Football Preview: Bobcats, White Mules to clash for 109th time
Bates College Bobcats (0-5) vs. Colby College Mules (1-4)
Garcelon Field – Lewiston, Maine
Homecoming Weekend: October 28th, 2006 – 1 p.m.
Bates and Colby have met 108 times in football since 1892, with the Mules leading the all-time series 61-41-6. Colby has won the last three contests against Bates, with the Bobcats’ last win coming in 2002 en route to the CBB title.
|Jamie Walker ’07 and the Bobcats seek their first win against rival Colby College on Homecoming Saturday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.|
Last Year’s Meeting
Colby was able to thwart a late Bobcat surge to hang on for a 24-17 victory in Waterville on Oct. 29, 2005. A 35-yard field goal by Bates kicker Tyler Schmelz with 12:10 remaining in the fourth quarter cut the Colby lead to 21-17, but that was as close as the Bobcats would get. Offensively for Bates, quarterback Brandon Colon threw for a season-high 245 yards on 22-for-45 passing with one touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, defensive end Terence Ryan led the way with 11 tackles, including three sacks of Colby quarterback Justin Smith. Smith was sacked a total of six times on the afternoon by the Bobcat defense. Colby’s running game proved to be too much for the Bobcats; however, as running back Aaron Stepka rushed for 117 yards on 29 carries to propel the Mules to the victory.
Formally known as the “Maine State Championship Series,” the CBB stands as one of college football’s most historic traditions. Competition began between the championship’s original contenders in 1895 and continues to highlight the college football season in the state today. The original affiliates of the series included present members Colby, Bates and Bowdoin, as well as the University of Maine at Orono. The series held this format from its inception in 1895 until 1964, when UMaine made the jump to Division I. Once UMaine left the series, it took on the acronym CBB (standing for Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin). Colby has held the CBB football title for each of the last three seasons. Bates last garnered the CBB hardware in 2002.
Coming off of a 2005 campaign in which the Mules tallied seven victories, Colby looked to carry the momentum over into another successful season in 2006. The graduation of a stellar senior class and a handful of injuries made the first half of the Mule’s schedule that much tougher, however. In the first four weeks of the season, Colby took on three of the conference’s top four teams in Amherst, Middlebury, and Trinity. Those three teams are a combined 12-3 through week five, so Colby’s record may not be indicative of their talent and potential after all. Junior tailback Chris Bashaw has paced the running game for the Mules, netting 51 yards/game on the ground, and three-year starter Justin Smith returns at quarterback, throwing for almost 130 yards per game and four touchdowns on the year. Defensively, senior linebacker Andrew Heaney ranks 11th in the conference with his 38 tackles. Heaney and senior safety Mike Bracco (North Hampton, N.H.) lead a unit that ranks fifth in the conference in total defense.
In a tough loss last weekend at the hands of now 4-1 Middlebury, senior tailback Jamie Walker once again emerged as a Bobcat bright spot, rushing for a game-high 71 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Walker’s score tied the game at 7-7 with 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Wide receiver Dylan MacNamara led the Bates air attack with his seven catches for 84 yards, a season high for the senior from San Francisco. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bobcats were led by a solid performance by senior defensive end Terence Ryan, who posted a team-high eight tackles, including four for a loss, and two sacks. Colby has allowed a league-worst 23 sacks on the year, so an important match up to watch will be Colby’s pass protection against the Bobcats’ speedy pass rush unit of Ryan, DE Anthony Begon, DT Eric Obeng, DT Chris Robinson and DT Tim Casey.
2006 Bates Schedule/Results (0-5 NESCAC)
9/23 @ Amherst L, 6-31
9/30 @Tufts L, 12-21
10/7 WILLIAMS L, 7-27
10/14 WESLEYAN L, 14-17 (OT)
10/21 @Middlebury L, 7-31
10/28 COLBY* 1 p.m.
11/4 @Bowdoin 12:30 p.m.
11/11 HAMILTON 12 p.m.
* – Homecoming Weekend
2006 Colby Schedule/Results (1-4 NESCAC)
9/23 @Trinity L, 13-27
9/30 MIDDLEBURY L, 0-23
10/7 WESLEYAN W, 24-21
10/14 @Amherst L, 3-38
10/21 HAMILTON L, 0-6
10/28 @Bates 1 p.m.
11/4 @Tufts 12:30 p.m.
11/11 BOWDOIN 12:30 p.m.
Honoring Al Goddard ’53
|Al Goddard ’53 chats with friends, including Dick Coughlin ’53 (right), on the first tee at the Reunion 2006 golf tournament. Despite being in the early stages of ALS, the indefatigable Goddard walked the entire 18 holes that day.|
Near the conclusion of halftime, Bates will honor Alan C. Goddard ’53, who in 1954 created Bates’ first football award. Led by Dana Mulholland, interim director of athletics, the program will welcome past winners of the Goddard Award, President Elaine Tuttle Hansen and other College officials, the current football team and coaches, past head coaches including Director Emeritus of Athletics Robert Hatch and Web Harrison ’63, and friends and family members. The ceremony will conclude with the singing of “Fight on for Bates”:
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight on for Bates,
The vict’rys at our door;
Today the Garnet Bobcat conquers again,
Hathorn rings out adding on another win;
While down the field the Garnet is marching, piling up the score —
So fight…for Bates…and glory give us more, more, more! Hey!
– Words and music by Hal Hunter ’55
This Week in the NESCAC
Bowdoin at Wesleyan, 12:30 p.m. – The matchup to watch in this contest may be between Wesleyan senior linebacker Quincy Francis and Bowdoin junior running back Jeff Smith. Francis is averaging a league-high 12.2 tackles/game for the Cardinals and Smith is second in the conference in rushing yards/game for the Polar Bears.
Middlebury at Trinity, 12:30 p.m. – In a battle of one-loss teams, both the Panthers and the Bantams hope to keep pace with conference-leading Williams. Trinity running back Gennaro Leo once again leads the Trinity offensive attack, rushing for a league-high 92 yards/game. This week he and the Bantam offense will be tested against the third-ranked defense in the conference.
Tufts at Amherst, 1 p.m. – Two very different styles of offense will be on display as the pass-happy Lord Jeffs visit the run-oriented Tufts Jumbos. Amherst ranks second in the conference in passing and the Jumbos remain among the top teams in the NESCAC in rushing proficiency. The X factor may be the Amherst defense, which ranks number two in the conference in total defense.
Williams at Hamilton, 1 p.m. – The Ephs take their unblemished record to Central New York to face the rolling Continentals of Hamilton College. Hamilton has reeled off consecutive wins against Bowdoin and Colby, but will need all the momentum it can muster against the high-powered Williams offense. The Ephs lead the league in both scoring and passing yards per game.