Special teams help Bowdoin stop Colby, 26-21

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: November 13, 2010
Athletics Preview Photos

Connor Walsh

WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College football team had to settle for a second straight 4-4 season after Bowdoin College took advantage of two big special teams play and a defensive touchdown for a 26-21 win on Saturday at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium.

The Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) trophy will stay in possession of Bowdoin College for a fifth straight year. Bowdoin won CBB titles from 2006 to 2008, shared the title with Colby and Bates last year (team in possession of the trophy keeps it in a tie), and now earned the trophy after the special teams plays and two key defensive plays to stop the Mules.

Bowdoin's Pat Noone (North Attleboro, Mass.) returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for the Polar Bears' first big special teams play. Bowdoin later got a blocked punt by Brendan Garner (Swampscott, Mass.) and teammate Sean O'Malley (Medfield, Mass.) recovered the ball in the end zone for another score.

The Polar Bears (3-5) had a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown from Ian Vieira (Plymouth, Mass.) and Bowdoin's entire defense held Colby on a 4th-and-goal at the Polar Bear 1-yard line with 9:17 to play in the game.

Noone, one of the more dangerous offensive players in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, put Bowdoin up quickly with his 89-yard kickoff return. The Polar Bears missed the extra point attempt and led 6-0 after one quarter.

Noone had Bowdoin's only score off a regular drive with a 22-yard reception off a pass from first-year quarterback Grant White (Springfield, Vt.) to make it 14-0 with 8:02 to play in the second quarter. The Polar Bears drove 85 yards in 10 plays, with the big play on the drive coming on a 30-yard pass play from White to Noone. Kevin Miao (East Lyme, Conn.) ran it in for the two-point conversion.

Colby took over and made it a 14-7 game at halftime with an 11-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard scoring run from Conor Tidgwell (Southbury, Conn.). Colby quarterback Nick Kmetz (Laurel, Del.) hooked up with Spencer Merwin (Falls Village, Conn.) on a 32-yard pass play on the drive.

The Mules took the kickoff at halftime and once again used 11 plays and drove 69 yards to tie the game at 14-14. Kmetz found Patrick Burns (Charles Town, W.V.) on an 8-yard scoring pass with 10:23 left in the third quarter. Kmetz rushed for 21 yards on four rushes and Tidgwell had two carries for 18 yards during the drive.

Colby seemed to have all the momentum after tying the game, but the blocked punt put Bowdoin up for good. Colby had a drive stopped at its own 24-yard line to bring up the punt. Garner came in from the right side untouched and blocked the kick and nailed punter Connor Sullivan (Hamilton, Mass.) at the same time. The ball deflected all the way back past the goal line, where O'Malley picked it up for the touchdown and a 20-14 lead with 6:11 to play. The Polar Bears missed the extra point.

Colby's defense came up strong after a Kmetz interception gave Bowdoin the ball at the Mule 34-yard line. The Polar Bears drove to the Colby 3-yard line, but the Mules held and received the ball back on downs with 3:31 to play.

After a rush for no gain, Vieira picked off his pass in the middle of the field. He ran to the right behind some blockers and then cut back to the middle and raced in the end zone for a 17-yard return. The Polar Bears went for two points and missed this time to take a 26-14 margin.

Colby made quick work to make it 26-21 with 52 seconds left in the third quarter. Tidgwell had 25 yards rushing on two carries and Kmetz completed three passes on the five-play, 59-yard drive.  Kmetz found Connor Walsh (Westwood, Mass.) on a 7-yard scoring pass. Walsh tied the school record for passes caught in a game for the third time with 11 catches for 141 yards. Walsh has three games with 11 catches and David Lane '72 had 11 in a game in 1972.

The fourth quarter had three long drives, but no team managed a point. The Mules drove from their own 20-yard line to Bowdoin's 1-yard line, with 57 yards coming on a pass play from Kmetz to Walsh. After an incompletion, Kmetz completed a 4-yard pass to Walsh and another 4-yard pass to Tidgwell to get the ball to the Bowdoin 1-yard line. The Mules called a timeout and then threw a pass that was batted away by Bowdoin's Beau Breton (Bedford, N.H.).

