets are looking to become the first ODAC school to win 12 conference football championships, as Randolph-Macon is tied with Emory & Henry for 11 titles. Bridgewater has won the league six times, and BC's 10 NCAA tournament game victories is more than the rest of the conference combined.

Bridgewater Titles:
1980 (4-1, 6-3)
2001 (6-0, 9-0)
2002 (6-0, 10-0)
2003 (6-0, 12-2)
2004 (6-0, 8-3)
2005 (6-0, 10-2)

Randolph-Macon Titles:
1976 (3-1, 5-3-1)
1978 (4-0, 5-4)
1979 (4-0, 5-5)
1984 (5-0, 9-2)
1985 (4-1, 7-3)
1989 (3-1, 5-5)
1993 (5-0, 7-2-1)
1997 (4-1, 8-2)
2008 (4-2, 6-5)
2016 (6-1, 9-2)
2018 (6-1, 9-3)

All-Time ODAC Championships:
Emory & Henry - 11
Randolph-Macon - 11
Hampden-Sydney - 9
Washington & Lee - 7
Bridgewater - 6
Guilford - 2
Catholic - 1

NCAA Tournament Game Victories:
Bridgewater - 10
Emory & Henry - 3
Hampden-Sydney - 1
Randolph-Macon - 1

NATIONAL POLLS:

Bridgewater is ranked in both the AFCA and D3football.com national polls this week. The Eagles moved up two spots to #23 in the AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll, after slotting in at #25 each of the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, Bridgewater moved into the D3football.com Top-25 for the first time this season, with BC ranked 24th after #13 UW-Platteville and #18 SUNY-Cortland lost this weekend.

The Yellow Jackets received two votes this week on the AFCA ballot.

REGIONALLY-RANKED OPPONENTS:

Bridgewater is ranked #3 in the South in the first official NCAA Division III football regional rankings. The Eagles (8-0, 6-0 ODAC) slot in behind Mary Hardin-Baylor (8-0, 7-0 ASC) and Muhlenberg (8-0, 7-0 Centennial); and ahead of Susquehanna (7-1, 6-1 Centennial) and Case Western (8-0, 7-0 PAC).

With Randolph-Macon checking in at #7 in the South Region, Saturday's winner will also get an important victory vs. a regionally-ranked opponent on their resume.

Eagles fans can also keep an eye on the East Region. While there are no two-loss teams currently ranked in that region, Stevenson (6-2, 5-1 MAC) will take on the East #10 team Wilkes (7-1, 5-1 MAC) this weekend. If the Mustangs can ultimately crack the final regional rankings, it would add a win vs. a regionally-ranked opponent for Bridgewater (the Eagles defeated Stevenson 37-22 in Owings Mills, Md.).

WINNING STREAKS:

The Eagles will be going for a program-record 13th straight win this weekend. Last weekend's victory equaled the record set by the 2001 Stagg Bowl finalist team, who beat Rowan at home on a TD with no time remaining to improve to 12-0 on the year and advance to the national title game.

Longest Bridgewater Football Winning Streaks:
12 – Sept. 1, 2001 - Dec. 8, 2001
12 – Oct. 27, 2018 - current
11 – Sept. 10, 2005 - Nov. 26, 2005
11 – Sept. 7, 2002 - Nov. 30, 2002

The Eagles' last loss came vs. Randolph-Macon, on October 20, 2018.

LAST TIME OUT:

#25 Bridgewater beat a second straight ODAC contender on the road, defeating Emory & Henry 35-3 on Saturday. The Eagles held the conference's top-rated offense to just 190 yards (the fourth straight team to fail to reach 200 yards vs. Bridgewater) and a solitary field goal. Gary Ramey Jr. had a team-leading seven tackles and one tackle for loss.

Linebackers Deshomd Denny (2.0 sacks) and Re'Shaun Myers (sack, 2.0 TFLs, forced fumbles) made six stops each. Devonte Smith caught five balls for 138 yards and two touchdowns, with Scroggins throwing for 236 yards, three scores and no interceptions on the day.

HEAD COACHES:

In his 25th season and looking to win 13 straight games for the first time, Michael Clark (162-100-1) is now the longest-tenured active collegiate head coach in Virginia. Randolph-Macon head coach Pedro Arruza is in his 16th season and has won three ODAC titles- including two of the last three.

SERIES:

Randolph-Macon leads the all-time series 60-16-3, and 13-11 since Clark took over with the Eagles.

BRIDGEWATER OFFENSE:

Scroggins threw his 60th career TD pass last weekend, setting a new Bridgewater program record. He has already set the school record for completions and is six pass attempts and 386 yards away from those career marks.

The Eagles are back to first in the ODAC in scoring offense after beating the previous leader in that category, Emory & Henry, 35-3. Bridgewater is third nationally in red zone offense, getting points on 94.6% of trips inside the 20.

BRIDGEWATER DEFENSE:

Bridgewater is up to fifth in the nation in scoring defense (11.1 ppg).

Senior linebacker Myers leads the ODAC with three forced fumbles and ranks second in sacks (6.0), third in TFLs (8.0) and fourth in tackles (63).

BRIDGEWATER SPECIAL TEAMS: 

Bridgewater has gotten a special teams score in four of the past five games, including a Matt Dang blocked punt that was recovered by Brett Tharp in the end zone last weekend. Dang has blocked or recovered a blocked punt in each of the past three games (along with recovering a fumble on defense in two straight contests).

RMC OFFENSE:

The RMC offense has been led by a tough offensive line and senior running back Tre Frederick (854 yards, 2 TDs) in recent years, and the Yellow Jackets rank fourth in Division III this season in time of possession (35:15).

Freshman quarterback Presley Egbers has taken the starting job from incumbent senior Burke Estes the past five weeks, completing 63.4% of his passes for 823 yards, 8 TDs and three picks.

RMC DEFENSE:

Senior linebacker Calvin Whitehead leads the team with 42 tackles despite playing in just five games. Sophomore linebacker Erik Harris has racked up two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

RMC SPECIAL TEAMS:

Junior kicker Chris Vidal was All-ODAC as a freshman and then All-State as a sophomore, and was the hero last weekend as he kicked a successful onsides kick in the final minute and then hit a 38-yarder to win it in the final seconds.

NEXT TIME OUT:

Bridgewater concludes the regular season with another home game against Guilford, where the Eagles will also celebrate Senior Day.

BC has clinched a top-two spot in the ODAC, which means the Eagles will be heading either to the NCAA tournament or the Neptune Bowl on November 23.