Fourth Quarter Comeback Lifts Hamilton Over Bowdoin in Football Opener

Photos courtesy of
Photos courtesy of

BRUNSWICK, Maine – David Kagan rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Hamilton College football team to a 37-24 victory over Bowdoin on Saturday.

The Continentals, who trailed 24-21 with 9:26 remaining, improve to 1-0 with the victory in the season-opener. Bowdoin falls to 0-1 in head coach B.J. Hammer's debut with the Polar Bears.

Game Highlights

  • Hamilton used a number of quick strikes to tip the Polar Bears, with all six of their scoring drives taking less than 2:34.
  • After Bowdoin marched down the field to take a 3-0 lead on a Michael Chen 29-yard field goal, Hamilton answered with a six-play, 69-yard drive, scoring on a 29-yard scamper by quarterback Kenny Gray.
  • The Continentals extended their lead to 14-3 on a 32-yard pass from Gray to Will Budington, capping another quick four-play, 86-yard drive.
  • Bowdoin answered with a methodical 57-yard drive, scoring on their 13th play when Brendan Ward took a pass from Austin McCrum and skipped into the end zone to cut the lead to 14-10 with 2:02 remaining in the first half.
  • But Hamilton replied before halftime, scoring just 1:13 later when Kagan burst through the middle from 18 yards out to take a 21-10 advantage at the break.
  • Bowdoin commanded the third quarter, holding Hamilton to just six yards of offense and capping an eight-play, 51-yard drive with a two-yard plunge by McCrum to make it 21-16 Hamilton.
  • The Polar Bears regained the lead on their first drive of the fourth quarter, covering 75 yards in ten plays with the big play coming on a McCrum to Aidan Israelski pass that put Bowdoin inside the Hamilton 5. Nate Richam-Odoi ran it in on the next play and the Polar Bears converted the two-point conversion to take a 24-21 edge with 9:26 remaining.
  • The Continentals regained their footing, however, and scored just 1:04 later as Kagan burst through the middle for a 70-yard run to put Hamilton at the Bowdoin 4. Kagan scored on the next play to give the visitors a 28-24 lead.
  • After a Bowdoin three-and-out, Kagan again burst through the middle of the Polar Bear defense for a 49-yard run to the Bowdoin 10 and, two plays later, put it in the end zone himself to extend the lead to 34-24.
  • Hamilton intercepted a McCrum pass on Bowdoin's next drive and cashed in a 23-yard field goal from Sam Thoreen to close out the scoring, 37-24.

By The Numbers

  • Despite Bowdoin holding the edge in time of possession (37:39-22:21), the Continentals totaled 403 yards of offense to Bowdoin's 321 in the victory.
  • Kagan rushed for 195 yards on 20 carries and scored three times for Hamilton. Kenny Gray passed for 157 yards and rushed for 43 for the Continentals.
  • Austin McCrum went 24-43 for 229 yards passing and a touchdown for Bowdoin and also completed an unlikely two-point conversion toss to Gregory Olson.
  • Bo Millett caught six passes for 70 yards while Nate Richam-Odoi rushed for 61 yards and caught six passes for 39 yards for Bowdoin.
  • Defensively, Carmine Bruno had 15 tackles for Hamilton while Joe Gowetski made nine solo stops to lead Bowdoin.
  • Michael Chen punted five times for an average of 40.0 yards with two inside the Hamilton 20.

Up Next

  • Bowdoin will head to Trinity next Saturday to face the Bantams, who lost their season-opener to Tufts, at 1:00 p.m.
  • Hamilton returns to Clinton for their home-opener against Wesleyan at 1:00 p.m. next Saturday.