HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Hampden-Sydney claimed a hard fought 28-14 win over ODAC-rival Bridgewater College on Homecoming weekend to improve to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in ODAC play. The Eagles, on the other hand, fall to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in league play. The Tigers accounted for 383 yards of total offense to the Eagles' 415. Senior running back Kirk Rohle (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) was tough to stop, accounting for 184 yards and two touchdowns courtesy 134 rushing yards on 16 carries and 47 receiving yards on eight receptions.
Both teams had trouble scoring early on with a 0-0 mark at the end of the first quarter, but the offenses picked up - especially in the fourth quarter with a stretch of three consecutive touchdown drives. The first six possessions of the game, however, ended in punts.
It was the Tigers to take the 7-0 early in the second quarter as Rohle ran in for an 11-yard touchdown. The Eagles began to creep into Tiger territory on the ensuing drive, but on a fourth-and-one situation, Alex Price (Fairfax, VA/Fairfax) and Mo Gross (Chesterfield, VA/Clover Hill) teamed up to stop Anthony Carter in the backfield for a turnover on downs.
A few possessions later, Bridgewater had the ball back with 2:21 to play in the half down just 7-0. Starting at their own 32-yard line, the Eagles marched down to the Hampden-Sydney 12-yard line. With just over 30 seconds to go, Cliff Woodard caught an 11 yard pass. As he went for the end zone, sophomore Charlie Shoemaker (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park) forced a big fumble that August Berling (Richmond, VA/Benedictine) recovered in the end zone to preserve the one possession lead.
Though the Tigers came up with a huge stop heading into intermission, it took Bridgewater just eight plays, 45 yards and four minutes into the second half for Julius Delbridge to run in the seven-yard equalizer.
With the chance to respond and reclaim the lead, Hampden-Sydney stood at third-and-11 at its own 49-yard line. Senior quarterback Travis Lane (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) then threw for his first touchdown of the day, hitting an open Kyle Vance (Onley, VA/Broadwater Academy) in stride for the 51-yard strike.
Lane's second touchdown pass of the day put the Tigers up 21-7 when he hit Eric Gorsline (Virginia Beach, VA/Norfolk Academy) three yards in the end zone with 12:48 to play in the fourth quarter.
Just minutes later, however, Bridgewater's Darrin McKenzie rushed in for a 13 yard touchdown to bring it back to a one possession game with 8:05 left to play.
Hampden-Sydney used its next drive to push its lead while also burning clock. At third-and-six on the Bridgewater 40-yard line, junior Evan King (Lewisburg, WV/Episcopal) kept the drive alive with a six yard scamper to move the chains. Four plays later, the Tigers stood at fourth-and-seven with just under five minutes to play. Sophomore Mike Goad (Chesterfield, VA/Matoaca) came up big, snaring a 16-yard pass to keep the ball.
Two minutes later, Rohle was able to punch in his second score of the day on a five yard run to put the Tigers up 28-14 with 2:47 to play.
Bridgewater did its best to respond, getting into Hampden-Sydney territory, but the defense did not break, forcing the final turnover on downs to secure the win.
Offensively, Lane was 22-of-32 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. While Rohle led the way in receptions, Vance tallied a game-high 96 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. On the ground, Rohle averaged 8.4 yards-per-carry. Defensively, junior Kenny Fryman (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) led the way with a game-high 13 tackles while Price notched ten stops. Freshman John Moore (Powhatan, VA/Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot) was solid with six tackles, 1.5 for loss, and an interception.
Bridgewater was led by Carlos Gonzalez, who threw for 205 yards with one interception on 21-of-38 accuracy. Delbridge and Leigh Bradley each caught a team-high five passes for a combined 83 yards. On the ground, Anthony Carter led the attack with 19 carries for 85 yards. Defensively, Chris Wholey and Terrell Corley led the way with seven tackles a piece.
Hampden-Sydney will return to action next Saturday, October 15 as it travels to Emory, VA to face the Wasps of Emory & Henry. Kick-off is set for 1:00 pm.