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Football Preview: Bates, Bowdoin each seek first wins in Brunswick

Bates College Bobcats (0-6) at Bowdoin College Polar Bears (0-6)
Whittier Field – Brunswick, Maine

November 4th, 2006 – 12:30 p.m.

Broadcast: The game will be webcast at http://www.bowdoin.edu/podcasts/

The Series
The Bowdoin-Bates rivalry, at 108 games entering play on Saturday, is the 10th-longest in Division III, dating back to 1889. The Polar Bears hold a 62-39-7 edge in the all-time series. The teams have split the last 10 meetings with five wins apiece.

Junior QB Brandon Colon had his most efficient game of the 2005 season against Bowdoin, completing 20 of 32 passes for 172 yards.

Last Year’s Meeting
The Bowdoin game of 2005, a 24-17, was probably the toughest result to swallow of the season. Bates led Bowdoin 14-0 going into the fourth quarter, but the Polar Bears put together 21 unanswered points for a 21-14 win, en route to a 6-2 season.

Matt Boyd's 2-yard touchdown run with 58 seconds remaining put the Polar Bears (6-1) ahead for the first time in the game. Bowdoin quarterback Ricky Leclerc threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns, completing 25 of 46 passes. Leclerc found Doug Johnson for a 6-yard touchdown with 14:56 to play, followed by a 5-yard score to tight end Jared Prichard with 4:23 to play.

Boyd carried the ball 32 times for 124 yards. Jeff Nolin caught nine passes for 135 yards for Bowdoin.

Bates (1-6) went ahead 14-0 in the second quarter, as quarterback Brandon Colon (Manchester, N.H.) scored from a yard out with 5:37 left. Junior tailback Jamie Walker (Needham, Mass.) added a 7-yard score less than four minutes later.

Walker gained 118 yards on 26 carries before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with an injury, with Bates at the Bowdoin 32 and threatening to expand its 14-7 lead.

Colon completed 20 of 32 passes for 172 yards, including 11 receptions by MacNamara for 107 yards.

Now-assistant coach Dave Bodger collected 13 tackles and an interception to lead Bates' defense. Coleman Peeke (Exeter, N.H.), Ron DiGravio (Farmington, Maine) and Adam Kayce (North Easton, Mass.) added 10, nine and nine tackles, respectively. Terence Ryan's (Milton, Mass.) sack increased his league-leading total to 8.5 on the season.

Formally known as the “Maine State Championship Series,” the CBB stands as one of college football’s most historic traditions. Competition began between the championship’s original contenders in 1895 and continues to highlight the college football season in the state today. The original affiliates of the series included present members Colby, Bates and Bowdoin, as well as the University of Maine at Orono. The series held this format from its inception in 1895 until 1964, when UMaine made the jump to Division I. Once UMaine left the series, it took on the acronym CBB (standing for Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin). Colby has held the CBB football title for each of the last three seasons and with last Saturday's four-overtime win at Bates, the White Mules have inside track on a fourth. Bates last garnered the CBB hardware in 2002.

Scouting Bowdoin
The Polar Bears enjoyed an almost magical 6-2 season in 2005 but have fallen hard this year. Bowdoin averages only 2.2 points per game, and is a hefty 77.2 yards worse off than Bates in total defense for last place in the conference, allowing 367.7 yards per game. Bowdoin is slightly ahead of Bates in total offense, however, with a seventh-place mark of 208.3 yards per game, compared to Bates' 199.7. Junior running back Jeff Smith is third in the NESCAC in rushing, with 65.0 yards per game. Senior linebackers Dave Donohue and Jon Regan rank fourth and fifth in the NESCAC in tackles per game, with 9.8 and 9.3, respectively.

Scouting Bates
The Bobcats' hopes for a .500 season or better vanished two weeks ago, and following their four-overtime muckfest of a loss against Colby last week, perhaps their biggest challenge this week will be to regroup and refocus. Since senior OT Raoul Scott's season-ending injury in the season opener at Amherst, Bates has been relatively healthy, though starting tight end Ross Van Horn, who missed the Colby game, is questionable to play at Bowdoin. Bates has struggled to move the ball, despite senior running back Jamie Walker's 71.7 yards per game, which is the second highest average in the conference. Defensively, Bates has been strong against the run -- they're fourth in the NESCAC, giving up only 82.7 yards per game -- but has struggled to control the opposition's passing attack, allowing a league-worst 207.8 yards per game.

2006 Bates Schedule/Results (0-6)
9/23     @ Amherst                  L, 6-31

9/30     @Tufts                        L, 12-21

10/7     WILLIAMS                L, 7-27

10/14   WESLEYAN              L, 14-17 (OT)

10/21   @Middlebury             L, 7-31

10/28   COLBY*                    L, 7-10 (4OT)

11/4     @Bowdoin                 12:30 p.m.

11/11   HAMILTON              12 p.m.

* - Homecoming Weekend

2006 Bowdoin Schedule/Results (0-6)
9/23     @ Williams                   L, 0-27  

9/30     AMHERST                   L, 7-20    

10/7     TUFTS                          L, 6-16    

10/14   @ Hamilton                 L, 0-12    

10/21    TRINITY                      L, 0-34    

10/28    @ Wesleyan             L, 0-18    

11/4      BATES                        12:30 p.m.

11/11   @ Colby                       12:30 p.m.              

This Week in the NESCAC
Middlebury at Hamilton, 12 p.m. -- Hamilton boasts the third-best scoring defense in the conference thus far (8.7 pgg), and is tied for first in turnover ratio (+5), but the 4-2 Panthers are seeking their 11th straight Rocking Chair Classic win.

Amherst at Trinity, 12:30 p.m. -- May turn out to be the best game of the season on the NESCAC slate, with each team at 5-1 and nipping on Williams' heels.

Colby at Tufts, 12:30 p.m. -- After a four-overtime battle of the trenches at Bates, in which the Bobcats ran the ball almost on all but 14 plays, the White Mules face the running-minded Jumbos, who lead the conference in rushing attempts.

Wesleyan at Williams, 1 p.m. -- At 3-3, the Cardinals have bounced back from a winless 2005 in a big way, but they'll be hard-pressed to slow down the NESCAC's premier team.