Season Preview: Football Opens 126th Season Saturday at Williams

More photos available at www.CIPhotography.com
More photos available at www.CIPhotography.com

Saturday's Game
The Bowdoin College football team will open its 126th campaign on the road Saturday when they travel to play Williams College at noon.

The contest will be the 74th meeting between the teams with the Ephs holding a 52-15-6 edge in the all-time series. The last meeting between the teams was a 27-7 Williams win in 2015. Both teams finished winless at 0-8 last autumn. 

Live Coverage
Williams will provide live coverage from Saturday's game in Williamstown, including a video webcast courtesy of the Northeast Sports Network and live statistics. Links to live coverage can also be found in the Bowdoin Front Row app, available for free on the App Store for Apple users and Google Play for Android users. 

A New Era
In addition to opening the newly-renovated Whittier Field on September 23, the Polar Bears will also play nine games this year as the NESCAC expanded to full round-robin play effective this fall. It will be the first time since 1916 that the Bowdoin football team will play nine games in a season. 

Polar Bear Preview
Head coach JB Wells begins his third season at the helm of the Polar Bears and returns a number of underclassmen who have gained valuable experience on both sides of the ball.  Bowdoin returns 15 starters overall (including nine on defense), but boast a wealth of experience in the skill positions on offense including junior QB Noah Nelson (1,495 career passing yards, 11 TD's), senior WRs Nick Vailas (71 career receptions, 849 yards, 7 TD's) and Bryan Porter (58 career receptions, 735 yards, 7 TD's) as well as sophomore running back Nate Richam (484 yards rushing, 3 TDs in 2016). The Polar Bears return their top six tacklers from a year ago, including sophomore Joe Gowetski, who ranked second in the NESCAC with 92 tackles last fall. On special teams, both kicker Andrew Sisti (16 career FGs) and punter Michael Chen (35.6 yard average last season) return for the Polar Bears. 

Scouting the Ephs
The Ephs opened the 2017 preseason camp with eight returning starters from the final 2016 contest on defense, seven on offense, as well as their punter and placekicker. Williams returns six of their eight top tacklers from a year ago to anchor the defense. Sophomore defensive back Ben Anthony finished second on the team in total tackles last season with 44 and had a pair of interceptions in addition to a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Junior Jansen Durham (917 passing yards, 8 TD's in 2016) will get the nod as starting quarterback for the Ephs. He returns his top target, senior WR Adam Regensburg, who hauled in 37 passes for 319 yards and two TD's last fall. 

Last Meeting
In the 2015 opener, Williams controlled the ball for over 38 minutes of game time on its way to a 27-7 win over Bowdoin. The Ephs totaled 438 yards of offense for the day, including 288 yards from QB Austin Lommen, who went 20-30 with two touchdowns, including five passes for 79 yards to Adam Regensburg. Then-sophomore WR Nick Vailas had a career-high 93 yards receiving on seven catches and his first career touchdown catch in the loss for Bowdoin. 

Bowdoin vs. Williams – Series History
Due to the NESCAC's previous rotating eight-game schedule, the teams have played sparingly in the last two decades. Williams holds a 52-15-6 edge in the all-time series and have claimed four straight against Bowdoin. The Polar Bears' last win against the Ephs came in 2007, 28-14, at Whittier Field. 

A Look Ahead
The Polar Bears will open their newly-renovated Whittier Field/Magee-Samuelson Track complex on Saturday, September 23 against Middlebury at 1:00 p.m. More information about the facility will be available in advance of the game next week. Other home contests this fall include Hamilton (Oct. 14), Wesleyan (Oct. 28) and Colby (Nov. 11). The Polar Bears will open CBB play the week prior to Colby when they travel to Lewiston to face Bates on November 4.