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BC…Again!?

Greetings from The Booth!

With SU Football on their bye last week, it was a chance for me to actually do some things this past weekend I wouldn’t normally have time for or wouldn’t fit into my game-week schedule. Our fearless leader here at The River 95-3, Andrew Shearer, doubles as a track/cross country coach at Goldey-Beacom College in Delaware, and his XC teams competed in the Hornet Harrier meet on Saturday at the beautiful Kernstown Battlefield. It was a gorgeous early Fall morning, so I accepted his invitation to attend the meet. There were pop-up tents from a number of colleges there, and the atmosphere was festive. Andrew’s’ GB Lightning Men finished a solid 4th, while the SU Women won their 6k race. So, a good morning on all fronts.

Then came Saturday night heartbreak. During Hornet football season, I don’t usually get to watch my WVU Mountaineers play football, because I’m either broadcasting an SU game, or in a car going to or coming from a game. The Mounties took #4 Oklahoma right down to the wire, before losing 16-13 on the road. A gallant effort by the Blue and Gold, but there are no moral victories, only W’s and L’s. Still, it was a rare treat to watch a West Virginia football game.

OK, on to Shenandoah University Football, and their next game, a Saturday night Homecoming contest against Bridgewater. The Eagles are a familiar foe and yes, we call them rivals, although on paper it doesn’t look like much of a rivalry. The Hornets won just 1 of the first 12 games of the series, but have gone 3-4 in the last 7 games against the Eagles, with 3 of those games coming in the 5-game “2020” Spring schedule earlier this year. Those 3 games were decided by fewer that 8 points, so the “rivalry” has been competitive in recent years.

One thing that will be different Saturday night is that longtime BC Head Coach Mike Clark will not be roaming the sideline. Clark hung up the headset and clipboard after the Spring season, handing the reins to Scott Lemn. Lemn, a former JMU lineman, has big shoes to fill, but is certainly familiar with the Bridgewater way of doing things, as he has been an assistant 11 years under Clark. BC traditionally doesn’t do anything fancy. They’ll run a multiple offense, play solid defense, and once in a while, run some trickery on special teams.

The Hornets will have to shake off the red zone woes of 2 weeks ago at Hampden-Sydney. They cannot afford to leave points on the table in what should be another tight game. SU will have to avoid the costly turnovers that plagued them in their 3rd meeting with BC back in the Spring, when the Eagles returned 2 interceptions for touchdowns for a quick 15-0 lead. I also expect the Shenandoah defense to play much better than they did 2 weeks ago against the Tigers.

If familiarity breeds contempt, there will not be much love on the Sprint Field Saturday night. As mentioned, the teams played 3 times in the Spring, are just an hour apart on I-81, and recruit the same areas. Throw in the fact that both Shenandoah and Bridgewater are 0-1 in the ODAC (and an 0-2 start with one less league game this season would take the loser effectively out of title contention) and you’ve got the makings of a hard-fought game. I see Shenandoah finding a way at home on Saturday night and prevailing 24-21.

Our broadcast begins at 6:30, with kickoff at 7 on the River 95-3. Until then…GO HORNETS!

RW

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