Big Second Half Propels No. 20 Tigers to 6-0, 24-17 Over BC
BRIDGEWATER, VA- Though #20 Hampden-Sydney trailed 17-10 to the Eagles of Bridgewater College at halftime, the Tigers came back in the second half a new team, outscoring Bridgewater 14-0 to take the 24-17 victory. With the win, Hampden-Sydney improves to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the ODAC while the Eagles fall to 4-1 and 0-1 in conference play.
It looked like it would be easy for the Tigers at first, who started out with a touchdown just three plays into the game. Sophomore Regis Craft (Burkeville, VA/Nottoway) brought the opening kickoff back 51 yards to start the game on the Bridgewater 34 yard line. Three plays later, junior Travis Lane (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) found Sean Cavanagh (Midlothian, VA/Clover Hill) 12 yards for the strike to go up 7-0 just 1:31 into the game.
The defense did its part on the ensuing drive, with Ty Condrey (Chesterfield, VA/Manchester) picking up a Bridgewater fumble at the Hampden-Sydney 22 yard line. With the ball back, however, the offense could not capitalize eventually punting it back to the Eagles.
Bridgewater took the opportunity on its second drive, going 76 yards in just four plays and 2:06. Tyler Beiler capped off the drive with a 21 yard touchdown reception to tie the game.
Neither team could get a first down for the rest of the quarter, but the Eagles used the first five minutes of the second quarter to march 73 yards for another Beiler touchdown reception to go up 14-7.
Starting on their own 33 yard line, the Tigers started off the drive with a bang after an eight yard reception by Andrew Bruckner (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird), 22 yard rush by Chris Shembo (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Country Day) and a 15 yard reception by Cavanagh. After Lane put together two runs for 17 yards to get to the Bridgewater four yard line, the Tigers hit a road block. They settled for a David Prizzia (Jacksonville, FL/Episcopal) 21 yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-10 with just under seven and a half minutes to play in the half.
Bridgewater would tack on three more points via a 31 yard Jordan Thacker field goal to go up 17-10 at the half.
The second half began with a huge break for the Tigers. A high snap on first and 10 for the Eagles at their own 41 yard line went over Hagan Driskell's head and into the back field. After rolling back 29 yards, Thomas McDonald (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) scooped it up for the Tigers first down just 12 yards from the end zone.
With momentum, sophomore Evan King (Lewisburg, WV/Episcopal) punched in the 12 yard score to tie the game at 17-17.
Both offenses found themselves in a stalemate, and it was again the Tiger defense that came up with the big play. On a third-and-eight throw at the Hampden-Sydney 22 yard line, Shane Clarke (Midlothian, VA/Manchester) picked off the pass and brought it back 43 yards to the Bridgewater 40 yard line.
The offense again capitalized on the momentum provided by the defense. After five plays, Lane found Stuart Callahan(Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) three yards in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was a defensive battle, with Bridgewater getting a nice opportunity when Jeff Mehlhaff returning a Lane interception 44 yards to the Eagles 47 yard line. Bridgewater used the next six and a half minutes to set up a 44 yard field goal, but missed keeping the score at 24-17.
After a Corey Geiger (Chesapeake, VA/Western Branch) punt pinned the Eagles on their own six yard line, they had one more drive to tie the game with 3:17 remaining. The Tigers stood strong, however, forcing Bridgewater into a turnover on downs to secure the win.
On the day, Lane was 20-for-31 with 178 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. King and Bruckner were his lead targets, each hauling in five receptions while combining for 78 yards. King also led the way on the ground with 54 yards and a touchdown on ten carries.
Defensively, the Tigers had a strong second half, holding Bridgewater scoreless. Senior Trevor Ikwild (Philomont, VA/Loudoun Valley) again led the team with 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Bill Doody (Fort Lauderdale, FL/Cardinal Gibbons) was not far off with 10. McDonald and Will Riggenbach (Midlothian, VA/Clover Hill) each had five tackles while combining for two sacks and 4.5 tackles-for-loss.
Hampden-Sydney will return home next Saturday, October 16, after three weeks on the road. The Tigers will host the Wasps of Emory & Henry (4-2, 0-2) on Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm.