Guilford Hands Bridgewater First ODAC Grid Loss in Six Years, 33-28

Greensboro, N.C. (10/14/06) -- Sophomore quarterback Josh Vogelbach ran for two touchdowns and passed for another in Guilford's 33-28 upset of nationally ranked Bridgewater in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football game Saturday. The five-time defending ODAC champion Eagles (5-1, 1-1 ODAC) saw their 36-game ODAC winning streak end with their first league loss since Sept. 16, 2000. Guilford ended a seven-game losing skid to Bridgewater that dated to 1998.

Bridgewater stands among the top eight teams in three different NCAA Division III polls this week: American Football Coaches Association (7th), Don Hansen's Football Gazette (6th), (8th).

The Quakers (4-2, 1-1 ODAC), who entered the game ranked first in Division III with 396.4 passing yards per game, used a balanced offensive attack and gained 206 of their 444 total offensive yards on the ground. Senior Micah Rushing, who ranks fifth among Division III receptions per game leaders, started in the backfield and had 20 carries for a career-high 150 yards and touchdown. He gained 109 yards and a touchdown on eight first-half carries, which helped the Quakers to a 24-14 halftime lead. His 150 rushing yards marked the most by a Guilford student since Brandon Lockhart '03 ran for 158 yards against Catholic Nov. 9, 2002.

After Travis Frazier's second 37-yard field goal of the game gave Guilford a 27-14 lead after three quarters, Bridgewater's Winston Young scored on a four-yard run. The touchdown capped a 10-play, 64-yard drive and pulled the Eagles to within 27-21 with 13:57 left in the game.

The teams traded possessions before Guilford mounted a 17-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ate up 6:31 of the fourth quarter. The Quakers converted two fourth-down plays on the drive, including a fourth-and-one from the Eagles' 49-yard line. Vogelbach ended the drive with a 14-yard scoring scamper on third down. The two-point conversion pass failed, which left Guilford with a 33-21 edge with 3:54 remaining. Rushing ran for 34 yards and caught an eight-yard pass on the drive, that also included two of Guilford's eight penalties.

Bridgewater took the ensuing kickoff and used just 57 seconds to move 90 yards on six plays before junior quarterback Jeff Highfill connected with sophomore Andy Ropp from 22 yards out. Luke Taylor's extra point made it a 33-28 with 2:47 left. Highfill completed all five pass attempts on the drive for 79 yards and scrambled for 11 yards to set up the scoring pass.

Guilford's Jon McKinney recovered the Eagles' on-side kick attempt and Vogelbach completed two passes to senior Chris Barnette to help the Quakers run the clock down to eight seconds before returning possession to Bridgewater. Sophomore Danny Langston made his second interception of the game as time expired on Highfill's hail-Mary pass.

Vogelbach completed 22 of 41 passes for 238 yards and a score, his first sub-300-yard passing game in 11 outings. Barnette finished with a season-low, but game-high eight receptions for 74 yards. Rushing added four grabs for 80 yards and finished with 237 all-purpose yards. Sophomore Kevin Vaughn caught four passes for 55 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Rookie linebacker Markas Brunson led the Quakers' defense with a career-high nine tackles, including 1.5 sacks.

Bridgewater's Phillip Carter gained a team-best 88 rushing yards on nine carries. Young finished with 87 rushing yards on 16 attempts, two catches for 44 yards and finished 294 all-purpose yards, thanks to 163 kickoff return yards. Highfill ran 12 times for 49 yards and a score. He also completed 13-of-24 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Junior receiver Brandon Copeland made a team-high six catches in his homecoming. Senior linebacker Craig Smith and senior cornerback Josh Knight led the Eagles with eight tackles apiece.

Guilford returns to action next Saturday at league-rival Washington and Lee, which improved to 3-0 in the ODAC with a 28-6 win over Hampden-Sydney Saturday. The Eagles host Emory & Henry in an ODAC game next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

2006 Football Outlook
August 31, 2006 2006 Football Outlook