Bowdoin Looks to Take Down First Place Trinity Saturday in Hartford

Bowdoin Looks to Take Down First Place Trinity Saturday in Hartford

The Bowdoin College football team (2-2) will travel to play at first place Trinity (4-0) on Saturday at Jesse/Miller Field in Hartford, Connecticut. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. The contest will be the 41st meeting between the schools dating back to 1912.

Trinity will provide a live video webcast and live statistics coverage of Saturday's game.

Bowdoin sits in a fourth-place logjam in the conference standings after consecutive wins over Tufts and Hamilton that raised their season mark to 2-2. The Polar Bears are joined by Bates, Hamilton and Williams at .500 so far this year.

Bowdoin's defense has been the key to its back-to-back wins, as the Polar Bears have risen to second in the league in total defense (273.8 yards allowed/game) and stand third in scoring defense, permitting 14.2 points per game this season.

The Polar Bears rank in the middle of the league in offense, averaging 17.8 points per game (sixth) and 265.5 yards/game (8th). Bowdoin's attack has been opportunistic, as the squad stands second in the NESCAC in red zone efficiency, scoring on nine of 11 visits inside the opponents' 20 for a 81.8% conversion rate. Bowdoin also stands third in the league in time of possession, averaging 31:15 minutes per contest.

Individually, Zach Donnarumma is fifth in the league in rushing (90.5 yards/game) and sixth in all-purpose yardage (118.8 yards/game). Pat Noone stands eighth in the conference at 5.5 catches per game and has now caught a pass in each of Bowdoin's last 23 games dating back to 2008. Kicker Jimmy Garvey is third in the league with three field goals (75%) this fall while punter Beau Breton ranks sixth in the conference with a 35.1 yard per punt average, with nearly half (10 of his 22 kicks) landing inside the opponents' 20.

ARCTIC DEFENSE (Click play to see one of Peter Troubh's three sacks vs. Hamilton)

Bowdoin's defense has enjoyed a dramatic improvement in 2011, ranking second in the conference in total yardage after a record-setting performance last week against Hamilton. The Polar Bears held Hamilton to -34 yards rushing for the contest, the fewest yards rushing allowed in a game in school history, breaking the former school mark of -17 set in 1975 against W.P.I.

In addition, Bowdoin's six sacks against the Continentals were the most by the team since 2004 against Wesleyan. Peter Troubh's three sacks were the most by a Polar Bear since Damon Hall-Jones earned three against Hamilton in 2008.

Most impressively, Bowdoin has held their opponents to just 13 points in the last two games. Those are the fewest points permitted in consecutive games by Bowdoin since 1980, when the Polar Bears posted back-to-back shutouts against Bates and Colby to close out the season.

Zach Donnarumma continued his stellar sophomore campaign last week, racking up 79 yards on 20 carries to give him 362 yards through four games this season, just 15 yards shy of eclipsing his first-year total. Donnarumma is on pace for over 700 yards this season and, if he accomplishes the feat, would be just the fifth Polar Bear in school history to reach that plateau in a single year.

CAPUTI UNDER CENTER (Click play to see Caputi's first career touchdown pass against Hamilton)

With sophomore quarterbacks Grant White and Thomas Romero out indefinitely due to injuries, Bowdoin will turn to first-year Mac Caputi, who will be making his first career start Saturday. It will be the second-straight season that Bowdoin will start a rookie signal-caller against Trinity as Grant White made his first career start against the Bantams last fall, tossing for 192 yards and a touchdown in his starting debut.

Caputi came into last Saturday's game after White was knocked out in the second quarter and, after throwing an interception in his first collegiate pass, settled down after halftime to go 4-7 for 66 yards and a touchdown to help clinch the Bowdoin win. His touchdown pass, an 18-yard strike to sophomore Michael English, was the first TD pass of Caputi's career and the first career catch for English.

A native of Brunswick and the son of head coach Dave Caputi, Mac and Dave are one of six father-son/head coach-player combos in Division III this year. Of the six student-athletes, Mac is the only quarterback.

Despite a slim 9-0 margin of victory against last-place Tufts last weekend, Trinity will be a formidable opponent Saturday. The Bantams excel defensively, having allowed just 23 points this season (5.8 points/game) and an average of 193.0 yards/game to rank first in the league in both categories. Offensively, Trinity ranks last in the league in passing (97.0 yards/game) mostly because they have been so efficient on the ground, posting an average of 228.8 yards rushing per contest this fall, boasting a healthy 4.6 yards per carry.

Tailback Evan Bunker leads the attack with 508 yards (127.0 yards/game) and three touchdowns this season. Linebacker Walter Fallas is coming off a NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week performance that included 12 tackles and two sacks last Saturday against Tufts. Trinity has won 41 consecutive games at home, dating back to 2001.

At Whittier Field last October, Evan Bunker rushed for 223 yards to lead the Bantams to a 31-14 win. Bowdoin was able to take a 14-3 lead in the second quarter thanks to a record-setting 95-yard touchdown pass from Grant White to Sean O'Malley and a 22-yard rush by White. Trinity would score 28 unanswered points from there, however, totaling a 340 yards on the ground and wearing down the Bowdoin defense with several long drives in the second half to take their 12th straight win over the Polar Bears.

Trinity has won 12 straight against Bowdoin, dating back to 1999. The Bantams hold a 32-6-2 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.