Date Posted:11/09/2005,  9:00AM

Football vs. Colby Game Notes

Saturday marks the 117th meeting between Bowdoin College and Colby College. One of the most historic annuals in collegiate sport, the rivalry is the third-longest in Division III, behind only Williams-Amherst and Albion-Kalamazoo.

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:

With Bowdoin's thrilling comeback victory over Bates last weekend, the two teams meet in what essentially is the CBB Championship Game. Formerly the State Series, the CBB was established in 1966, following the University of Maine's jump to a higher level of competition.

Bowdoin has won 15 CBB Championship crowns, most recently in 1998- the season of their last winning record. Colby has claimed 13 CBB titles, including four out of the last five seasons (2000, '01, '03, '04).

The Bowdoin-Colby rivalry is always fierce, but this year has an added emphasis, as the squads are playing for (at least) sole possession of second place in the final NESCAC standings. In addition, both teams have an outside chance at a share of the conference crown, however unlikely, as it would depend on a Wesleyan upset of Trinity.

Bowdoin has not been 6-1 since the 1970 season, and has not won seven games in a season since 1900. Colby last won seven games in 2000, when they shared the NESCAC Championship. They won six games last season, but have not had back-to-back six-win seasons since 1908-09.

Several Bowdoin players are closing in on single-season records entering the final game of the season. Quarterback Ricky Leclerc has passed for 1359 yards (1st in the NESCAC) this year is just 92 yards shy of setting the school's single-season mark currently held by Chris Good in 1992. His 11 touchdown passes this year is just one shy of the school mark held by Hayes McArthur, which was set in 1998.

Receiver Jeff Nolin leads the NESCAC with 34 receptions for 702 yards this year and has already tied the school's mark for single-season touchdown catches with six. His 34 catches are seven shy of Bert Sciolla's school mark set in 1982, while he is also needs just 28 yards to tie Sciolla's single-season record for yards.

The Polar Bears rank sixth in the conference, scoring 18.3 points per game. They stand third in the NESCAC in scoring defense, allowing just 13.7 points per contest. The key to the Polar Bears' success this year has been turnovers, and they are second in the league with a plus-nine takeaway/giveaway margin this season.

Colby has outscored opponents 178-111 this season on their way to a 6-1 mark. Their only blemish came in a week four loss to Amherst (28-9). The Mules did not play first-place Trinity this season.

Senior wideout Michael Tomich is coming off a big week for the Mules, as he scored two touchdowns, including the game-winning score in a 28-16 win over Tufts. He earned NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his six-catch, 136-yard performance.

Despite Tomich's numbers against the Jumbos, Colby likes to take care of business on the ground, as senior tailback Aaron Stepka leads the conference in rushing with 661 yards this season. Quarterback Justin Smith is fourth in the league with 154.3 passing yards per game. The Mules are third in the league in scoring offense (25.4 points per game) and stand fourth in scoring defense (15.9 points per contest).

Last year in Waterville, the Mules claimed their second straight CBB Championship with a 23-0 victory over the Polar Bears. Chris Bashaw led the way for the Mules, rushing for 130 yards on 30 carries for the home team.

One of the most bitter rivalries in all of college football, the Bowdoin-Colby rivalry dates back to 1892- a 56-0 Bowdoin victory. With the exception of war years (1943-1945) the teams have faced each other every year since that original meeting in 1892.

The most entertaining game in the series might have been the 1951 contest, when the squads hooked up for 102 points in a 60-42 Polar Bear victory. The game still stands as the highest-scoring contest in the history of Bowdoin football.

Bowdoin won eight straight to open the series history from 1892-1896, but Colby has dominated as of late, winning the last six meetings dating back to 1999. Overall, the Polar Bears hold a 62-45-9 edge in the all-time series.