Date Posted:11/07/2002,  8:00AM

Bowdoin vs. Colby Football Game Notes


Waterville, Maine

Nov. 9 - 12:30 p.m.

The Bowdoin College Polar Bears (1-6) make the trek up Interstate-95 on Saturday to play Colby College (3-4) in one of the most storied rivalries in collegiate athletics; the Bowdoin-Colby football game. Played 113 times previous to this weekend, the rivalry is the third-longest in Division III football.

The two teams enter the contest playing for pride, as Bates has already clinched the C-B-B Championship for 2002. But Bowdoin will need little inspiration to get up for this game as the Polar Bear seniors try to avoid being swept by the Mules, who have won three straight games in the series.

- Bowdoin enters the contest after falling in their home finale to Bates last Saturday. An impressive seven-touchdown performance by Bobcat tailback Sean Atkins led Bates to the 48-28 triumph. Although it may seem cliché, the Polar Bears have been close in every game this season. In each contest this season, in either the third or fourth quarter, Bowdoin has had a drive to either tie or take the lead.

- The Polar Bears continue to have success running the ball, and had two 100-yard rushers last week as Geoff Close (128) and Rob Patchett (106). Bowdoin ranks fifth in the conference, averaging 160.4 yards rushing per contest, while Patchett ranks fifth in the NESCAC in all-purpose yards (129.8 yards/game). With eight completions last week, quarterback Justin Hardison set the school mark for career completions with 288. He is 18 attempts shy of the career mark and has thrown for 2,722 yards in his career, good enough for fifth on the Bowdoin career list. Defensively, Jeff Pike is sixth in the conference with four sacks this year.

- Colby enters the contest is led offensively by running back Aaron Stepka, who has won two NESCAC Player of the Week awards and leads the conference in rushing at 167.3 yards/game on the year. The White Mules rank well statistically in numerous categories, including pass offense (4th), run offense (3rd) and scoring defense (3rd ? 13.3 points/game). Colby has played in more close games than any other NESCAC squad this year, with four of their seven contests being decided by a touchdown or less. Last week, the White Mules held a solid Tufts scoreless in a 9-0 victory.


- Colby got 238 yards of rushing offense and scored 31 first-half points in a 41-13 win over Bowdoin in Brunswick last season. Colby?s Joe Murray had 101 yards on 16 carries while White Mule wideout Denny Noyes caught nine passes for 118 yards in the win. Rob Patchett had 86 yards rushing for Bowdoin, while Hardison completed 11 of 20 passes.


- The third-longest rivalry in Division III football now stands at 62-42-9 in favor of the Polar Bears, dating back to the first meeting in 1892 (a 56-0 Bowdoin win). Colby has won three straight in the series and are 11-8-1 in the last twenty meetings between the two teams.