Polar Bear Football Set For Home Opener This Saturday Against Amherst

Polar Bear Football Set For Home Opener This Saturday Against Amherst

The Bowdoin College and Amherst College football teams will meet for the 91st time on Saturday at Whittier Field. The Polar Bears stand at 0-1 after a season-opening loss at Middlebury while Amherst is 1-0 following a victory over Hamilton last weekend.

Bowdoin will provide a live video webcast and live stats coverage of the game. WBOR will carry the game live locally at 91.1 FM and will also be streaming their broadcast online. Click the links above to follow all the action live.

Bowdoin will commence its home campaign this Saturday at Whittier Field and will look to continue its recent string of success beneath the pines. The Polar Bears boast a 8-4 home record over the last three years.

Bowdoin couldn't overcome some early miscues and a 21-3 second quarter hole in an eventual 42-18 loss to Middlebury in Vermont last weekend. The Polar Bears were able to trim the lead to 28-18 and had the ball with a chance to cut further into the lead, marching to the Middlebury 21 early in the final period, but could get no closer as the Panthers pulled away with 14 fourth-quarter points.

In his first action on the offensive side of the ball since 2009, Greg Pierce looked impressive in the Bowdoin backfield, carrying the ball 18  times for 82 yards and a touchdown. Thomas Romero entered the game at quarterback midway through last week's contest and threw for 153 yards and a score, while receiver David Black caught seven balls for 63 yards. All three rank among the top-ten in the New England Small College Athletic Conference statistical leaders after week one.

David Nurse led the NESCAC  with 14 tackles last week while Bean Breton was third with 11. Bowdoin totaled 307 yards of offense to rank sixth among conference teams last week while the defense, saddled several times with tough field position, ranked eighth in the league with 416 yards allowed.

In its home opener last week, Amherst received rushing touchdowns from three players and quarterback Max Lippe threw for two others, as the Lord Jeffs posted a 38-14 win over Hamilton College at Pratt Field.

Ryan Silva amassed a league-high 170 yards on the ground against the Continentals while Lippe attempted only 18 passes, completing 12 for 116 yards including the two scores. Amherst's 376 rushing yards marked the program's highest single-game total since the Lord Jeffs ran for 389 during a 44-7 win over Hamilton on Sept. 25, 2004. On the other side of the ball, the Jeffs allowed just 176 yards of offense to Hamilton to rank third last week among conference teams.  

For the final time in their careers, brothers Sean O'Malley (Bowdoin '13) and Jake O'Malley (Amherst '14) will share the football field. Sean is a wide receiver and senior captain for the Polar Bears while Jake is also wideout for the Jeffs. Both played their high school football for St. Sebastian's School in Needham, Massachusetts. Sean is injured and inactive this week while Jake caught two passes last week in the Jeffs' win against Hamilton.

Last year in Amherst, the Jeffs took advantage of four second-half Bowdoin turnovers in a 20-3 win in sloppy conditions at Pratt Field. Amherst accumulated 199 yards of rushing offense, including 134 from Eric Bunker, while the Polar Bears were led by 75 yards from Zach Donnarumma. The two teams combined for only 175 yards passing on the afternoon, but Amherst was able to pick off three Bowdoin tosses, two of which directly led to 10 Amherst points.

Saturday will be the 91st meeting between the long-time rivals, who have met continuously since 1945 and have played in every non-war season since 1940. Despite Amherst holding a 70-18-2 edge in the all-time series, the Polar Bears have, more often than not, given the Jeffs all they could handle. In 2009, Bowdoin gave Amherst their biggest scare (a 13-12 decision) en route to a perfect 8-0 season. In 2005, the Polar Bears snapped a six-game losing skid to the Jeffs with a 16-13 win in Massachusetts. The 2004 showdown - a 34-28 Amherst win - was the first overtime game in Whittier Field history.