BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Senior Tyler Beiler (Ronks, Pa./Conestoga Valley) hauled in a 42-yard touchdown reception with 10 minutes to play to put the Bridgewater Eagles football team up 17-10, before a Jacob Hutchinson (Greenville, Va./Riverheads) fake field goal with 1:17 capped off a 24-10 victory over the Emory and Henry Wasps on Senior Day at Jopson Field.
On their first possession of the game, the Bridgewater (6-2, 2-2 ODAC) offense marched right down field on the Wasps before a three-yard touchdown run from Darrin McKenzie (Rustburg, Va./Brookville) put the Eagles up 7-0 with 10:03 to go in the opening stanza.
Emory and Henry moved into Bridgewater territory on its ensuing drive before a Dustin Beck passed was intercepted at the 17-yard line by Darrin Stephenson (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) to thwart an early Wasps drive.
Both teams had three-and-outs to end the first frame as the defenses buckled down in the latter part of the quarter.
Another three-and-out, this time by Bridgewater, opened the second quarter before Emory and Henry got the ball back with 13:36 to play in the opening half.
Emory and Henry trudged to the Eagles 30 before things stalled out for the Wasps offense, forcing a field goal attempt. Matt Turchin's 47-yard field goal attempt went wide right to keep the score at 7-0.
Bridgewater had another scoring opportunity thwarted in its final drive of the half when Hagan Driskell (Ruther Glen, Va./Caroline) connected with Beiler. Beiler scampered to the one-yard line before defender Daniel Woods forced a fumble, which was recovered by the Wasps in the endzone to keep the Eagles off of the scoreboard.
The game remained 7-0 as both teams headed to the intermission.
Following an Emory and Henry three-and-out to open the half, Bridgewater drove 70 yards on 11 plays to set up a 22-yard chip shot field goal. Freshman Jordan Thacker (Hickory, N.C./Fred T. Foard) converted the 22-yard attempt to put the Eagles ahead 10-0 with 6:47 to play in the third quarter.
Emory & Henry responded with a quick 68 yard scoring drive, capped off by a 14 yard strike from Beck to Zack Santolla to chip the Eagles' lead to 10-7 with 3:35 left in the third quarter.
After a three-and-out from Bridgewater on its ensuing drive, Emory & Henry drove to the Bridgewater 25 before a 42-yard Turchin field goal split the uprights to knot the score at 10 a piece with 12:02 to play.
Bridgewater responded to the Wasps score in a hurry when Driskell connected with Beiler from 42 yards out to put the Eagles ahead 17-10.
Emory & Henry's offense had a three and out on its subsequent possession, setting up Bridgewater's lengthy game-winning drive.
Bridgewater used a 14-play, 58 yard drive to march to the Emory & Henry six before setting up the would be field goal for Thacker. On the snap, Hutchinson barreled off of the left side to the endzone to put the nail in the coffin, giving Bridgewater a 24-10 victory.
Driskell was solid through the air, completing 16 of 23 passes for 235 yards and a score. Driskell moved into second place on the career passing yardage list with 4,934 career yards.
On the ground, the two-headed monster of Thomas Tate (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) and McKenzie led the Eagles to 149 yards on the ground. McKenzie barreled for a game-high 77 yards, while Tate chipped in 62 yards in the win.
On the receiving end, Beiler hauled in eight passes for 156 yards and a score. On the year, Beiler has 999 yards, needing just 29 yards in the final two games to become the single-season receiving yardage leader.
Defensively, senior T.J. Montague (Reston, Va./South Lakes) led the way with nine tackles. With his nine stops, Montague moved into 16th on the career tackles list.
Emory & Henry was led on the ground by Caleb Jennings' 46-yard afternoon.
Through the air, Beck was 17-of-32 for 187 yards and a score.
On the receiving end, Anthony Sims led the way with four catches for 64 yards.
Defensively, Woods led the way with 15 tackles. The Wasps had three players with double-digit tackles.
Bridgewater outgained the Wasps by a 384-to-297 tally and owned a 34:18-to-25:42 margin in time of possession.
Third downs were key for the Eagles as the Bridgewater defense held Emory & Henry to 3-of-12 on third down, while Eagles were 6-of-11.
Bridgewater is back in action next Saturday when the squad travels to Randolph-Macon. Action from Ashland, Va. is slated for a 1:00 p.m. start.