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Football seeks fifth straight win against Tufts

Ivan Reese (No. 22), Matt Cannone (No. 9) and the Bobcats will look for their fifth straight win over Tufts on Saturday. (File photo courtesy Geoffrey Bolte/clariusstudios.com)

LEWISTON, Maine – Bates College football will look to beat Tufts University for the fifth year in a row and pick up its first win of 2014, as the Bobcats take to the road for the second straight weekend, facing the Jumbos on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Somerville, Mass.

The Particulars

What: Bates College at Tufts University

When: Saturday, Sept. 27, 1 p.m.

Where: Ellis Oval | Somerville, Mass.

Live Stats: Bates Portal | Video: Tufts Portal

Twitter: @BatesSports | Facebook: Bates College Athletics

All-Time Series: Tufts leads 57-17-3

Last Meeting: Bates 20, Tufts 16 (Lewiston, Maine | Sept. 28, 2013)

Bates Facts & Figures

  • Bates has defeated Tufts in each of the last four meetings, including last year's 20-16 win in Lewiston. Prior to that victory, the Bobcats topped the Jumbos 31-23 on the road in 2012, 28-9 at home in 2011, and 21-20 on the road in 2010. The Bobcats' win over the Jumbos in 2010 marked the team's first victory over Tufts since 1985.
  • Senior punter David Kurey (West Chester, Pa.) punted nine times for an average of 42.3 yards against Amherst last week. Kurey landed three punts inside the Jeffs' 15-yard line and boomed a long punt of 61 yards, earning NESCAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
Ryan Newson (No. 35) recorded two interceptions and tied for his career high with 10 tackles at Amherst last week. (File photo by Geoffrey Bolte/clariusstudios.com)
  • Senior defensive back Ryan Newson (Stanhope, N.J.) made two interceptions against the Lord Jeffs – doubling his career total – while also trying for a career high with 10 tackles and notching his first career forced fumble.
  • On the Bobcats' touchdown at Amherst, senior quarterback Matt Cannone (Windham, N.H.) registered his fourth career rushing score. Cannone also threw for 113 yards – his fourth career game with at least 100 yards passing.
  • Sophomore linebacker Mark Upton (Winthrop, Mass.) totaled 11 tackles – his first career game with double-figure tackles – to go with his first career forced fumble.
  • Junior wide receiver Mark Riley (Needham, Mass.) caught a career-high eight passes for 64 yards against Amherst. Riley entered the game with eight career receptions.
  • A trio of senior linebackers made a defensive impact against the Lord Jeffs as Gilbert Brown (Gloucester, Mass.) posted his fifth career forced fumble and second career fumble recovery, Steven Hild (West Hartford, Conn.) tallied his first career sack, and Pat Gilligan (Acton, Mass.) had his first career fumble recovery.

Bates Last Saturday 

Only a failed two-point conversion with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter kept the Bates College football team from pulling off an upset win at Amherst College. That and Amherst's subsequent 42-yard touchdown run with 1:06 to go gave the Lord Jeffs a 14-6 victory in the teams' season opener on Saturday at Pratt Field in Amherst, Mass.

Mark Riley made a career-high eight catches for 64 yards at Amherst last Saturday. (File photo by Geoffrey Bolte/clariusstuidos.com)

Bates (4-4 in 2013) was outgained by Amherst (7-1 and NESCAC co-champion in 2013) in total offense, 339-232, but the Bobcats had an advantage in time of possession in each quarter, for a 36:21 to 23:39 edge overall. Amherst had the fourth best offense in the NESCAC in 2013 in terms of both scoring and yardage, and the Lord Jeffs were arguably the most balanced offense in the conference: second in the league in passing offense and fourth in rushing offense.

The Bobcats' defense forced four Amherst fumbles, recovering two. Senior safety Ryan Newson forced one of those, in addition to two interceptions and a career-high-tying 10 tackles.

Senior quarterback Matt Cannone rushed 27 times for a net of 57 yards and a touchdown, leading five Bates backs with five or more carries. Cannone also completed 17 of 31 passes for 113 yards and three interceptions, one of them on a Hail Mary pass to end the first half. 

Sophomore Mark Upton (11 tackles, 9 solo), Newson and sophomore Ben Coulibaly were Bates' defensive standouts. Coulibaly had eight tackles (7 solo), including two for a loss.

Tufts Last Saturday

Senior Zack Trause caught a touchdown pass and ran for another, and the Tufts defense came up with big plays when needed, as the Jumbos opened the 2014 NESCAC football season with a 24-17 victory over Hamilton on Saturday at Ellis Oval/Zimman Field in Somerville, Mass.

The win stops a 31-game losing streak by the Jumbos that dates back to September 25, 2010. It came in front of a herd of 3,524 fans at the Oval, with many rushing the field at the conclusion of the game.

Trause caught an eight-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Jack Doll and also had a one-yard rush for a touchdown. Sophomore Chance Brady opened the scoring with a 32-yard touchdown scamper and junior kicker Vince Falk added a 30-yard field goal for Tufts. Sophomore Mike Rando accumulated 199 all-purpose yards, including 126 on two long kickoff returns.

Tufts sophomore cornerback Mike Stearns recorded a game-high 18 tackles, including 16 solo. Junior defensive end Evan Anthony contributed six stops including three for losses and two sacks. The Jumbos held the Continentals to 6 of 18 on third down and 1 for 8 on fourth-down conversions.

The Last Meeting

Pass-happy Tufts overcame a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to assume a 16-14 lead early in the fourth quarter, but run-happy Bates came back to score the go-ahead touchdown with 42 seconds left for a 20-16 NESCAC victory at Garcelon Field, before a crowd of nearly 3,000 spectators on Parents & Family Weekend. Ivan Reese's 1-yard touchdown run capped the decisive 17-play, 96-yard drive.

Bates defeated Tufts for the fourth straight year, but it was anything but easy. The Jumbos collected 30 first downs to Bates' 19 and rolled up 477 yards of offense, including 397 through the air. Quarterback Jack Doll completed 46 of 67 passes with no touchdown passes but a 1-yard touchdown run.

Eleven Jumbos recorded receptions, with four of them making seven or more catches: Jack Cooleen (9-69), Nick Kenyon (7-97), Greg Lanzillo (7-84) and Mike Rando (7-37). Freshman kicker Jackson Bockhorst made three field goals to help fuel Tufts' comeback.

Bates slotback Shawn Doherty, who opened up the scoring with a 48-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, finished with a career-high 182 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns, as well as 247 all-purpose yards. Ryan Curit gained 93 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Patrick Dugan ran for 25 yards and completed 5 of 9 passes for 96 yards. After piling up 290 rushing yards against Trinity a week ago, Bates rolled up 317 yards on the ground against Tufts.

With Doll repeatedly throwing to his side of the field, Bates cornerback Mike Kelleher racked up 18 tackles, including 15 solo stops.