Football Survives Last-Minute Scare to Earn First Victory of Year Over Tufts

Zach Donnarumma had 136 yards rushing and a touchdown in Saturday's win
Zach Donnarumma had 136 yards rushing and a touchdown in Saturday's win

SOMERVILLE, Mass. - Senior Tim Wickstrom intercepted a pass at the goal line with 35 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to seal the Bowdoin College football team's 13-10 victory at Tufts on Saturday in NESCAC action at Ellis Oval / Zimman Field.

Running back Zach Donnarumma gained 136 yards and scored a touchdown on 29 carries as the visiting Polar Bears (1-2) earned their first victory of the season. Tufts, which got a one-yard touchdown run from freshman Chance Brady early in the fourth quarter, fell to 0-3.

Bowdoin led 10-3 at the half and added a 29-yard field goal by sophomore Andrew Murowchick in the middle of the third to lead 13-3.

The Jumbos put together a nine-play, 69-yard scoring drive that culminated in Brady's first career touchdown on fourth down with 11:35 remaining in the fourth. Tufts junior QB Jack Doll completed an 18-yard strike to sophomore tight end Xavier Frey on third down early in the drive. Doll then had a 30-yard completion to freshman Mike Rando to the Bowdoin six, setting up the score pulling the hosts within 13-10.

After a pair of punts, a 13-play Bowdoin drive stalled at the Tufts 29 on a fourth-down incomplete pass. Tufts took over with 2:32 left in regulation and quickly moved into Bowdoin territory with Doll passes to Rando (21 yards) and two to Greg Lanzillo (14 and 12 yards). Two Bowdoin penalties gave Tufts first down on the Polar Bear two, but Wickstrom ended the threat by picking off Doll.

Neither team had managed much offensively in the first, and the Jumbos were the first on the scoreboard with a 30-yard field goal by freshman Willie Holmquist at 10:41 of the second quarter. The Polar Bears responded with a field-goal drive of their own. Caputi passed 19 yards to Skon for a third-down conversion during the drive. Murowchick also hit from 30 yards to tie it 3-3.

With time winding down in the half, Bowdoin engineered a 10-play 73-yard scoring drive that took just 3:13 to go up 10-3 with just 13 seconds remaining until halftime. Donnarumma had a 38-yard rush on the first play. Caputi and David Black converted a third-and-12 with a 13-yard pass. Donnarumma finished it with a one-yard touchdown. Bowdoin's Joey Cleary ended the half with an interception.

The Jumbos moved to the Bowdoin 25 on the first possession of the second half, but could not convert on fourth down. The Polar Bears would go up 10 on Murowchick's field goal. Caputi passed for another long third-down conversion with 11 yards to Ethan Drigotas. A Tufts personal foul penalty and a seven-yard Caputi-to-Drigotas pass set up the field goal.

Tufts seemed to get the break they needed when Bowdoin fumbled a punt return and Jumbo sophomore Junior Arroyo recovered at the Polar Bear 31. However, Tufts could not move the ball and missed a 42-yard field goal with 2:44 left in the third.

Bowdoin rushed for 174 yards in the game, including 73 on 18 carries by Trey Brown. Caputi finished 16 of 28 for 178 yards, with four passes for 38 yards going to Drigotas. The Polar Bears finished with 352 yards of offense. The visitors recorded a wide 37:03 to 22:57 margin in possession time.

For Tufts, Doll completed 27 of 42 passes for 259 yards. Frey had six receptions for 68 yards, while Rando finished at four catches for 66 yards. Junior Zack Trause ran 10 times for 31 yards. Tufts finished at 319 total yards.

Defensively, Bowdoin held Tufts to 3 for 14 on third down. Cleary had nine tackles, including one for a loss, two pass break-ups and a sack to go with his interception. Wickstrom also made nine tackles along with his game-ending interception. Sophomore Matt McCormack finished with a game-high 13 tackles for Tufts.

The win is the fourth straight for Bowdoin over Tufts. The Polar Bears will return home next Saturday, October 12 for a Homecoming Saturday contest against Hamilton. Kick-off is scheduled for noon at Whittier Field.