Monday, October 7, 2013

BA vs. Army Prep

Bridgton vs. Army Prep

After a week fraught with uncertainty about whether or not they would have a game, the Wolverines dodged a government shutdown, only to be overwhelmed by a swarming Army Prep squad.  The return to action for Bridgton football team saw the group travel to West Point New York for a Saturday game against the United States Military Academy Prepatory School.  Army Prep, is a one year institution located on the grounds of West Point and is designed to help cadets in preparation for college at the US Military Academy. 

The squad from Army featured a bevy of future division I athletes but in the early going it was the team from Bridgton that did the impressive work.  The Wolverines started their first possession at their own 16 and went on a twenty play, eighty four yard drive that found paydirt.  The drive featured the timely passing and skillful work of Chris Mullins (Centerville, VA).  Mullins connected on four third down conversions to keep the drive alive.  Mike English (Arlington, MA) was on the receiving end of one of those conversions and added a fourth down catch to set up a first and goal from the Army Prep nine yard line.  Malik Lee (Mashpee, MA) then hammered the ball down to the four and JJ Duffrene (Waltham, MA) finished the drive with a tough run into the interior of Army's defense.  The two point conversion failed, but Bridgton took the early 6-0 lead.

The ensuing Army possession ended quickly with a three and out highlighted by a Joe Lombardo (Somers, NY) sack on third down.  Unfortunately for the visitors, Bridgton's ensuing drive ended when Mullins was picked off and the Army defense returned the pass for a score.  After a successful PAT, Army took a 7-6 lead as the first quarter closed.  The second quarter started with a booming forty four yard field goal that put Army up 10-6.  Then, the quarter appeared to be a repeat of the first as the Bridgton offense took the ball right down the field on their next possession.  The drive again saw Mullins connect on a number of third downs and Lee provided a burst from the backfield.  The drive stalled out at the Army thirty but the defense was able come up with a goal line fumble recovery to keep the game at one possession.

Late in the first half, Army finally turned the tide.  Taking over deep in Wolverine territory, after a darting twenty three yard punt return that was aided by a facemask penalty, the Black Knights completed a quick drive with a touchdown and put themselves up 17-6.  Army prep tacked on an additional touchdown before the half after picking up a fumble and finishing the drive with an eight yard touchdown pass. The score was 24-6 and set a precedent for what would follow.  Bridgton would turn the ball over six times on the day and the turn overs would kill off a number of promising drives. 

When the dust had finally settled, Army had picked up 4 Bridgton fumbles, picked off a pair of passes, and amassed 38 points.  The net result was a long ride back to North Bridgton for Wolverines.  Without an end to the government shutdown, the team remains in limbo as the next scheduled opponent, the Naval Academy Prep School, is facing the possibility of cancelling the game.  With any luck, BA will return to the gridiron this weekend and atone for the mistakes that cost them so dearly at West Point.

By: Coach Dube

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