Bates bounces Wesleyan in OT for first football win, 30-29
HARTFORD, Conn. — Jamie Walker’s touchdown run and a failed extra-point attempt by Wesleyan University catapulted the Bates College football team to its first victory of the season, a 30-29 decision in overtime.
Junior running back Walker (Needham, Mass.) broke free and untouched for a 25-yard touchdown on the first play of overtime, and Tyler Schmelz hit the point-after to give Bates (1-3) a 30-23 lead.
Wesleyan (0-4) answered with its own touchdown on a two-yard run by Phil Banks (21 rushes, 83 yards), but on the extra point attempt, the snap was fumbled by holder Doug Collins. Collins picked up the ball and tossed it into the end zone to kicker Chris Helsel, but it fell incomplete, ending the game.
The Cardinals had tied the game with a touchdown and extra point with nine seconds remaining in regulation, a 2-yard pass from Zach Librizzi to Blake Curry.
Bates came back from deficits of 13-0 and 16-6 to seize its first lead of the game, 23-16, on a 30-yard touchdown connection from Brandon Colon to wide receiver Dylan McNamara.
It was the second touchdown of the day for McNamara (San Francisco), who finished with seven receptions for 84 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Colon (Manchester, N.H.) completed 16 of 32 passes for 179 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Walker finished with 100 yards on 19 carries for Bates.
A defensive play highlighted the first half for Bates. With 3:05 left in the second quarter, defensive lineman Terence Ryan (Milton, Mass.) sacked Librizzi, causing a fumble at the Wesleyan 12-yard line. Linebacker Dave Bodger (Lewiston, Maine) recovered the ball and ran it into the end zone to put the Bobcats on the scoreboard.
Todd Wilcox (Brentwood, N.H.) spearheaded the defense with 13 tackles, including three sacks, and an interception. Ron DiGravio (Farmington, Maine) also had 13 tackles, and Adam Kayce (North Easton, Mass.) also intercepted a pass.
It was Wesleyan’s first overtime game since Oct. 16, 2000, a 36-29 win over Bates in Middletown, Conn. Bates is now 3-2 in overtime games, the last one being a 38-35 victory over visiting Bowdoin on Nov. 3, 2001.
The game was played at Trinity College, due to Wesleyan’s flooded home field.