BRUNSWICK, Maine - Tyler Grant set a new school record with 43 carries en route to a career-high 208 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Bowdoin College football team claimed its first win of the season, 33-20 over Tufts on Saturday.
The Polar Bears (1-2) have won five straight over the Jumbos for the first time in the 109-year history of the rivalry. Tufts (2-1) drops their first game of the season after starting 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
Grant became the first Bowdoin running back to surpass 200 yards since Rob Patchett in 2004 and the first Polar Bear to score four rushing touchdowns in a game since Eric LaPlaca in 1992. His 43 carries broke the school record of 39 set by Patchett in 2004. Mac Caputi was excellent for Bowdoin, going 20-25 for 209 yards passing in the win. Andrew Sisti nailed a pair of field goals for the Polar Bears in the second half to help secure the victory.
Jack Doll was outstanding in the loss for Tufts, going 30-42 for 349 yards passing. Ben Berey was his top target with a game-high 101 yards receiving on nine catches. Zach Trause had 187 all-purpose yards for the Jumbos.
The teams traded blows in a wild first half. Bowdoin took the opening kick-off and marched 66 yards on 13 plays, capped by a Grant one-yard plunge to take a 6-0 lead after a missed PAT. Tufts answered with a 70-yard, eight-play drive that ended on a 15-yard scamper by Chance Brady to give the Jumbos a 7-6 edge. Bowdoin replied with a 65-yard, nine-play drive that was capped by another one-yard run by Grant to regain the lead for the Polar Bears, 13-7. After a long return by Trause on the ensuing kick-off, Tufts grabbed the lead back just 58 seconds later as Trause scored on a two-yard touchdown run to make it 14-13. Bowdoin was able to reclaim the lead later in the second quarter when Grant ended an 11-play, 70-yard drive with a slippery 12-yard run up the middle to make it 20-14 at the break.
Trause again gave Tufts the lead on the opening drive of the third quarter as the Jumbos marched 73 yards on nine plays with Trause taking a draw 14 yards up the middle to paydirt, tying the game after a missed PAT. For the third-straight time, Bowdoin bounced back on the next drive to take the lead - this time for good - as Sisti nailed a 30-yard field goal to make it 23-20 heading into the fourth quarter. Sisti nailed another field goal early in the fourth quarter to increase Bowdoin's lead to 26-20 and the Grant put a cap on the day with a 42-yard touchdown run with 5:32 to go, giving the Polar Bears a commanding 33-20 lead. The Bowdoin defense held Tufts scoreless on its final six drives of the day to seal the victory.
Bowdoin's 463 yards of total offense were the most by the Polar Bears since they rolled up 564 against Wesleyan in 2009. Bowdoin also dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for 38:25 in the game.
Branden Morin had 10 tackles for Bowdoin while Brendan Lawler had nine and a fumble recovery.
Bjorn Halvorson had six stops, one for a loss, and an interception. Michael DeFeo, Mike Stearns and Tommy Meade all posted a game-high 13 tackles for the Jumbos.
The Polar Bears will look to move to .500 as they travel to Hamilton next Saturday for a noon start. The Jumbos will return to action next weekend at Trinity at 1:30 p.m.