The Bowdoin College and Bates College football teams will meet for the 115th time at Whittier Field on Saturday. The rivalry is the tenth-longest in Division III history and the teams have met continously, excepting World War II years, every season since 1922. With the final quarter of the season on tap, the Bobcats enter today's contest with a 3-3 record while the Polar Bears stand at 1-5.
Bowdoin will provide a live video webcast, live stats and live radio stream courtesy of WBOR. The game can also be heard locally at 91.1 FM. Links to the live coverage are available above.
Bates got off to a roaring start in the chase for the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin title last week, posting a 31-6 victory at home against Colby. Junior Shawn Doherty followed up a 45-yard rushing touchdown with a 50-yard receiving touchdown in an eight-minute span in the second half to blow open a close game and seal the victory for Bates. Linebacker Gilbert Brown had eight tackles to lead a Bobcat defensive unit that allowed just 14 rushing yards on the day. Bowdoin has owned the CBB Trophy for six consecutive years, winning four outright titles with two three-way ties. Colby will host Bowdoin in the final leg of the CBB rivalry next weekend in Waterville.
POLAR BEAR PREVIEW
Bowdoin jumped to a 14-0 lead but committed six turnovers and surrendered 34 unanswered points last Saturday in a loss at Wesleyan. It was the third-straight setback for the Polar Bears. Zach Donnarumma continued his stellar campaign, racking up 91 yards and, depsite missing the first two games of the year, currently stands fifth in the NESCAC with 455 rushing yards this year. Griffin Cardew ranks third in the league with 65 tackles this fall while Joey Cleary is eighth with 41 stops.
As a team, Bowdoin has been victimized by giveaways - the Polar Bears rank last in the league with a -11 turnover margin this fall. They rank sixth in the league in total offense (304.8 yards/game) and seventh in total defense (364.3 yards allowed/game).
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
The Bobcats are enjoying a fantastic season that has already included victories over Williams, Bates and rival Colby. A win over Bowdoin would be historic for Bates, as the Garnet would clinch its first non-losing season since 1999 and first CBB crown since 2002. A victory over Bowdoin, combined with a victory in its season finale on Nov. 10 against Hamilton, would give Bates its first winning campaign since 1981.
The Bobcats' triple-option attack has resulted in both quarterback Trevor Smith (426 yards) and tailback Patrick George (360 yards) ranking among the top runners in the NESCAC. As a team, Bates has the second-best rushing total in the NESCAC (225.0 yards/game) and rank fourth in the league at 26.0 points/game. Defensively, they have easily been the most opportunistic team in the conference, forcing a league-high 22 turnovers and boasting a league-best +13 turnover margin this fall. The Bobcats are fifth in the NESCAC in total defense, allowing 341.7 yards/game.
Last year in Lewiston, Bates held the Bowdoin offense scoreless in a 24-2 win at Garcelon Field. Bowdoin scored its lone two points on a defensive PAT runback by Beau Breton, after the Polar Bears blocked Bates' extra-point kick attempt in the first quarter. Patrick George ran for three touchdowns for Bates, while quarterback Trevor Smith ran for a game-high 77 yards and completed 11 of 20 passes for 146 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to John Squires.
BOWDOIN vs. BATES
The Bowdoin-Bates rivalry, at 114 games entering play on Saturday, is the 10th-longest in Division III, dating back to 1889 (a 62-0 Bowdoin win). The Polar Bears hold a 66-41-7 edge in the all-time series and have won six of the last eight meetings. However, the Bobcats have claimed two of the last three meetings. Bates has not won at Whittier Field since 2002.