Colby, Bowdoin football to battle for CBB title

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: November 12, 2010
Athletics Preview Photos

Carson Phillips-Spotts

WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) football title will be decided Saturday when Colby College and Bowdoin College meet in the traditional season-ending battle at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium.

The game will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will be Webcast at

The three teams tied for the title last year, but Colby and Bowdoin both have wins against Bates this year. That means the winner of Saturday's game will take home the coveted CBB trophy. Colby has won or shared the CBB title in 15 of the past 22 seasons.

While the Mules have played well over the past 22 seasons in CBB play, Bowdoin has won or shared the past four championships.

The contest marks the final game for Colby seniors Nat Carson, Nick Steele, Carson Phillips-Spotts, Craig Zevin, Conor Tidgwell, John McCusker, Ryan Murphy, Matt Hellinger, Patrick Burns, Eric Wilsterman, Jeremy Glick, Nick Tucker, Andrew Graham, and Richard Newton.

The Mules stand at 4-3 overall after a thrilling 42-41 win last Saturday at Tufts University. Colby junior quarterback Nick Kmetz was honored as the Co-NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week and was on the Team of the Week after piling up a school-record 473 yards of total offense with 392 yards passing and three touchdowns and 17 carries for 81 yards (4.8 per rush). Kmetz hit Spencer Merwin with a 1-yard scoring pass with no time left on the clock to tie the game at 41-41 and the Mules hit the extra point for the win. Trailing 41-28 with less than nine minutes remaining, Kmetz had a part in every yard with 57 yards passing and 13 yards rushing on an 11-play, 70-yard drive that he finished with a 16-yard scoring pass with 5:20 to play to cut the lead to 41-35. The Mules then took over with 3:24 left and Kmetz led a 73-yard drive in 17 plays. Kmetz converted two fourth down situations on the drive, one with a pass and the other with a 1-yard plunge. Kmetz, who also went over 3,000 career yards passing in his third year, broke school records for total offense in a game, pass completions in a game (40), and passes attempted (53). Colby set four team records, including a record for first downs in the game with 40.

Kmetz was not the only Mule to have a big day in the win against Tufts. Tidgwell had 156 yards of total offense with 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns, plus 50 yards in receptions. Connor Walsh tied his school record with 11 catches for 87 yards (he also had 11 catches against Wesleyan), Merwin had 78 yards receiving on 10 catches, and Burns finished with nine catches for 115 yards and one touchdown. Colby kicker David Bendit made all six of his extra point attempts, while the Tufts kicker was just 3-for-5 in the close game.

In the lastest NESCAC statistics, Burns ranks second in the conference in receiving yards per game (76.1) and Walsh is fourth in receptions per game (6.29).

Besides the CBB title, Colby has the opportunity to finish with a 5-3 record and end the season with a four-game winning streak. The Mules could also finish among the top four teams in the NESCAC with a victory Saturday.

Despite the high amount of offense in Saturday's game, Colby's defense is ranked third in the conference in total defense (331.1 yards allowed per game) and stand second in pass defense (190.7). Meanwhile, Bowdoin is ninth out of 10 teams in total defense (431.4) and is fourth in pass defense (215.9).

Colby middle linebacker Tom Duffy leads the team in tackles with 62, while Derrick Beasley is second in tackles (44) and first in interceptions (3). Ryan Murphy, who had a big interception in the win over Tufts, ranks third in tackles with 42, Brian Mellett has 35, and Ryan Veillette has 32 tackles and is tied for second in the conference in sacks (5.5).

Bowdoin is 2-5 overall and comes into the game looking for a fourth outright CBB title in the past five years (2009 was three-way tie). The Polar Bears have one of the more dangerous players in the NESCAC in wide receiver Pat Noone, who has 46 catches for 443 yards and ranks third in the conference in all-purpose yards (144.3).

First-year running back Zach Donnarumma is eighth in the conference in rushing yards (53.9) for Bowdoin. Meanwhile, junior quarterback R.J. Shea is sixth in the league in passing yards per game (146.8), while Brendan Garner is another receiving target with 27 catches for 414 yards.

Both Bowdoin and Colby have had problems with turnovers this season. The Polar Bears rank last in the NESCAC in turnover margin (minus-12, 23 lost, 11 gained) and Colby is just one spot ahead in ninth with a minus-6 (18 lost, 12 gained).

Colby continues to be a second-half team this season. The Mules have scored 101 of their 154 points in the third and fourth quarters. The second quarter has not been so kind, with the Mules allowing 76 of their 171 points.

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