LEWISTON, Maine - The Bates College football team claimed their record sixth consecutive CBB Championship by holding off a late Bowdoin rally in a 24-17 victory on Saturday afternoon.
The Bobcats improve to 2-6 this season while the Polar Bears fall to 0-8.
- Bowdoin opened the scoring with a 22-yard field goal from Andrew Sisti, capping a 10-play, 41-yard drive to open the contest.
- Bates answered by scoring the next 17 points, getting long touchdown runs from Brendan Costa (70 yards) and Jaason Lopez (37 yards) wrapped around a field goal to take a 17-3 lead early in the third quarter.
- Bowdoin replied late in the third, getting an eight-yard pass from Noah Nelson, who scrambled out of the pocket and hit Gregory Olson coming across the end zone to close the gap to 17-10.
- Bates appeared to put the game on ice early in the fourth quarter, however, as Kyle Flaherty ended an eight-play, 73-yard drive with a one-yard plunge to give the hosts a commanding 24-10 lead with 14 minutes to play.
- Bowdoin wouldn't go away, however, recovering a fumble on a Bates special teams punt return and scoring on their first play immediately after, as Nelson found Olson from 26 yards out to make it 24-17 just a minute later.
- Bates had a chance to put the game away again but Grant DeWald missed a short field goal and, after a Polar Bear punt, a Bates fumble at the Bowdoin 37 was recovered by Francis Rose, giving the Polar Bears the ball with 4:42 to go.
- Nelson directed the Polar Bears to the Bates 34 with four completions, but couldn't connect on a 4th-and-3, giving the ball to the Bobcats again.
- But a three-and-out by Bates forced another punt and Bowdoin assumed possession at their own 43 with 2:00 to go.
- Nelson completed a pair of passes and a holding call against Bates moved the ball to the Bobcat 35 with 1:30 to go.
- But on the very next play, pressure by the Bates defense forced Nelson out of the pocket and the junior quarterback attempted to heave the ball towards the end zone, but came up short as Bates' Devin Clyburn intercepted the pass at the Bates 3, sealing the victory for the hosts.
By The Numbers
- Bates totaled 344 yards rushing on the afternoon but only 23 yards passing while Bowdoin racked up 302 yards passing and just 31 on the ground.
- Nelson ended the day 34-55 for 302 yards and two touchdowns, throwing the third-most passes in a game in school history and completing the second-most passes in a game (35, Oliver Kell vs. Wesleyan in 2009).
- Nick Vailas was his top target with 11 catches for 74 yards while Greg Olson caught nine passes for a game-high 98 yards - both career highs. Bryan Porter also hauled in eight receptions for 87 yards.
- Defensively, Liam Dougherty had a team-best 11 tackles while Harrison Craig had 1.5 sacks and two tackles for a loss.
- Brendan Costa had a game-high 170 yards rushing for Bates.
- Bowdoin will close out their season next weekend at home against Colby with kickoff scheduled for 12:30 p.m.