The Bowdoin and Trinity football teams will play for the 43rd time Saturday at Jessee/Miller field in Hartford, Connecticut. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
At the midway point of the 2013 NESCAC football campaign the Bantams are off to a 4-0 start, one of three NESCAC unbeatens, and are ranked first in the latest New England Division III poll. After dropping their first two outings, Bowdoin has rebounded to win consecutive games and stand at 2-2 for the first time since the 2011 season.
Trinity will be providing live stats, video webcast, and radio coverage of Saturday's contest. Links are available above.
POLAR BEAR PREVIEW
Bowdoin's offense struggled in its first two games- losses to Middlebury and Amherst - but the Polar Bears seem to have found their footing in their last two wins over Tufts and Hamilton. After averaging 8.0 points and 242 yards over the first two weeks, Bowdoin has averaged 20.0 points and 343 yards of offense over the last two while showing an impressive run/pass balance. The Polar Bears have accumulated 150+ yards of passing and rushing in each of the last two weeks after having not done that since October of 2010.
Senior Zach Donnarumma has spearheaded the Bowdoin offense with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games for the first time in his career (video on left). He enters Saturday's game at 1,955 career yards and is looking to become just the fifth Polar Bear to surpass 2,000 yards rushing. He ranks fourth in the league with 368 yards on the ground this fall. Andrew Murowchick has a stranglehold on the NESCAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors, having won two-consecutive weekly awards, and is tied for the NESCAC lead with six field goals and ranks fourth in the conference at 37.8 yards/punt.
Seniors Joey Cleary and Griffin Cardew continue to do yeoman's work on the defensive side of the ball for Bowdoin. Cleary ranks first in the league (11.2 tackles/game) while Cardew stands fourth (9.8 tackles/game) in tackling. Jake Prince is second in the NESCAC with 3.0 sacks this year.
SCOUTING THE BANTAMS
After surviving scares against Bates and Williams in its first two outings, the Bantams have rolled Hamilton and Tufts over the last two weeks by a cumulative score of 91-20. The Bantams rank third in the NESCAC in total offense (403.5 yards/game) and despite ranking sixth in total defense (332.5 yards/game) the Bantams have been extremely opportunistic, ranking first in the league with 14 forced turnovers with a +11 margin on the year.
A balanced Bantam offense is led by running back Evan Bunker, who has rushed for 388 yards this fall. Trinity has split quarterbacking duties between Henry Foye (499 yards, 6 TDs) and Sonny Puzzo (287 yards, 3 TDs) this year. Nathan Cyr ranks third in the NESCAC with a pair of sacks.
BEAT THE STREAK(S)
Trinity, which has claimed six NESCAC crowns dating back to the league's establishment in 2000, is looking to extend its home winning streak to 50 games Saturday. The Bantams last lost at home to Williams in 2001. In addition, Trinity has won its last 12 outings overall and has beaten Bowdoin the last 14 times the teams have met.
NUTMEG STATE CONNECTION
The Polar Bears boast five Connecticut players on their 2013 roster, including senior Brendan McDermott (East Lyme), who will be playing in his final collegiate game in his home state Saturday.
Last year in Brunswick, Trinity took advantage of five Bowdoin turnovers and scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to take a 27-10 win at Whittier Field. Evan Bunker rushed for 136 yards and two scores in the victory for the Bantams. The loss spoiled a 143-yard, one-touchdown effort by Zach Donnarumma for the Polar Bears.
BOWDOIN vs. TRINITY
Trinity has won 14 straight against Bowdoin, dating back to 1999. The Bantams hold a 34-6-2 edge in the all-time series which dates back to 1912. Bowdoin's last victory over the Bantams came in a 19-0 decision in 1998. The Polar Bears last won in Hartford in 1979.