BRUNSWICK, Maine - In unquestionably the craziest finish in the storied history of the Bowdoin-Colby football rivalry, the teams combined for three scores in the final three seconds - including a 43-yard hail mary pass- as the Polar Bears survived for a 32-22 victory Saturday afternoon at Whittier Field.
Tied at 20-20 with 12 seconds remaining, and facing a fourth-and-long in at the Colby 43, the Polar Bears decided to go for the win, as quarterback Mac Caputi dropped back. Caputi lofted a long pass to the endzone where a Colby defender appeared to settle under it. But the ball bounced off the defender to the waiting hands of Bowdoin's Daniel Barone, who nestled the ball in his arms before it hit the ground to give the Polar Bears an unlikely 26-20 lead with three seconds remaining.
On the ensuing PAT, Colby blocked the kick and Jason Buco scooped up the loose ball, running it back all the way for a two-point conversion that trimmed the lead to 26-22.
Bowdoin squibbed the following kickoff, and Colby began a series of laterals on the return. The final toss was picked off by Polar Bear senior Brian Glazewski, who brought it into the endzone as the clock expired to cap the 32-22 win.
The season-ending victory gives Bowdoin a 3-5 record for the year. Colby finishes at 4-4. For the second time in the last three seasons, the CBB Championship ends in a three-way tie as Bates retains the trophy it won last year. Bowdoin holds a 69-47-9 edge in the all-time series against Colby.
Zach Donnarumma finished with 100 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries for Bowdoin. Caputi finished 16-25 passing for 211 yards in the win. Justin Ciero went 18-26 for 227 yards and two scores through the air for Colby. Nick Joseph had six catches for 70 yards and a TD for the Mules.
Bowdoin took advantage of some early Colby miscues to take a 14-0 lead. A fumble on a bad snap gave the Polar Bears the ball at the Colby 27. Five plays later, Donnarumma scored on a one-yard run to give the hosts an early edge. Early in the second quarter, Jon Fraser stepped in front of a Ciero pass at the Colby 32. On the very next play, Donnarumma broke loose from a scrum to scamper 32 yards for a 14-0 Polar Bear lead. The Mules trimmed the advantage to 14-6 on a pair of Louw Scheepers 24-yard field goals late in the period.
After a scoreless third quarter, the teams combined for a chaotic fourth quarter that saw a total of 34 points put on the board. Donnarumma carried the ball four times on the final six plays of a 12-play, 86-yard drive and capped it with a five-yard touchdown run to give Bowdoin a 20-6 advantage with 14:52 to go. The Polar Bears missed the PAT, however, which would prove costly as the Mules rallied to tie the game with a pair of late touchdowns.
The Mules posted their most impressive drive of the afternoon - a seven-play, 69-yard drive - with Ciero finding Glenn Parsons with an eight-yard TD strike to close the gap to 20-14 with 11:52 to go. The teams traded possessions, with Colby taking over at their own 34 with 2:55 remaining. Ciero marched his team down the field in just seven plays - the big play coming on a 23-yard pass to Joseph - and the duo matched up again with just 51 seconds remaining on a three-yard pass to tie the game.
After the Colby TD, Bowdoin returned the kickoff to their own 34. Caputi found Ken Skon for 10 yards and then scrambled 12 yards into Colby territory. Following a sack and two incompletions, the Polar Bears had a fourth-and-nine from the Colby 43, setting up the game-winning hail-mary pass.
Buco finished with nine tackles and the PAT return for Colby. Defensively, Bowdoin held Colby to just 12 yards rushing on the afternoon as Joey Cleary finished his career with a 13-tackle performance and fumble recovery. Bowdoin had four sacks and forced four Colby turnovers in the win.