Wesleyan Football Team Pulls Away in Fourth Quarter To Beat Bowdoin

First-year Tyler Grant posted his first career 100-yard game in Saturday's loss to Wesleyan
First-year Tyler Grant posted his first career 100-yard game in Saturday's loss to Wesleyan

BRUNSWICK, Maine - LaDarius Drew rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wesleyan University football team to a 34-14 win over Bowdoin Saturday afternoon at Whittier Field.

The Cardinals, who scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to pull away late, improve to 6-0 for the first time since 1993 while the Polar Bears drop to 2-4 on the year.

Wesleyan totaled 383 yards of offense on the afternoon as Drew spearheaded a rushing attack that accumulated 206 yards on the ground. Bowdoin was led by tailback Tyler Grant, who racked up 119 yards rushing in his first career 100-yard performance.

After the teams traded punts to start the afternoon, Wesleyan got on the scoreboard thanks to a 43-yard scamper by Drew with 2:05 left in the opening quarter. On their first possession of the second quarter, the Cardinals marched 87 yards on 13 plays, with Drew carrying the ball eight times on the drive and finishing it off with a two-yard plunge at 7:38. Wesleyan carried their 14-0 lead into halftime.

After fumbling the opening kickoff of the second half, Bowdoin was able to hold the Cardinals at bay to avoid further damage. After a Josh Hurwitz punt pinned them at their own 14, the Polar Bears rolled off their longest drive of the season - a 14-play, 86-yard drive - that was sparked by a 17-yard pass from Mac Caputi to Ken Skon. Grant finished off the drive with a 16-yard touchdown run to trim the lead to 14-7 with 5:43 remaining in the third period.

The Polar Bears had a chance to tie the contest after a Wesleyan turnover gave them the ball at the Cardinal 47 late in the frame. But on the first play of the fourth quarter, Wesleyan's Dee Simons sacked Caputi, forcing a fumble, and Nik Powers recovered to get the ball back for the Cardinals. Wesleyan proceeded to score four plays later, as Jesse Warren found Hurwitz from 13 yards out to make it 21-7. The Cardinals scored twice more to pull away from the Polar Bears. Rob Manning took a 15-yard strike from Warren with 3:36 to go and Jackson Taylor scored on a 51-yard pass from Peter George with 29 seconds remaining.

Bowdoin got a fourth-quarter score from Mac Caputi to cap off a 13-play, 74-yard drive.

Warren finished 12-14 for 126 yards passing for Wesleyan. Hurwitz had 87 yards receiving on five catches. Caputi went 13-27 for 117 yards through the air for Bowdoin. Greg Thompson and Daniel Barone each had four receptions for the Polar Bears.

Defensively, Brian Glazewski made 10 tackles and forced a fumble. Joey Cleary had eight stops, including 2.5 for a loss. Wesleyan was led by Power and Myers Beaird, who had five tackles apiece. Bowdoin turned the ball over three times compared to one for Wesleyan.

Wesleyan will look to continue its unbeaten season next Saturday at home against Williams (1:00 p.m.). Bowdoin will begin its quest for the CBB (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin) championship next Saturday at Bates (12:30 p.m.).

At halftime of Saturday's game, Bowdoin honored its 1960 and 1963 state championship teams. The squads were led by legendary coach Nels Corey, who passed away in August at the age of 98 (photos courtesy of Brian Beard/www.CIPhotography.com)