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Football opens 2014 season at Amherst on Saturday

Larry Guinee '15 (No. 57), a team tri-captain, will anchor the Bobcats' offensive line at center. (File photo by Mike Bradley/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine – Coming off its first back-to-back seasons at .500 or better since 1981-82, Bates College football seeks to continue its momentum from the last two years as it opens its 2014 season at Amherst College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Particulars

What: Bates College at Amherst College

When: Saturday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m.

Where: Pratt Field | Amherst, Mass.

Live Stats: Bates Portal | Video: Amherst Portal

Twitter: @BatesSports | Facebook: Bates College Athletics

All-Time Series: Amherst leads 22-4-2

Last Meeting: Amherst 20, Bates 7 (Lewiston, Maine | Sept. 24, 2011)

Bates Roster Breakdown

Captains: Gilbert Brown, Larry Guinee, Mike Tomaino

Starters Returning/Lost: 16/8

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 39/12

By Class

Seniors: 18 | Juniors: 17 | Sophomores: 19 | First-years: 20

By Position

QB: 3 | RB: 2 | SLOT: 9 | WR: 4 | OL: 16

DL: 12 | LB: 13 | DB: 11

K: 3 | P: 1

By State

ME: 8 | NH: 4 | MA: 38 | CT: 7

NY/NJ/PA/DE: 8 | VA/TN/GA/FL: 6 | IL: 2 | MO: 1

Ryan Newson '15 (No. 35) and Mike Kelleher '15 (No. 6) return as two of Bates' leading tacklers from 2013. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Bates Returning Statistical Leaders

Rushing

Passing

  • Matt Cannone: 41-of-75 passing, 555 yards, 54.7 percent complete, 3 TDs, 3 INTs
  • Patrick Dugan: 5-of-12 passing, 96 yards, 41.7 percent complete, 1 INT

Receiving

  • Mark Riley: eight catches, 147 yards, 18.4 yards per reception, 1 TD
  • Mike Tomaino: five catches, 86 yards, 10.8 yards per reception, 1 TD
  • Harrison Murphy: five catches, 74 yards, 14.8 yards per reception

Tackles

  • Mike Kelleher: 54 tackles (39 solo), 1.5 TFL, six pass breakups
  • Steven Hild: 47 tackles (27 solo), one TFL, one fumble recovery, one pass breakup
  • Ryan Newson: 46 tackles (31 solo), 7.5 TFL, two interceptions, four pass breakups
  • Gilbert Brown: 42 tackles (31 solo), one sack, 7.5 TFL, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery two interceptions, two pass breakups
  • Adam Cuomo: 40 tackles (27 solo), one sack, five TFL, one forced fumble, one interception
Ivan Reese '17 scored the game-winning touchdown for Bates against Tufts last season. (File photo by Jose Leiva/Bates College)

Bates in 2013

Bates finished the 2013 season with a 4-4 record, its second consecutive season at .500 or better, after registering a 5-3 mark in 2012. The team put together its first back-to-back seasons with at least a .500 winning percentage for the first time since 1981-82.

With their third straight victory over Bowdoin, the Bobcats took home a share of the CBB (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin) Championship. Bates won the title outright in 2012 and has gained at least a piece of the championship in three of the last five years.

The Bobcats opened the 2013 season with a 28-17 loss to defending-NESCAC champion Trinity but followed with victories over Tufts (20-16) and at Williams (14-10) – defeating the Ephs for the third straight year. After a three-game slide, Bates came to life in the final two weeks of the season, beating Bowdoin 17-10 before concluding the year with a 38-21 victory at Hamilton.

Bates placed three seniors – Shawn Doherty, Andrew Kukesh, and Liam O'Neil – on the All-NESCAC First Team while Kukesh also earned New England Football Writers and D3Football.com all-region honors.

Amherst in 2013

Amherst concluded the 2013 season with a 7-1 record with that mark putting the Lord Jeffs into a three-way tie for the NESCAC title along with Middlebury and Wesleyan.

The Jeffs opened their season with a 23-7 win at Hamilton and followed that with a 27-11 victory over Bowdoin in their first home contest. The team increased its record to 4-0 with a 37-16 home win over Middlebury and a 14-10 victory at Colby – the first time the team did not hold at least a two-score margin at the final whistle.

Wesleyan dealt Amherst its only loss of the year – a 20-14 setback at Pratt Field – on Oct. 19. The Jeffs responded with three victories to close out the season, at Tufts (17-7), vs. Trinity (17-16), and at Williams (20-7).

Amherst landed seven players on the All-NESCAC First Team and another two on the conference's second team at the season's end. Four of those all-league players – PK Phillip Nwosu, DL Max Lehrman, LB Chris Tamasi, and WR Gene Garay – return for the Jeffs this fall.

The Last Meeting

Kevin Ferber returned a Bates fumble 62 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first half, changing the complexion of a game the Bobcats had controlled for the most part, and Amherst went on to win 20-7 in the season opener for both teams on Sept. 24, 2011 at Garcelon Field in Lewiston, Maine.

For Bates, quarterback Trevor Smith completed 24-of-41 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown – a 6-yard scoring connection with Kevin Davis, Davis's first collegiate score. Smith was also sacked six times and picked off twice.

John Squires grabbed seven catches for 89 yards to lead all receivers, while Patrick George gained 63 yards on the ground, including 50 in the first half. After rushing for 43 yards on 22 carries in the first half, Bates' running game produced just five yards in the second half on 14 carries.

Eric Bunker ran for 106 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for Amherst, while Ryan Silva added 62 rushing yards. Blake Grauer completed 14-of-25 passes for 83 yards but was picked off three times by the Bobcats.

Bates tied the score at 7-7 on Smith's pass to Davis late in the second quarter before Ferber scored his touchdown to give the visitors a 14-7 lead at the half. The Lord Jeffs added two field goals in the second half for the final score.