Football Falls 35-34 to Washington and Lee
BRIDGEWATER, Va. – On a day when senior wide receiver Tyler Beiler set the career receptions record, a 39-yard Will Davis field goal missed wide right with 1:19 to play as the Washington and Lee Generals escaped Jopson Field with a 35-34 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football victory over the Bridgewater Eagles.
Washington and Lee's conference leading rush offense rushed for 438 yards on the Eagles ODAC-leading rushing defense.
Bridgewater struck first on their opening possession, when a Thomas Tate rush for one yard capped off a seven play, 49 yard drive to put the Eagles ahead by a 7-0 score.
The Eagles defense was up to the task early, holding the Generals off of the scoreboard on their first drive.
Following a Bridgewater three-and-out, Washington and Lee knotted the game up at seven each on a four-yard Brett Murray carry with 3:14 left in the opening stanza.
Bridgewater answered the Generals' score with a two-yard Darrin McKenzie touchdown run with two ticks left in the first quarter to take a 14-7 advantage.
Washington and Lee responded with a 10 play, 68 yard drive of its own, capped off by a two yard Luke Heinsohn touchdown burst, to tie the game back up at 14 a piece with 11 and change to play in the first half.
Following the Washington and Lee score, Bridgewater responded yet again when quarterback Hagan Driskell connected with Beiler on a 40 yard pitch and catch to put the Eagles ahead 21-14.
Washington and Lee tallied the final score of the half on a three-yard Heinsohn carry to tie the game at 21 each as the game headed to the intermission.
Out of the halftime break, Washington and Lee made its first mistake of the day, when Eagles defensive end Dominic Jeter forced a Charlie Westfal fumble to give Bridgewater the ball on the Generals 48.
Bridgewater regained the lead on a one-yard McKenzie carry on the ensuing drive to put the Eagles back ahead 28-21.
Washington and Lee immediately responded with a 10-play, 60 yard drive, capped off by Heinsohn's third touchdown of the game to knot the score at 28-28.
The two teams continued to exchange scores when McKenzie scored from 12 yards out to put the Eagles ahead 34-28, after the Davis PAT attempt missed wide.
Bridgewater forced another Washington and Lee miscue on the ensuing drive, but a Bridgewater's offense went three-and-out on their following drive to give the Generals the ball with 11:13 to play.
Washington and Lee used a 32-yard Westfal to Cody Smith strike to move into the Bridgewater redzone before a Westfal keeper from eight yards out put the Generals up 35-34 after the PAT.
Following the Washington and Lee score, Bridgewater used a 12 play drive to chew up nearly seven minutes of the clock, before the drive stalled out at the Generals 22, forcing a 39 yard field goal attempt.
Will Davis' 39-yard field goal missed wide left, allowing the Generals to escape Jopson Field with a 35-34 victory.
Both offensive units were clicking as the two teams racked up 824 total yards between them, including 669 yards on the ground.
Bridgewater was led on the ground by McKenzie's 146-yard afternoon. McKenzie rushed for three touchdowns along the way, on 26 carries. McKenzie's three-touchdown afternoon is the first for a Bridgewater running back since Thomas Tate's three touchdown game last season against Guilford.
Through the air, Driskell was 9-of-19 for 119 yards and a score.
On the receiving end, Beiler led the Eagles with three catches for 58 yards. Junior Julius Delbridge also chipped in with four receptions for 41 yards. Beiler's three catches gives him 131 on his career, placing him atop the career receptions list.
Defensively, Darrin Stephenson and T.J. Montague recorded a co-game high 11 tackles.
Washington and Lee was led offensively by Harrison Hudson's 204-yard performance, on 18 carries. Hudson tallied two touchdowns along the way. Heinsohn had 19 carries for 99 yards and three touchdowns.
Westfal was 3-of-6 through the air for 36 yards. Of Westfal's 36 yards, 32 of them came on one play during Washington and Lee's go-ahead drive.
A trio of General's led the way with a catch a piece.
Linebacker Jesse Jenkins recorded 10 tackles to lead the Washington and Lee defense.
Bridgewater is back in action next Saturday when the Eagles end the home slate against the Emory and Henry Wasps. Kickoff from Jopson Field is slated for 1:00 p.m. Next Saturday's game is also Senior Day.