The Bowdoin College football team will play its final home game Saturday at Whittier Field as they battle Bates College for the 117th time in the storied history between the teams. The rivalry is the 10th-longest in Division III history. The Polar Bears and Bobcats enter Saturday with identical 2-4 records, tied for sixth place in the NESCAC standings.
Fans can follow all of the action from Whittier Field Saturday by clicking the links above - the live webcast will be provided, as always, by the Northeast Sports Network.
It took some late heroics, but Bates rallied from a 21-7 deficit, scored a touchdown with 33 seconds left to force overtime and scored on its first offensive play in the extra session to claim a dramatic 27-21 win over Colby in Lewiston last Saturday. The Bobcats have owned the CBB Championship trophy since 2012, winning it outright that year and retaining it last season following a three-way tie between the schools. With a win, Bates can secure its tenth outright CBB Championship, trailing Bowdoin's 19 and Colby's 14.
Bowdoin's 14 seniors and their parents will be honored in a pre-game ceremony before the game.
POLAR BEAR PREVIEW
After posting consecutive wins over Tufts and Hamilton, and almost knocking off Trinity, the Polar Bears succumbed to a tremendous defensive effort by Wesleyan last week. Tyler Grant still leads the NESCAC in total rushing yardage (586) and increased his career total to 851 yards following the Wesleyan game. He is 90 yards shy of Bowdoin's sophomore rushing mark of 676 yards, set by 2014 Athletic Hall of Honor inductee Joe Bonasera in 1970. Mac Caputi's 2,538 career passing yards stand seventh all-time in Bowdoin history while Daniel Barone needs one catch to break into Bowdoin's top-ten all-time in career receptions.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
Bates' ball-control offense is predicated on its rushing attack, which presently ranks fourth in the NESCAC (117.3 yards/game) despite not having a single rusher ranked within the top ten of the league. The Bobcats are fourth in the league in time of possession, averaging over 31 minutes per contest. Despite ranking last in the league in total offense, Bates has been successful in the red zone, ranking second in the league by scoring TD's on 64% of its trips into the opposing 20, while Mark Riley leads the NESCAC with 76.3 yards receiving/game, accounting for 56% of the Bobcats' passing yardage on the year. Bates' strength on defense has been its play against the run, which ranks second in the NESCAC (99.2 yards/game).
Last year in Lewiston, Bates rolled up 240 yards rushing and held off Bowdoin in a 17-10 victory. The Bobcats took advantage of three Bowdoin turnovers and held the ball for nearly 35 minutes en route to the win. Quarterback Matt Cannone rushed for 72 yards while running back Ryan Curit totaled 74. Bowdoin's Zach Donnarumma rushed for 108 yards in the loss. Joey Cleary had 19 tackles for the Polar Bears.
The Bowdoin-Bates rivalry, at 116 games entering play on Saturday, is the 10th-longest in Division III, dating back to 1889 (a 62-0 Bowdoin win). The Polar Bears hold a 66-42-7 edge in the all-time series but Bates has won three straight for the first time since 2001-2003. Bates' win in Brunswick in 2012 snapped a four-game losing skid at Whittier Field.
Bowdoin Opens CBB Play at Home Saturday Against Bates