Eagles Drop Third Straight Game
BRIDGEWATER – Bridgewater College senior quarterback Willie Logan is normally on of the most upbeat guys in the room.
As one of four senior captains, the Luray native sets the tone for the Eagles (3-3 overall, 0-3 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference) offensively with his arm and his legs. So when Logan turned in a 14-of-32 passing performance in a 21-14 loss on Saturday to Guilford on Homecoming, the reaction was very different from his usual self.
“It was just one of those days where I couldn’t hit them,” Logan said outside the team’s locker room. “I couldn’t hit anybody.”
Ordinarily one of the most talkative players on the team, Logan kept his answers short when asked about his passing struggles.
“We had some many opportunities and that was me just missing people,” Logan said. “It was pretty bad, there were a lot of them.”
Logan missed on deep passes to seniors Cassidy Burns and Cliff Woodard multiple times, seemingly digging himself into a deeper hole as the game went along. Early in the fourth quarter, he had completed just nine passes to go along with an interception.
“He’s a guy that’s invested in us and we’ve invested in him,” BC coach Michael Clark said. “By the same token, we understand and he understands that if that position struggles and presses, it holds other things down.”
Guilford (4-2, 3-0) went into the game against Bridgewater with the game plan of making Logan hit the deep pass. The Quakers left man-to-man coverage against the BC wide receivers, but Logan failed to take advantage.
Quakers’ coach Chris Rusiewicz watched as his defense allowed 362 yards, outgaining Guilford’s 360 yards, but limited the deep ball that Bridgewater so desperately needed.
“You watch their games, I watched every game of theirs this year and they have difficulty completing the deep ball and we knew that,” Rusiewicz said. “We knew they would have to have the perfect touch and it’s not easy to do that when you have a quarterback that’s not setting his feet. They missed on some, but that’s what they’ve been doing all year is missing those. The whole year could’ve been different if they’re completing those. You can’t count on the deep ball to win football games, that’s tough to do.”
Burns had just one catch while Woodard was shutout. Burns was limited in practice throughout the week with a bad right knee while Woodard is still battling a foot injury that made him miss all of last season.
Clark did not know whether those injuries played a part in the missed deep passes, but it certainly did not help. Logan’s best pass – an 18-yard touchdown to freshman receiver Jeff Moore in the fourth quarter – was the perfect example of what Clark wants to see more of.
“He needs to throw two more balls like he threw that last touchdown,” Clark said. “Just let it go and rip it. Certainly the quarterback of the first three games is the one that we want to get back in our fold. I know it’s there and help him try and dig it out.”
Clark told the team after the game that Logan is the undisputed quarterback of the team. He would have liked to get a performance on Saturday from Logan like the one Guilford QB Matt Pawlowski gave.
Pawlowski finished the game 16-of-24 passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns while running for another 37 yards. The sophomore – much like he did last year in a 23-20 Guilford win – extended drives with his ability to escape the pocket and make the Eagles pay when things broke down.
“You left too many cards on the table against a team and a quarterback that you didn’t want to be in the fourth quarter late having to defend the broken play to give yourself a chance to win the game,” Clark said.
For the third-straight week, BC fell behind in the first half. Although it was 14-0 midway through the second quarter, the Eagles did not change what they did, sticking with the running game that had struggled in losses to Shenandoah and Hampden-Sydney.
Tailback Jacob Wright ran for 122 yards on 23 carries and Logan added 73 yards and a touchdown himself on the ground. BC finished with 204 yards rushing.
“The fact that we could get 200 yards rushing when all those guys are hanging around in there is significant,” Clark said. “When you go one-on-one and you’re on the outside and you get people open you got to get them the ball. We didn’t do that consistently enough.”
The one bright spot in the passing game was Moore, who now has over 225 yards receiving in the last three games. The 5-foot-7, 140-pound Fredericksburg native caught five passes for 76 yards on Saturday.
He too shares the frustration with the passing game.
“We’re too much of an almost team,” Moore said. “We’re one step away. We got to make plays where they need to be made. We’re not making enough plays.”
The Eagles now face back-to-back road games at Washington & Lee and Emory and Henry as they try and dig out of an 0-3 start in conference play.
“Up – that’s the only way you can go,” Logan said. “It’s a pretty low place right now, so I think up is the only way we can go.”