Football Preview: Continentals come to Garcelon for season finale
Hamilton College Continentals (2-5) at Bates College Bobcats (0-7)
Garcelon Field – Lewiston, Maine
November 11th, 2006 – 12 p.m.
Bates is 12-16 all-time against Hamilton, but the Bobcats have won the past two seasons.
Jamie Walker will look to match last season’s performance against Hamilton, in which he ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
Last Year’s Meeting
Jamie Walker and Shawki White combined to rush for 262 yards and four touchdowns to lead Bates College to a 34-20 win at Hamilton’s Steuben Field on Nov. 12, 2005.
Bates (2-6 overall) finished the season tied for seventh out of 10 teams, along with Tufts University, in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. The Continentals (1-7) lost their last six games and ended up ninth.
Walker rushed for 131 yards on a game-high 27 carries and scored two first-half touchdowns. White, now a starting cornerback for the Bobcats, ran for a career-high 131 yards on 22 carries and recorded his two scoring runs in the second half. Quarterback Brandon Colon completed 12-of-22 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown to Dylan MacNamara.
The Continentals’ Dan Hood accounted for 288 yards of offense. Hood was 23-of-44 for a season-high 212 yards and a touchdown, but threw three interceptions. He ran for a career-high 76 yards and another score. Joe Rinaldo caught a season-high nine passes for 71 yards. Rinaldo’s 45 receptions are tied for the fourth most in one season at Hamilton.
Linebacker Dave Bodger ’06 posted nine tackles to lead a Bobcat defense that forced four turnovers. Terence Ryan added two sacks to his conference-leading total. Ryan also forced two fumbles and had eight tackles. Adam Kayce picked off two passes and broke up another.
Matt Pitarresi was credited with a season-high 14 tackles for the Continentals.
The main reason the Continentals have improved from 1-7 in 2005 to 2-5 thus far in 2006 is defense. Hamilton has allowed a mere 8.9 points per game, third in the NESCAC, and has forced a league-high 20 turnovers. Both of Hamilton’s wins have been shutouts. Unfortunately for the Continentals, all five of their losses have also been shutouts, and they average a conference-low 2.6 points per game.
Sophomore quarterback Ben Saccomano is passing for 107.3 yards per game with a 47.0 completion percentage, and he has been picked off 12 times compared to two touchdown passes. His primary receiving threat is junior Joe Rinaldo, who averages 3.86 catches for 43.4 yards per game. Hamilton rushes for only 55.1 yards per game as a team, led by sophomore Jim Chapman (29.2 ypg). Sophomore lineman Taylor Soobitsky has 8.5 sacks thus far, third in the league.
|With 9.5 sacks thus far, Terence Ryan is poised to surpass the school record he set last season of 10.5.|
It’s been a frustrating year for Bates. One week, turnovers plague the Bobcats. Another, it’s a momentary lull on defense. One half, it’s the inability to move the ball, and another it’s the inability to stop the pass.
The Bobcats rank last in the NESCAC in turnovers (18), pass defense (209.9) and pass efficiency (74.9), but are strong in other areas. Bates has yet to allow an opponent to gain 100 yards rushing, and ranks third in the conference in that rush defense at 74.3 yards per game. The Bobcats are fifth in passing offense, with 142.1 yards per game, and has the second leading rusher in the conference, Jamie Walker, who averages 70.6 yards on the ground and has rushed for five touchdowns. Dylan MacNamara (55.7) and Matt Gregg (50.0) both rank among the top eight in the conference in receiving yards per game, but neither player has found the end zone yet.
Senior defensive end Terence Ryan matched a NESCAC record in 2005 with 10.5 sacks, and entering the Hamilton game with 9.5 this season, Ryan is poised to reach the same number or better. But the conference record Ryan held has already been surpassed by Middlebury’s Kevin Ryan, who has 13.5 sacks thus far.
Welcome Back, Coach
Steve Stetson entered the season with a 9-14-1 record as head coach at Hamilton. But that record came from the 1982-84 seasons. So where has he been?
Stetson led the Continentals to a 6-1-1 record in his final season at Hamilton, the Continentals’ first winning season since 1967, and moved on to become head coach at Boston University. From BU, Stetson migrated in 1991 to Hartwick College, where he revived the program after a 42-year hiatus. For the past four years, Stetson has served as associate head coach and defensive line coach at New Hampshire, his home state.
2006 Bates Schedule/Results (0-7)
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* L, 7-10 (4OT)
11/4 @Bowdoin L, 14-23
11/11 HAMILTON 12 p.m.
* – Homecoming Weekend
2006 Hamilton Schedule/Results (2-5)
9/23 @ Tufts L, 0-17
9/30 @ Wesleyan L, 0-7
10/7 TRINITY L, 0-13
10/14 BOWDOIN W, 12-0
10/21 @ Colby W, 6-0
10/28 WILLIAMS L, 0-15
11/4 MIDDLEBURY L, 0-10
11/11 @ Bates 12 p.m.
This Week in the NESCAC
Trinity (6-1) at Wesleyan (3-4), 12 p.m.: The Bantams have been squawking mad ever since Williams snapped their record 31-game win streak. Since that day, Trinity is 5-0 and has outscored the opposition 122-3.
Williams (7-0) at Amherst (5-2), 12 p.m.: Licking their wounds after a lopsided 24-0 loss at Trinity on Saturday, the host Lord Jeffs can make everything better
Bowdoin (1-6) at Colby (2-5), 12:30 p.m.: The CBB title is on the line, and the host White Mules are looking for their fourth straight.
Tufts (4-3) at Middlebury (5-2), 12:30 p.m.: Middlebury has allowed 74 points in losses to Williams and Trinity, and only 19 in its five wins combined. The Jumbos edged Colby 7-0 last Saturday to stem a three-game losing streak.