Bowdoin Hosts Unbeaten Wesleyan in Family Weekend Football Game Saturday

Zach Donnarumma needs 24 yards to surpass the 2,000-yard mark for his career
Zach Donnarumma needs 24 yards to surpass the 2,000-yard mark for his career

Bowdoin will host Wesleyan in the 86th meeting between the schools Saturday at Whittier Field. Wesleyan is off to its best start in two decades, boasting a 5-0 record following its first win over Amherst since 2002 last weekend. The Polar Bears are 2-3 after a loss at Trinity last week that snapped a two-game winning streak.

Bowdoin will have live stats and video webcast coverage, with replays, of Saturday's contest. Click the links above to follow the action live.

At halftime of today's contest, Bowdoin will recognize its last two state championship teams: the 1960 and 1963 football teams, both of which were coached by C. Nels Corey, who passed away in August. The 1960 team finished at 5-2 while the 1963 squad totaled a 6-1 mark and was the final Bowdoin team to defeat the University of Maine prior to the Black Bears dropping Bowdoin, Bates and Colby in 1965. Since that date, Bowdoin, Bates and Colby have competed in the CBB Championship.

Despite ranking seventh in the league in scoring offense, Bowdoin's rushing attack ranks fourth in the NESCAC (119.0 yards/game), thanks in great part to Zach Donnarumma's 389 yards on the ground this season, which ranks fifth in the conference. The senior tailback has 1,976 yards in his career and is looking to become just the fifth Polar Bear to surpass 2,000 career yards. The Polar Bears are also enjoying the emergence of first-year running back Tyler Grant, who has averaged 46.5 yards rushing (4.6 yards/carry) in his first two collegiate games. Receiver/returner Daniel Barone stands fifth in the league with 112.6 all-purpose yards/game. Senior linebacker Joey Cleary leads the NESCAC at 11.8 tackles/game while Jake Prince is fifth in the conference with three sacks. Bowdoin has moved up to fourth in the league with a +3 turnover margin this fall, including last weekend's fumble recovery for a touchdown, caused by Brian Glazewski and recovered by Peter Yasi for the score - click the video on left to see the play.

Wesleyan ranks near the top of the league in nearly every statistical category this year, and presently leads the NESCAC in scoring offense (36.6), scoring defense (7.2) and turnover margin (+9). The Cardinals have been lethal on the ground, averaging 244.8 yards/game thanks to the duo of LaDarius Drew (97.6 yards/game) and Kyle Gibson (90.4 yards/game) who rank second and third, respectively, in the conference. Quarterback Jesse Warren leads the league in pass efficiency (190.2), tossing 12 touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 73.7% of his passes for 846 yards this year. Justin Sanchez has three interceptions this season, and was just named NESCAC Player of the Week following a two-pick performance against Amherst. Kicker Sebastian Aguirre also earned NESCAC honors following a 4-4 performance against Amherst that included two field goals in the 20-14 win.

Last year in Connecticut, Bowdoin stormed to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, only to see the Cardinals roll off 34 unanswered points in a 34-14 decision. Thomas Romero found Michael English with a three-yard TD pass and Donnarumma put home a four-yard scoring run to give the Polar Bears an early edge. The Cardinals scored on four of their next five possessions, however, to put the game out of reach. The Cardinals racked up 454 total yards, including 284 on the ground. Drew led the way with 154 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Wesleyan. Bowdoin accumulated 354 yards of total offense, but committed six turnovers including five interceptions.

The Cards leads the all-time series 51-31-2 and have claimed three of the last four meetings. Wesleyan will be looking for its first win in Brunswick since 2009 - a wild 43-39 victory for the Cardinals. The teams combined for 940 yards of total offense and a pair of lead changes in the final 1:17 of that contest. Bowdoin claimed the last game between the teams at Whittier Field, 12-6, in 2011.