BUENA VISTA, Va. The Southern Football team will play a second Thursday night game of the season when they face off against perennial ODAC power Bridgewater. The meeting will be the first between the two teams. The teams will be heading in to the game from different directions. The Knights will need to forget an ugly loss the previous week to Brevard, while the Eagles are looking to start the season 4-0 after a win over Ferrum. The Thursday game has an added dimension to it, as the teams play on a neutral field in Salem, VA., and the game receipts will go to a charity.
Bridgewater is an NCAA D.III school in Harrisonburg, VA. The team plays in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, and has had a good amount of success in the past decade. The Eagles faced a previous foe of the Knights last week as they faced off against Ferrum. Like the Knights, BC was able to score a win over the Panthers, 35-24. Led by 299-yards and 4-touchdowns through the air by Hagan Driskell, the Eagles recorded the win over the visitors to give them a 3-0 start to the season. The Eagles accumulated 427-total yards of offense, and held Ferrum to the fewest rushing yards of the season at 66, which is also one of the lowest rushing outputs for the Panthers in eight years.
Bridgewater senior receiver, Tyler Beiler pulled in seven receptions against the Panthers to give him 2,051 yards for his career. The yardage total makes him only the second Eagles receiver to catch over 2,000 yards in a career. With the total he now is the BC career receiving leader He also stands at third on the BC lists with 107-catches, and is tied for third for career receiving touchdowns.
The Eagles are averaging 350.3-yards of offense per game, while putting up an average of 30.7 points per game. The defense is allowing 253-yards per game, and has picked off 3-passes in their three games. The rushing attack is led by Thomas Tate who has 304-yards in three games, and has scored a touchdown.
The game between the Knights and the Eagles will be played in Salem Stadium, in Salem, VA. The stadium has hosted multiple Virginia high school championship games, but it's real fame comes from having been the host of the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl since 1993. The Stagg bowl, is the national championship game for NCAA D.III. Bridgewater will be playing in the stadium for the first time since 2001, when they lost to perenial D.III power, Mount Union, in the Stagg Bowl. SVU will be making its first appearance in the stadium.
Both teams will be looking for a win, but will be proud of their efforts no matter what, as the game's gate receipts will go to a charity. The Southwest Virginia chapter of the Feed America charity will be receiving the gate receipts. The income from the $6 adult and $3 child tickets will help the charity in providing food programs and support for people in the southwestern part of Virginia that are in need of better food. The game day programs selling for $1 will also go to the charity.
Head coach DeLane Fitzgerald will be looking to help all of the players and staff have quick memory loss after a challenging game against NCAA D.II opponent Brevard. Not much went right for SVU, as they were run over by the tornadoes 69-7. The visitors used an overwhelming run game to brushed past the Knights, and send the team to its third loss of the season. Robert Williams had the highlight of the game, as he scooped up a bad pitch from the Brevard quarterback, and ran in 16-yards for the Knights' only score.
Senior linebacker, Matt Mellor, added another five tackles to his career total, and now sits at 222. Mellor now stands 40-tackles behind Shea Owens. Mellor has six games to be able to get to 263-tackles, and the al-time SVU tackles record. Mellor already holds the all-time unassisted tackles record with 144, and will look for the total tackles record as the season continues.