BRIDGEWATER, Va. -- The Bridgewater College football team won its seventh ODAC title, and first since 2005, with a 28-21 victory over Randolph-Macon on Jopson Field.
Led by head coach Michael Clark, the Bridgewater College football team claimed the ODAC title with a 28-21 win over Randolph-Macon Saturday afternoon.
Re'Shaun Myers had 15 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and two QB hurries, and fellow senior linebacker Gary Ramey Jr. had 12 tackles, a sack and 2.5 TFLs. Chase Rosenthal added seven tackles, an interception and three pass breakups.
Randolph-Macon made it interesting by switching things up on offense in the second half and reinserting senior and former starter Burke Estes at quarterback (12-of-16, 132 yards, touchdown), although the methodical Yellow Jacket offense ran off a lot of clock on their late drives.
After RMC made it a one-score game at 21-13 with 9:39 remaining, the visitors seemed to have grabbed momentum. On the very next play, Demetreus Jalepes (12 carries, 169 yards, TD rush, TD reception) broke right up the middle for 71 yards and a 28-13 lead.
Bridgewater appeared to have locked up the game when Rosenthal intercepted Estes in the final three minutes, but RMC wide receiver DeAndre Gill made an incredible hustle play to force a fumble and get possession back.
Estes carried it in and the Yellow Jackets looked to convert an onsides kick for the second straight week but Matt Dang, who has been a special teams ace all season for Bridgewater, covered it up to clinch the championship.
Bridgewater had capped a dominant 21-0 first half performance with some trickery. BC lined up with everyone right of center and Viante Tucker ran 34 yards for the score behind the unbalanced line. Noah Beckley then faked the hold for the two-point conversion, restoring the point the Eagles had lost earlier on a blocked PAT.
Ramey and Dang stopped a RMC fourth down try on the Yellow Jackets opening drive, and Bridgewater converted one of their own on the ensuing possession. Jay Scroggins hit Jalepes on the rollout pass on the next play to open the scoring.
Chad Jones made a great TD catch, plucking the ball from over his defender on the opening play of the second quarter to make it 13-0 Eagles.
The Bridgewater defense stayed strong as Myers forced a third down fumble and then knocked down a fourth down pass after the Yellow Jackets recovered. Ramey ended the next possession deep in RMC territory with a sack.
The #23/24 Eagles recorded several major milestones with the win. Along with returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005, Bridgewater won a program-record 13th straight game- breaking the mark set by the Stagg Bowl finalist team that started the 2001 year 12-0.
Bridgewater (9-0, 7-0 ODAC) will wrap up the regular season at home next Saturday vs. Guilford. Randolph-Macon, who was ranked #7 in the South Region, falls to 7-2, 6-1.