|Date and Time:||10/04/2008, 1:00PM|
BRUNSWICK, Maine - Bowdoin quarterback Oliver Kell threw for 224 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score to lead the Polar Bear football team to their first win of the season, a 28-26 win over Tufts on Saturday at Whittier Field. The Polar Bears, who forced five turnovers on the afternoon, improve to 1-2 this season while the Jumbos fall to 2-1.
A pair of early turnovers gave the Polar Bears a two-touchdown lead. A first-quarter punt by Bowdoin's Nolan McNair deflected off Tufts' Pat Bailey and was recovered by James Lathrop, setting the Polar Bears up at the Tufts 26. Seven plays later, Bowdoin cashed in on a one-yard plunge by Ian Vieira to take a 7-0 lead. Just two plays into Tufts' next possession, Tyler Tennant stepped in front of an Anthony Fucillo pass at the Jumbo 43, giving Bowdoin great field position again. It took the Polar Bears nine plays to score, this time on a Kell one-yard dive, to increase the lead to 14-0.
The Jumbos opened the second period with a 10-play, 71-yard drive that ended in a 14-yard crossing pattern touchdown pass from Fucillo to David Halas that trimmed the lead to 14-7. On their second possession of the quarter, Tufts went 74 yards in just nine plays - the big strike coming on a 23-yard scamper by Will Forde, and capped the surge with a one-yard dive by Fucillo. The PAT attempt by Adam Auerbach was missed, however, and would later prove costly.
After a Bowdoin three-and-out, Tufts gained the lead for the first time, as a seven-play, 49-yard drive saw Fucillo find Halas for a five-yard touchdown pass that gave the Jumbos a 20-14 edge. But Bowdoin responded before the half, efficiently using a two-minute offense to travel 69 yards in just 1:35 to grab the lead before intermission. Kell rolled to the right and lobbed a well-placed pass to Nick Tom in the corner of the endzone to make it 21-20 Polar Bears at the break.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Bowdoin increased their lead early in the fourth stanza, as an eight-play, 64-yard drive culminated with another Vieira touchdown run that pushed the lead to 28-20. Tufts would respond with a nine-play, 72-yard drive as Fucillo found Halas again for a 20-yard touchdown score that cut the lead to 28-26. On the ensuing two-point conversion attempt, Fucillo found an open Stephen Black in the endzone, but the pass bounced off of Black's pads and fell incomplete.
Tufts had one final chance to win the game after taking over possession with 2:59 to play. But Halas attempted to lateral the ball after receiving a pass at the Bowdoin 40 and the fumble was recovered by Kevin O'Connor to seal the win for Bowdoin.
Tufts out-gained Bowdoin 416-286, thanks in great part to 175 rushing yards from Forde. Fucillo tossed for 240 yards and three scores all to Halas, who caught eight passes overall for 124 yards. Kell was 22-33 for 224 yards and a touchdown for Bowdoin, while Matt Moran caught four passes for a career-high 71 yards. Bowdoin's defense was extremely opportunistic, led by Tyler Tennant's 13 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception. Kevin Zikaras made 15 tackles while Dominic Ridgard had 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. O'Connor had one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Photos courtesy of Brian Beard and Creative Images Photography. Visit the website for Bowdoin team and action photos.