Middlebury Trips Up Bowdoin in Football Season Opener

Senior captain Beau Breton made 11 tackles for Bowdoin on Saturday
Senior captain Beau Breton made 11 tackles for Bowdoin on Saturday

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Bowdoin College football team couldn't recover from an early deficit and dropped its season-opener to Middlebury on Saturday, 42-18.

The Polar Bears (0-1) will play their home-opener next Saturday against Amherst at 1:00 p.m. The Panthers (1-0) will travel to play Colby in Waterville next Saturday.

Middlebury's McCallum Foote finished the day 26 of 44, tossing for 285 yards with five touchdown passes as the Panthers amassed 416 yards of total offense.Grant White and Romero both saw action at quarterback for Bowdoin, with White going 5-11 for 25 yards with a pair of interceptions. Romero finished the game 13-20 for 153 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Greg Pierce rushed for 82 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, while David Black caught seven passes for 63 yards. David Nurse led all tacklers with 14 in the contest, while Beau Breton picked up 11.

Middlebury's Nick Burdeau picked off a Grant White pass and returned it 13 yards to the nine on Bowdoin's opening possession of the game. Two plays later, McCallum Foote found Zach Driscoll from three yards out for the 7-0 lead. After a Jimmy Garvey 29-yard field goal, Middlebury drove 60 yards on 10 plays, with Foote finding Brendan Rankowitz for a 24-yard touchdown to make it a 14-3 game with 4:00 left in the first half.

Thomas Romero was intercepted on the Polar Bears' ensuing possession, with an 18-yard return by Jared Onouye leaving Middlebury the ball at the Bowdoin 20. On a fourth and six play, Foote found tight end Billy Chapman over the middle for the touchdown. Bowdoin answered with a 77 yard drive on seven plays to make it a 21-9 game at the half. Romero found Nick Goldin for a 40-yard connection during the drive, with a 28-yard scoring strike to David Black.

Middlebury drove 78 yards on its opening drive of the second half, with Remi Ashkar accounting for 21 yards on the ground and 21 through the air. The running back scored from one-yard out to give the Panthers a 28-9 advantage. Bowdoin's Jim Garvey kicked his second field goal of the game at the 8:21 mark, this one from 27 yards out to make it a 28-12 contest.

The Polar Bears scored on their third straight possession when the team drove 90 yards on 10 plays to cut the lead to 28-18. Romero found Christian Dulmaine for 35 yards before a four-yard rush from Greg Pierce into the end zone.

Bowdoin looked to further close the gap after a Middlebury fumble on its next possession. The Polar Bears took over at the Panther 26, but four plays later, turned the ball over on downs.

Middlebury drove 79 yards on its next possession, extending its lead to 35-18. A 20-yard pass to Josh Amster was the key play on the drive, as Foote hit Zach Driscoll for a 19-yard scoring strike. Following a Bowdoin punt, Middlebury scored for the final time with 3:07 remaining when Foote hit Chapman from 25 yards out in the corner of the end zone, making it a 42-18 final.

Ashkar rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on the ground, catching three balls for 25 yards. Rankowtiz (77 yards) and Chapman (76 yards) caught seven balls apiece with Chapman scoring twice and Rankowitz finding the end zone once. Driscoll caught five passes for 74 yards with a pair of touchdowns. John Wiet paced the defense with 10 tackles and a sack.