Tufts Uses Quick Strikes To Tip Bowdoin in Homecoming Football Clash

Nick Vailas caught six passes for 94 yards against Tufts on Saturday
Nick Vailas caught six passes for 94 yards against Tufts on Saturday

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Tufts University football team rolled up 505 yards of total offense on its way to a 41-21 victory over Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon at Whittier Field.

The Jumbos remain one of three unbeaten NESCAC teams and improve to 3-0.  Bowdoin remains winless on the year and drops to 0-3. Tufts has now won two straight against the Polar Bears after a five-year losing streak and holds a 60-49-2 advantage in the all-time series between the schools.

Game Highlights

  • The Jumbos built a quick 10-0 advantage thanks to good field possesion on its first two drives. Willie Holmquist booted a 46-yard field goal to get Tufts on the board and then, after a three-and-out by the Polar Bear offense, Ryan McDonald scampered up the middle for a touchdown to cap a four-play 54-yard drive
  • Bowdoin was able to cut into the Tufts lead late in the quarter as Nick Vailas received a punt at his own 25, cut through the Jumbo punt team and raced 75 yards to paydirt. It was Bowdoin's first punt return for a touchdown since 2011.
  • Tufts answered, however, covering 70 yards on 14 plays on the ensuing drive, and scoring on a five-yard Chance Brady touchdown run to push the lead back to ten points, 17-7
  • After another quick three-and-out by Bowdoin, returner Mike Rando brought the punt back to the Bowdoin 36 and, two plays later, Ryan McDonald found Joe Byrnes from 17 yards out to make it 24-7
  • Bowdoin was able to trim the lead to 24-14 before halftime as Nate Richam capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive with his first career touchdown run, an 11-yard scamper into the endzone that made it a ten point game at the break
  • Tufts wasted little time putting the contest out of reach in the third quarter, however, twice scoring on one-play drives to build an insurmountable lead
  • On their first play from scrimmage in the second half, McDonald faked a hand-off and sliced through the Bowdoin defense for a 75-yard touchdown run. Then, after another Tufts possession resulted in a 36-yard field goal to make it 34-14, Mike Miller took a 77-yard pass from Mike Snyder on the first play of a later series to make it a 41-14 contest at the end of three quarters
  • Bowdoin scored a fourth-quarter touchdown on its longest drive of the season, an 11-play, 96-yard drive, that resulted in a 13-yard pass from Noah Nelson to Bryan Porter in the back corner of the end zone to make it a 41-21 final

By The Numbers

  • Tufts gained more than 500 yards for the first time since October of 2010
  • A number of Jumbos contributed, led by McDonald, who had 146 yards rushing and two scores on the ground while also going a perfect 9-9 passing for 92 yards and a touchdown
  • Bowdoin was led by 41 yards rushing from Richam and 21-45 passing from Nelson for 223 yards, including six catches for 94 yards for Nick Vailas
  • Defensively, Chuck Calabrese had a team-best seven stops for Tufts, including a sack
  • Bowdoin was led by 17 tackles from Joe Gowetski, who also had a sack

Up Next

  • Tufts will travel to Trinity next Saturday in a battle of unbeaten squads at 1:30 p.m.
  • Bowdoin will make the long trek to Clinton, N.Y., to face Hamilton at noon next Saturday