The 10th-oldest rivalry in college football extends to its 114th meeting this Saturday at 12:30 p.m., when Bates (2-4) meets Bowdoin (3-3) at Garcelon Field. The second game of the CBB series has the Bobcats hoping for a share of the CBB title, while Bowdoin looks to pull even with Colby at 1-0 before next week's matchup with the Mules in Brunswick.
With three-quarters of the 2011 season now passed, Bates stands fourth in the conference in total offense (344.7 yards per game) but ninth in total defense (373.7). Bowdoin, conversely, ranks eighth in total offense (233.5) but third in total defense (265.3). Bates has dropped to the bottom of the league in pass defense, allowing 249.7 yards per game through the air, but the Polar Bears have only averaged 102.8 yards of passing offense per game, also last in the league.
Last Year's Meeting
A 27-yard field goal attempt by Bates hit the upright with 51 seconds remaining to give Bowdoin a wild 21-20 win over the Bobcats on Nov. 6, 2010 at Whittier Field in Brunswick.
Turnovers doomed Bates in the game, as Bowdoin was able to cash in for 15 points on three Bates miscues. Despite the mistakes, the Bobcats still had a chance to win the game late in regulation. Down by a touchdown entering the fourth quarter, a high snap on a punt gave Bates great field position at the Bowdoin 11. Quarterback Ryan Katon '12 tossed a fade to wide receiver John Squires '12 for a touchdown, but a missed point-after attempt left the Bobcats one point shy, at 21-20. Bates assumed control of the ball later in the fourth quarter, and marched 58 yards in 17 plays as time ticked under a minute to play. Gavin Segall-Abrams '11 lined up the potential 27-yard game-winner, and hooked it left and off the upright, in probably the most frustrating loss of the season for the Bobcats.
Bowdoin went on to defeat Colby to claim the CBB title and finish 3-5, while Bates defeated Hamilton in its season finale to finish 2-6.
Bates Last Week
Bates suffered its third straight loss on Saturday in Waterville, the Bobcats' first lopsided setback of the season, a 37-13 decision to Colby.
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. Nick Kmetz also had a big game, completing 23 of his 30 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Mules in rushing with 56 yards on 13 carries.
Colby's defense held Bates to 12 points below its season scoring average.
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).
Bates quarterback Trevor Smith (Malvern, Pa.) completed 18 passes to seven different Bates receivers for 174 yards and two touchdowns, both to John Squires, who now shares the conference lead in touchdown catches with five. 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, with Jackson making his first start at slotback.
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.
Bowdoin Last Week
Bowdoin senior Pat Noone returned a punt 85 yards for a third-quarter touchdown that proved to be the difference in a 12-6 victory over Wesleyan on Saturday at Whittier Field. The Polar Bears improved to 3-3 this fall while the Cardinals fell to 3-3.
Bowdoin dominated on the ground, amassing 218 yards of rushing, including a career-high 158 from sophomore Zach Donnarumma. The Polar Bears held a 10-minute advantage in time of possession and limited the Cardinal rushing attack to just 59 yards for the day.
The Polar Bears owned a 147-66 advantage in total offense and controlled the ball of 18:54 in the opening half, but could only muster a field goal as time expired to carry a 3-0 edge into intermission, thanks to a 37-yard field goal by Jimmy Garvey.