Bowdoin Football Opens CBB Chase Saturday at Bates

More photos available at
More photos available at

The Bowdoin College football team will play its final road game of the 2015 campaign on Saturday when they travel to Bates to resume Division III's 10th-longest rivalry. The teams enter their 118th meeting with identical 1-5 records and are scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. kick-off.

Bates will have a live video webcast and live statistics coverage from Garcelon Field. Links are available above.

Bates used a dominating defensive performance to defeat Colby in Waterville for the first time since 1999, 10-9, last Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Bobcats have the chance to win outright CBB Championships in consecutive years for the first time since 1966-67.

Bowdoin's passing game continues to rank highly in the conference leaders, as the Polar Bears stand third in the NESCAC at 241.8 yards/contest. First-year quarterback Noah Nelson is fifth in the league in yards/game (196.5) while ranking sixth in pass efficiency (112.2). Nick Vailas is second in the league with 34 receptions this fall as the Polar Bears will likely look to take advantage of Bates' ninth-ranked pass defense that is permitting 273.3 yards/game.

Defensively, Bowdoin (and the NESCAC) is led by Branden Morin, who owns a league-high 56 tackles (9.3/game) this season. First-year linebacker Philippe Archambault is fourth in the league in tackles (8.8/game) and also ranks among the top-ten in the conference with three sacks. Although Bowdoin is the least penalized team in the league by 1.0 penalties/game, the Polar Bears committed several turnovers last week against Wesleyan and now stand ninth in the conference with a minus-3  turnover margin.

Despite having their lowest scoring output of the season last week, the Bobcats were able to come away with their first victory, 10-9, against Colby. Bates' multi-faceted rushing attack stands third in the league (175.3 yards/game) and will undoubtedly attempt to grind out yards against Bowdoin's 10th-ranked rush defense (209.5 yards/game). Six Bobcats have 20 or more carries this season, led by Ivan Reese's 84 carries for 268 yards. Brandon Williams leads the NESCAC with five interceptions this year while Mark Upton is third in the conference at 8.8 tackles/contest.

Last year at Whittier Field, Grant DeWald snuck home a 25-yard field goal with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter to lift the Bates College football team to a 10-7 win over Bowdoin. Tyler Grant rushed for 151 yards for Bowdoin in the loss.

The Bowdoin-Bates rivalry, at 117 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 66-44-7 edge in the all-time series but Bates has won four straight for the first time since winning six consecutive contests against the Polar Bears from 1999-2003.