The Polar Bears took over with 9:17 to play and used the running of Miao to keep the clock moving. Miao had 52 of his 73 yards rushing on the drive before Bowdoin's momentum stalled and it was forced to punt with 58 seconds left. White hit a beautiful punt that bounced high in the air and was downed at the Colby 4-yard line with just 48 seconds to play.

The Mules drove to the Colby 38-yard line before giving the ball over on downs with five seconds left.

Kmetz had 247 yards passing and rushed 11 times for 57 yards (5.2 average). Tidgwell had 17 rushes for 70 yards, while Andrew Graham (Dracut, Mass.) had three grabs for 44 yards.

Colby's Ryan Veillette (Westfield, Mass.) and Derrick Beasley (Andover, Mass.) both had seven tackles.

Bowdoin 26, Colby 21

Bowdoin.............  6  8 12  0  - 26      

Colby...............  0  7 14  0  - 21      

Scoring Summary:

  1st 14:44 BOW10 - Pat Noone 89 yd kickoff return (Bill Donahue kick failed), , BOW10 6 - COLFB10 0

  2nd 08:02 BOW10 - Pat Noone 22 yd pass from Grant White (Kevin Miao rush), 10-85 5:15, BOW10 14 - COLFB10 0

      01:36 COLFB10 - Conor Tidgwell 1 yd run (David Bendit kick), 11-66 6:20, BOW10 14 - COLFB10 7

  3rd 10:23 COLFB10 - Patrick Burns 8 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (David Bendit kick), 11-69 4:30, BOW10 14 - COLFB10 14

      06:11 BOW10 - Sean O'Malley 0 yd blocked punt return (Jimmy Garvey kick failed), , BOW10 20 - COLFB10 14

      02:42 BOW10 - Ian Vieira 17 yd interception return (Grant White pass failed), , BOW10 26 - COLFB10 14

      00:52 COLFB10 - Connor Walsh 7 yd pass from Nick Kmetz (David Bendit kick), 5-59 1:41, BOW10 26 - COLFB10 21

                                    BOW10  COLFB10

  FIRST DOWNS...................       16       19

  RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............   36-113   33-130

  PASSING YDS (NET).............      213      247

  Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  20-13-0  35-21-2

  TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   56-326   68-377

  Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0

  Punt Returns-Yards............     3-26      0-0

  Kickoff Returns-Yards.........    4-157     5-86

  Interception Returns-Yards....     2-36      0-0

  Punts (Number-Avg)............   3-35.3   3-24.0

  Fumbles-Lost..................      1-0      1-0

  Penalties-Yards...............     7-60     7-52

  Possession Time...............    28:12    31:43

  Third-Down Conversions........  6 of 13  5 of 11

  Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 1   0 of 3

  Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      1-4      3-4

  Sacks By: Number-Yards........      0-0      1-5

  RUSHING: Bowdoin-Kevin Miao 21-73; Grant White 13-41; Pat Noone 1-0; TEAM

  1-minus 1. Colby-Conor Tidgwell 17-70; Nick Kmetz 11-57; Spencer Gopaul 2-10;

  Patrick Burns 1-8; Connor Walsh 1-0; TM 1-minus 15.

  PASSING: Bowdoin-Grant White 13-20-0-213. Colby-Nick Kmetz 21-35-2-247.

  RECEIVING: Bowdoin-Pat Noone 8-112; Sean O'Malley 3-37; Paul Hinman 1-49; Nick

  Goldin 1-15. Colby-Connor Walsh 11-141; Andrew Graham 3-44; Patrick Burns 3-20;

  Conor Tidgwell 2-8; Spencer Merwin 1-32; Spencer Gopaul 1-2.

  INTERCEPTIONS: Bowdoin-Dan Evans 1-19; Ian Vieira 1-17. Colby-None.

  FUMBLES: Bowdoin-Kevin Miao 1-0. Colby-TM 1-0.

  Attendance: 2,500


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