Tigers lose in final seconds against Bridgewater

Published 5:27 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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It came down to the game’s final seconds. Playing at home, Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) held a 38-31 lead over Bridgewater College (BC) with a minute left. Bridgewater, however, drove down the field in that final minute, with Kennedy Fauntleroy scoring a touchdown, his fourth on the day, with just 23 seconds left. Rather than kick an extra point, Bridgewater opted to go for the win, with Malcolm Andeson converting a two-point run.

It was a rough end to what otherwise had been a strong game for the Tigers. Hampden-Sydney senior quarterback Andrew Puccinelli passed for a game-high 333 yards and four touchdowns, including a career-high 181 yards receiving and two touchdowns to senior wide receiver Braeden Bowling, but it wasn’t enough to seal the win.


BC took an early 7-0 advantage at 9:07 of the first quarter when Fauntleroy scored on a four-yard touchdown run, and Jackson Hendren added the first of his four PAT kicks. H-SC answered back quickly when Puccinelli connected with Bowling on the first play from scrimmage for a 70-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore placekicker Elijah Swett added the first of his five PAT kicks to tie it at 7-7. It was a flea flicker play with senior running back Melik Frost taking a handoff before tossing the ball back to Puccinelli who found Bowling in stride down the middle of the field for the TD.

The Tigers’ defense forced a turnover when sophomore safety Jaylan Long made an interception at the BC 27 on the second play after the kickoff with a quarterback hurry credited to junior defensive end Brendan Wallace. Following a nine-yard run by Frost, Puccinelli and Bowling once-again connected-this time for an 18-yard touchdown pass -the PAT by Swett made it 14-7.

The Eagles responded with a 65-yard touchdown run by Fauntleroy at 6:30, and Hendren’s PAT tied it at 14-14.

H-SC wasn’t done yet in the opening quarter, taking the next possession 73 yards on just six plays, as Frost scored on a 12-yard touchdown run at 4:12. Swett added the PAT for a 21-14 advantage as the drive included a 51-yard pass play from Puccinelli to Bowling along with an 11-yard completion from Puccinelli to junior wide receiver Austin Fernandez (Warrenton).

The only points of the second quarter belonged to the visitors as Hendren made a 46-yard field goal with just 17-seconds left in the half to provide for a 21-17 margin at halftime. The Garnet & Grey missed a 42-yard field goal attempt at 3:52 of the second quarter.

BC added a 40-yard touchdown run by Fauntleroy at 6:12 of the third quarter to take a 24-21 lead.

The Tigers, however, answered right back with a 24-yard field goal by Swett at 5:03 to tie it at 24-24, following a 36-yard completion from Puccinelli to-who else-Bowling to get into position for the points. It followed an unsuccessful onside kick attempt by the Eagles after their go-ahead touchdown.

After going back and forth, H-SC didn’t waste any time in the fourth quarter as Puccinelli tossed a short pass out in the flat to senior wide receiver Jamahdia Whitby who sprinted untouched down the left sideline for a 33-yard touchdown reception at 13:39. Swett’s PAT made it a 38-31 advantage for the hosts. A two-yard run by Frost on fourth-and-two kept the drive alive for the go-ahead score, capping a five-play, 43-yard possession.

The Tigers’ defense forced a three-and-out on the next BC possession, and the Garnet & Grey drove to midfield before pooch punting to the Eagles’ 12-yard line with 6:25 left to play. Unfortunately, the visitors drove 88 yards on 13 plays with Fauntleroy scoring on his one-yard touchdown run with just 23-seconds on the clock. Following timeouts called by each team, Anderson was able to break the plane of the goal-line for the decisive two-point conversion attempt and provide for the final one-point margin.


H-SC remains at home this weekend against visiting Ferrum College on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. at Everett Stadium. It will be Family Weekend on the Hill as the Tigers play at home for the fourth time in the first five games this season