A Ferguson fumble as Wayne was trying to run out the clock with 2:36 left before halftime gave Bridgeport the ball at the Pioneers 28. Dante Bonamico forced the fumble and brother Anthony Bonamico recovered.
From the 21, Caldera ran a keeper up the middle and broke into the open. Cody Stiltner missed a tackle and Caldera carried Chris Darby into the end zone.
"They're just an aggressive team,'' Caldera said of his lengthy TD runs against Wayne's defense, "and our line just did its job. It did its job all night. It opened holes and I just ran through the holes and made the plays.''
Caldera wound up as the game's top rusher with 114 yards on 16 carries and was voted as his team's MVP. Anthony Bonamico, who came into the game with nearly 2,100 yards on the ground, added 64 on 17 attempts.
After Caldera's 21-yarder made it 13-12, Nicewarner disdained going for the extra-point kick and a possible tie. The Indians missed their first PAT kick.
"It had nothing to do with not having faith in our kicker,'' Nicewarner said, "but with these conditions, I thought we had a better chance of getting 3 yards than making an extra point. To be honest, I knew it could come down to one point, so I wanted to try and even things out.''
Snow started falling about two hours before kickoff, and about 2 inches rested on the field by halftime and perhaps 3 by game's end. Yard lines were completely obliterated by the start of the game, though stadium personnel made repeated valiant attempts to shovel clear spots.
Conditions seemed to favor Bridgeport and its ground-bound stick-I offense, which rarely throws. Wayne's offense is also heavy on the run, but Ferguson came into the game with 1,339 yards passing and 17 TDs despite missing two games with an ankle injury.
Also vexing the Pioneers were ill-timed mistakes - the fumble on their own 28 that set up Bridgeport's final TD and a pair of rapid-fire turnovers five plays apart in the fourth quarter.
Stiltner broke off a long gain for a first down to the Bridgeport 40 with 8:53 left in the game, but his fumble was covered by Dante Bonamico. The Indians ran three plays before fumbling it back, but on first down Ferguson's pass was tipped and intercepted by freshman linebacker Mackenzie Holmes.
"To have a chance to win the game at the end after making those mistakes,'' said Wayne coach Tom Harmon, "just talks about what kind of character our guys have.''
Harmon said his team's final drive looked promising, but never hit the jackpot.
"We were trying to set up something the entire drive,'' he said. "Sometimes in the heat of battle, with the clock running out and no timeouts and in kind of a helter-skelter mode, you're pleased to be able to take it from that end of the field and have a chance.
"Sometimes, if you're gonna be a man, you've got to handle both sides of it.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.