Date Posted:10/20/2005, 1:00PM
The Bowdoin College Polar Bears play at Trinity College on Saturday afternoon (1:30) in a battle for first place in the NESCAC. Both squads, currently 4-0 this season, are the lone remaining unbeaten squads in the conference and the winner of Saturday's game will have the inside track to the 2005 NESCAC Championship. Trinity is ranked first in the latest New England Division III poll, while Bowdoin stands second.
Fans can listen to the game live on the web via Free Teamline. Click the link at approximately 1:20 to listen to the contest:
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With last Saturday's muddy victory over Hamilton College, the Bowdoin football team improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1938. In 114 seasons on the gridiron, the Polar Bears have never been perfect after five games, but have been unbeaten. The 1921 squad was 4-0-1 after their first five contests, as was the 1892 squad that finished the season undefeated (7-0-1). Bowdoin has not won five straight games at any point in any season since 1970.
With four victories so far this year, Bowdoin has equalled their victory output of the last four seasons combined. The Polar Bears are looking for their first winning season since 1998, when they finished 5-3.
BOWDOIN BY THE NUMBERS
Bowdoin was able to claim victory by a comfortable margin for the first time all year, beating Hamilton by two touchdowns last weekend. Matt Boyd became the first Bowdoin back to pass the century mark in rushing yards against the Continentals, running for 119 yards. Jeff Nolin caught two passes for 97 yards and leads the NESCAC with 97.8 yards receiving per game this year.
Bowdoin's defense continued to excel, as it has all season, in the victory over Hamilton. Bowdoin allowed just 10 first downs to the Continentals and forced the visitors into 2-of-14 on third down. In addition, Hamilton's lone touchdown came two minutes into the contest, following an excellent kickoff return. Bowdoin blanked the Continentals for the final 57:43 of the game.
Despite ranking eighth in total defense in the NESCAC, the Polar Bears are fourth in the league in scoring defense, allowing just 12.2 points per game. Bowdoin has a +7 turnover ratio this season and has scored three defensive touchdowns this year.
SCOUTING THE BANTAMS
Trinity posted their 26th consecutive victory last weekend in a 7-0 defeat of Tufts and hold the New England Division III winning streak record. The streak is also the second longest current streak in all of college football behind Division I Southern California (28 wins in a row). The three-time defending New England Small College Athletic Conference Champion Bantams have not lost a home game since 2001 (17 straight wins).
The Bantams lead the conference in scoring offense (36.5 points/game) and scoring defense (1.5 points/game), having outscored their opponents 146-6 this season. A balanced offense has seen the two-headed rushing combination of Gennaro Leo and Jordan Quinones rush for 474 yards this season, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Defensively, Bowdoin will have to stop Michael Blair, who leads the NESCAC with five sacks this year.
Last year in Brunswick, Trinity blanked Bowdoin 41-0. Gennaro Leo rushed for a game-high 154 yards and four touchdowns. Jared Prichard caught five passes for Bowdoin, while Shaun Kezer had eight solo tackles.
The Polar Bears and Bantams have played 33 times with Trinity holding a 26-6-1 edge in the all-time series. Bowdoin's last victory over Trinity came in their last winning season of 1998, when they shut out the Bantams 19-0.