BRIDGEWATER, Va. – After Guilford took the lead midway through the first quarter, the Bridgewater Eagles football team responded in a big way, scoring 52 unanswered points in a 59-13 victory over the visiting Guilford Quakers on Homecoming Saturday at Jopson Field.
Guilford got on the board early in the first when quarterback Zac Halbert bolted one yard to paydirt to give the Quakers a 7-0 lead.
Bridgewater responded on its ensuing drive when quarterback Carlos Gonzalez connected with wide receiver Chris Curry from 13 yards out to tie the game at seven each with still more than 10 minutes to play in the opening frame.
Following a Guilford three and out, running back Darrin McKenzie fumbled on the next offensive possession for the Eagles and Quakers defensive back Satiir Stevenson scooped it up and went 12 yards to the endzone to give the Quakers a 13-7 lead. Bridgewater defensive back Terrell Corley blocked the PAT attempt to keep the score at 13-7.
After moving into the Guilford red zone on the next drive, the Eagles stalled out on fourth down at the Quakers 14, handing the ball back to Guilford with five minutes and change to play in a back-and-forth first quarter.
Three plays later, defensive end Dominic Jeter leapt in the air and picked off a Halbert pass at the nine and scampered to the endzone to put the Eagles up 14-13.
On the kickoff, Dashawn Johnson scooted five yards up field for the Quakers before freshman Alex Collins jarred the ball loose and wide receiver Cliff Woodard recovered it to give the Eagles the ball back.
Following the fumble recovery, Anthony Carter did all of the legwork, capping off a three-play drive with a nine-yard touchdown run to put the Eagles up by a 21-13 margin after the first 15 minutes.
Guilford's turnover woes continued when Halbert was picked off by cornerback Jermaine Spears at the Eagles 31 to stall out what was looking like a promising drive for the Quakers.
Bridgewater again made the Quakers pay when McKenzie leaped in from a yard out to cap off a 10-play drive, giving the Eagles a 28-13 lead.
Both teams settled in for the remainder of the opening half, before the Quakers were forced to punt the ball away with the clock ticking under 10 seconds.
Guilford looked for a big play at the end of the half, but junior Tyler Staton had other ideas. On a fake punt pass, Staton, who was back to receive the punt, intercepted the pass and returned the pick 47 yards to the endzone to give Bridgewater a 35-13 lead as the game headed to the break.
Bridgewater booted a field goal on its first offensive possession of the second half to extend the lead to 38-13 before Gonzalez connected with tight end Justin Bingham on a 23-yard pitch and catch to put the Eagles up 45-13 with just under six minutes to play in the third quarter.
Following a Quakers three-and-out, backup quarterback Willie Logan kept the offense firing on all cylinders when he scampered 41 yards to the endzone to put the Eagles ahead 52-13 with 4:53 showing on the third quarter clock.
Guilford could never get any semblance of an offense going as the Bridgewater defense harassed Halbert all afternoon before a 13-play, 84 yard drive was capped off by a Logan 20 yard keeper to finalize the scoring at a 59-13 margin with 3:33 to play.
Bridgewater's offense was outstanding racking up a season-best 554 yards. On the ground, the Eagles bulled for 364 yards, led by Carter's 131 yards on 16 carries. McKenzie added in 62 yards on six carries, while Logan chipped in 72 yards on just a trio of runs.
Gonzalez was solid behind center for the Eagles. The junior was 10-of-19 on the day for 165 yards and two scores.
On the receiving end, Curry paced the way with four catches for 55 yards and a score.
Defensively, senior Victor Williams paced the way with a team-high six stops. Williams recorded five solo tackles to lead an Eagles squad that forced four Quakers miscues on the day. Bridgewater's defense held Guilford to just 130 yards on the afternoon, including just 68 rushing yards.
Guilford was led on the ground by Josh Williams' 48 yards on 18 carries.
Through the air, Halbert was 10-of-22 for 62 yards and a pair of interceptions on the day.
Reigning ODAC Rookie of the Year Ben King led the Quakers on the receiving end as the Eagles held him to just 24 yards on three receptions.
Defensively, CJ Green and Stevenson paced the way with nine tackles each. Both players also chipped in a forced fumble and a fumble recovery each.
Bridgewater was 3-of-11 on third down on the day, while the Eagles held Guilford to 2-of-15 on third down.
The Eagles are back in action on Saturday, October 22 at Washington and Lee. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.