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Colby prevails in football's CBB opener in Waterville

Kevin Helm '12 had a game-high 11 tackles (9 solo), including three tackles for a loss. (File photo)













WATERVILLE, Maine -- Colby College opened up Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) play with a 37-13 win over the Bates College football team on Saturday at Harold Alfond Stadium.

The Mules move to 2-4, while Bates falls to 2-4 with its third straight loss and will play its second CBB game next Saturday at home against Bowdoin at 12:30 p.m., in the Bobcats' home finale.

Colby senior Connor Walsh had a 64-yard catch for one touchdown, ran for another score, and threw for a third score. Walsh finished with four catches for 164 yards. Fellow senior Nick Kmetz also had a big game, completing 23 of his 30 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the Mules in rushing with 56 yards on 13 carries.

Colby's defense was a big factor, holding Bates to 12 points below its season scoring average. Henry Nelson had a team-high nine tackles and had the lone interception in the game.

After a scoreless first quarter, the teams combined for 22 points in the second quarter. Colby kicker Johannes Scheepers booted his first collegiate field goal and made a 21-yard kick to give the Mules a 3-0 lead after driving 55 yards on 10 plays.

After a three-and-out by Bates, the Mules needed just one play to take a 10-0 lead. Kmetz hooked up with Walsh on the 64-yard scoring pass.

Bates bounced right back with a touchdown of its own. The Bobcats drove 65 yards on 10 plays and scored when junior quarterback Trevor Smith (Malvern, Pa.) found senior wide receiver John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.) on a 7-yard pass play.

After his completion for a touchdown, Walsh showed his passing skills for his second passing touchdown of the season, finding wide receiver Nick Joseph on a 26-yard strike off the option with 5:07 to play until halftime. Colby drove 61 yards on six plays for the score and was helped out by a 23-yard completion from Kmetz to Michael Lahiff. Bates senior Tyler Kuehl (Plymouth, N.H.) blocked the extra point, his second blocked kick of the season, and Colby's lead was 16-6 at halftime.

Squires scored his second touchdown of the game on a 3-yard pass from Smith after the Bobcats drove 57 yards on 12 plays on their first possession of the third quarter to cut the margin to 16-13. Squires entered the game averaging 90.8 yards of receiving per game, but was held to four catches for 28 yards.

Colby pulled away for good on its next drive of 57 yards on 12 plays. Walsh caught a 22-yard pass on the drive and eventually scored on a 1-yard run for a 23-13 Mule lead with 4:43 left in the third quarter.

The Mules scored the lone two touchdowns of the fourth quarter, first on a 16-yard scoring pass to Joseph from Kmetz. Joseph finished with five grabs for 61 yards.

The Bobcats received a nice kickoff return by first-year Gilbert Brown (Gloucester, Mass.) to their own 41-yard line, but Nelson made his interception on the first play of the drive to give the Mules the ball at the 34-yard line. Four plays later, Kmetz threw his third scoring strike of the game to tight end Spenser Merwin for the final score of the contest.

Colby had a 25-14 margin in first downs and accumulated 490 yards of total offense to the Bobcats' 259. The Mules also had a large advantage in time of possession (37:07 to 22:53).

Smith completed 18 passes to seven different Bates receivers for 174 yards and the two touchdowns to Squires. Senior Tom Finkenstaedt (Norwell, Mass.) led Bates with four catches for 55 yards, while sophomore Ryan Curit (South Portland, Maine) had five rushes for 39 yards (7.8 per rush), along with four catches for 26 yards. First-years Lani Eversage (Swanville, Maine) and Mac Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) both notched their first catches of the year.

Bates senior Kevin Helm (Norwell, Mass.) led all tacklers with 11 (9 solo) for the Bobcats. Junior Kyle Starr (Concord, N.H.) and senior Joe Drinkwater (Walpole, Mass.) both had eight tackles. Junior Matt Gaither (Winchester, Mass.) tallied his third sack of the season and batted down three passes.

STATS: Colby 37, Bates 13