BRIDGEWATER, VA-For the first time since early September, Hampden-Sydney football fell as the 22nd-ranked Tigers were bested by Bridgewater 34-9 at Jopson Field. With the loss, the Tigers fall to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in ODAC play; the Eagles improve to 6-2 and 3-2 in conference.
Bridgewater only had 62 more yards of offense than Hampden-Sydney, outgaining the Tigers 372 to 310, but the Eagles used 118 return yards – including a kick return for a touchdown – to Hampden-Sydney's 31 as an advantage.
Both teams were stymied on their first drives, but the Tigers struck first, as Nash Nance (Calhoun, GA/Tennessee) hit Mitch Pereira (Midlothian, VA/Midlothian) for a 42-yard strike. A failed PAT kept the score at 6-0 with just over nine minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Just before the end of the quarter, Bridgewater took a 7-6 lead on a Ross Rushing two-yard score.
Rushing found the end zone again in the second quarter, this time using his arm and hitting Tyler Moneymaker from 23 yards out.
Neither offense found a groove for the rest of the half; each team punted once and turned it over once – the Tigers on downs, and the Eagles with a Sidney Henry (Haymarket, VA/Battlefield) interception.
The Eagles started the second half with a bang, returning the opening kickoff 98 yards for a score and a 21-6 lead.
The Tigers later responded with a 20-yard field goal from Max Antwerpes (Mainz, Germany/Kenston Forest), but Bridgewater fired back on its ensuing drive. Rushing threw his second touchdown pass of the day for a 27-9 lead with 2:13 to play in the third quarter.
In the fourth, the Tigers were amidst a 16-play drive, but they were halted when Sammy Coleman picked off Nance to give the ball back to the Eagles. The takeaway led to the final score of the game, with Jacob Wright taking the ball 61 yards for the 34-9 advantage.
Hampden-Sydney tallied 208 passing and 102 rushing yards. Nance was 15-of-34 for 204 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Kyle Deivert (Fairfax, VA/Fairfax) was his top target with four catches for 49 yards. Holton Walker (Lynchburg, VA/Brookville) also caught four passes for 37 yards.
Craige Sprouse (Richmond, VA/Clover Hill) led the rushing attack with 37 yards on six carries. Nance added 27 yards, and Brady Macko (Kill Devil Hills, NC/First Flight) went for 23 yards on 11 attempts.
Defensively, the Tigers allowed 189 passing yards and 183 rushing yards. John Moore (Powhatan, VA/Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot) led the way with a game-high nine tackles. Josh Doggett (Mechanicsville, VA/Atlee) had eight stops, and Nick Martin (Round Hill, VA/Loudoun Valley) and Henry each had seven.
Hampden-Sydney returns home as the Tigers host Guilford next Saturday, November 8, on Hall of Fame Weekend. Kick off is set for 1:00 pm.