CUA Drops a Close One to Bridgewater in
Simmons rushes for 79 yards on Senior Day
WASHINGTON - In Catholic University's final football game the team took on last year's Old Dominion Athletic Conference champion the Bridgewater Eagles (8-2, 4-2 ODAC). The Cardinals were not intimidated by their opponent and came just one touchdown away from putting together a victory in their final game of 2006. With the loss CUA drops to 3-7 and 1-5 in the ODAC for the year but has a promising future graduating just four seniors, two from the starting lineup.
Bridgewater scored first with a field goal at 4:42 to make it 3-0. Although the score put points on the board for the Eagles, it was a victory for CUA who sacked quarterback Jeff Highfill on third and one to force BC to attempt the field goal instead of getting the first down and possible touchdown.
As the CUA offense was unable to get into the red zone, the Eagles marched down the field on their next drive and looked to be headed for seven. However, the Cardinal defense continued to pressure and the Eagles committed two huge penalties to stall their momentum resulting in an incomplete pass on fourth and twenty to give CUA the ball. Despite the momentum shift the Cards couldn't find a score and went into the locker room down 3-0.
With Catholic University looking at its final half of football the team came out of halftime ready to score. On the first play of the BC drive Anthony Delborrell (Laurel, Md./Dematha) forced and recovered a fumble to give the Cards the ball at the Bridgewater 37.
The Cardinal defense made another game-changing play soon after when Bill Gross (Southampton, Pa./Archbishop Wood) intercepted a pass and ran it down to the BC seven. Reuben Simmons (Beacon, N.Y./Beacon) ran it in on the next play to put CUA up 7-3.
Unfortunately, the Eagles came right back at the Cards and with a costly personal foul on third and three Bridgewater went up again 10-7.
With the third quarter winding down, CUA orchestrated its best drive of the afternoon with a 13 play, 61 yard drive that resulted in a Simmons rush for a touchdown. The missed extra point made the score 13-10 CUA with the majority of the fourth quarter remaining.
After a BC punt, the Cards were backed way up into their own territory and the clock was ticking away. CUA had just a few chances remaining to add some breathing room. However, the team went three and out and was forced to punt from their own end zone. A kick off of the punter's foot gave Bridgewater the slight edge it needed to take down the Cardinals. CUA got out of the jam with a BC field goal but the damage had been done.
In its final drive of the afternoon, the Eagles went 56 yards in nine plays to find the end zone and put the game out of reach for CUA. The Cards had two shots at the end zone but the time ran out on the game and their season. The final score 20-13, Bridgewater.
Simmons had a good day on the ground with 79 yards to lead the Cards and quarterback Keith Ricca (Poolesville, Md./St. John's Prospect Hall) was tough under center completing 14 passes for 116 yards. Ryan McManus (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) was his receiver of choice for the afternoon with four catches for 49 yards.
The Cardinals will be in good shape next year as they graduate just four seniors and will return Ricca as well as defensive leaders Gross and Delborrell.