Date Posted:11/03/2005,  2:30PM

Football vs. Bates Game Notes

The Bowdoin College Polar Bears will travel north on Route 196 to play at Bates College this Saturday as they begin their quest to regain the CBB Championship.

The Polar Bears (5-1) are coming off their most impressive performance of the season in a 35-10 victory over Wesleyan last Saturday, while the Bobcats (1-5) lost a one-touchdown decision to Colby, 24-17.

Fans can listen to the game live on the web via Free Teamline. Click the link at approximately 12:20 to listen to the contest:

It was a record-setting Saturday in Brunswick last week as the Polar Bears racked up single game, career and team records in their win over the Cardinals.

Ricky Leclerc posted one of the best performances by a Bowdoin quarterback in years, tossing for 317 yards and a school-record five touchdowns in the victory and earning NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors in the process. Receiver Jeff Nolin collected three of those scoring strikes, tying a school mark, while linebacker Shaun Kezer surpassed Dave Best '95 to top the Bowdoin career tackles list. Kezer now has 266 in his career.

The Polar Bears continue to specialize in the bend-but-don't-break defense, ranking ninth in the league in total yards allowed (360.2), but standing third in scoring defense (13.7 points per game). Bowdoin was able to collect a few more turnovers against Wesleyan and up their season total to 21 forced turnovers for a plus-10 turnover margin- tied for best in the NESCAC.

Leclerc is second in the NESCAC in passing yards per game (166.8), while Nolin is tops in the league in receiving yards per contest (94.5). Shaun Kezer and Dave Donahue are second in the league in total tackles (64).

With five wins this year, Bowdoin has clinched their first winning season since 1998 and surpassed their win total of the previous five years combined (four).

Bates has picked up just a single victory in 2005, defeating Wesleyan by a single point on October 15, 30-29 in overtime. The Bobcats opened the year with lopsided losses to Trinity (47-0) and Tufts (34-7) before falling in a close game at Williams (8-7). After the win over Wesleyan in week four, they were blown out against Middlebury (41-7) and lost a one-score game at Colby (24-17) last week.

Bates is ninth in the league in scoring offense (11.3 points for) and scoring defense (30.5 points against) this year. The Bobcats rank no higher than seventh in any statistical category in the NESCAC, and rely on running back Jamie Walker (59.0 yards per game) and quarterback Brandon Colon (139.0 yards passing per game) to control the ball on offense.

Last year in Brunswick, Bowdoin posted their first shutout since 1998, defeating the visiting Bobcats 21-0. The Polar Bears rushed for 192 yards and got scores from Ahron Cohen, Rob Patchett and a throwing score from Leclerc to Jared Prichard in the win.

The Bowdoin-Bates rivalry, at 107 game entering play on Saturday, is the 10th-longest in Division III, dating back to 1889 (a 62-0 Bowdoin win.). The Polar Bears hold a 61-39-7 edge in the all-time series, and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bobcats last season. The 2001 contest in Lewiston (a 38-35 Bates win) was the first-ever overtime game for both storied programs.