Bobcats look to beat Hamilton for fourth straight year
Bates College Bobcats (0-7) at Hamilton College Continentals (2-5)
November 10, 2007
Steuben Field, Clinton, N.Y.
|Shawki White ’09 will look to replicate his success in the Bobcats’ last trip to Hamilton, when he ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns.|
The Bobcats will try to avoid going 0-8 for the first time since 1996, and they have some history on their side, having defeated Hamilton three straight times to close the gap in the schools’ all-time series to a 16 to 13 edge for the Continentals.
Last Two Meetings
Bates and Hamilton entered last year’s meeting with the same records they hold today, but the Bobcats dominated the Continentals at Garcelon Field in a 20-6 victory. Running back Jamie Walker ’07 accounted for 162 yards of offense and Brandon Colon ’08 threw for 230 yards and hit Dylan MacNamara ’07 and Matt Gregg ’10 for touchdown strikes. But Bates was even more impressive on the defensive side of the ball, holding Hamilton to just 134 yards of offense. Hamilton was held to 17 rushing yards on 24 attempts, and Hamilton quarterbacks were picked off four times and sacked five times.
At Seaverns Field in 2005 the Bobcats triumphed 34-20 to finish 2-6, while Hamilton dropped to 1-7. Walker and Shawki White ’09 combined to rush for 262 yards and four touchdowns in that game.
Though winless, Bates only ranks last in the NESCAC in two major statistical categories: points allowed (27.9 ppg) and pass defense efficiency (120.9). The Bobcats have had moments throughout the season when their passing game has clicked, or their running game clicked, or they defended well against the run or against the pass, or when special teams helped in the field position battle. Putting all of them together at once has been their major challenge.
On offense, the three-headed running attack of junior Greg Thornton (75 att., 262 yds., 1 TD), junior Shawki White (72 att., 241 yds., 0 TD) and sophomore Judd Smith (40 att., 128 yds., 2 TD) has provided enough balance to average just a shade under 100 rushing yards a game (99.6), seventh in the NESCAC.
QB Brandon Colon has also spread the ball around, with five receivers averaging over 1.0 catches per game — sophomore Matt Gregg (29 rec., 240 yds., 1 TD), sophomore Tom Beaton (22 rec., 347 yds., 3 TD), senior TE Ross Van Horn (19 rec., 219 yds., 0 TD), sophomore TE Sean Wirth (10 rec., 96 yds., 2 TD) and RB Shawki White (9 rec., 94 yds., 0 TD). Beaton, who has returned punts and kickoffs, rushed the ball and even thrown a pass, ranks fourth in the NESCAC in all-purpose yards, with 107.7 per game. Colon is seventh in the conference in passing yards per game (165.0), and has succeeded when he has avoided the interception — his four pickoffs against Bowdoin gave him 11 this season.
On defense, sophomore safety Kyle McAllister has been a find this season. Listed as a running back to start the season, McAllister won the starting job to replace Adam Kayce ’07 and has been a playmaker all season long — his five interceptions tie him for the NESCAC lead, and his 144 return yards lead the league. McAllister also has 42 tackles to his credit and a team-high six pass breakups. Elsewhere, senior ILB Todd Wilcox ranks sixth in the NESCAC with 61 tackles, and senior DE Anthony Begon has come on strong of late: in the last two games Begon has a team-high 22 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and two sacks.
The Continentals were shut out for the first time this season in a 28-0 loss at Middlebury last Saturday. But the Continentals have been no pushovers in general, as evidenced by their No. 5 conference ranking in both total offense (310.4 yards per game) and total defense (313.0).
Hamilton has been especially stingy against the run, allowing a mere 88.6 yards per game, second only to Amherst in the NESCAC. On offense, the Continentals do most of their damage through the air, with 225.4 passing yards per game, second by a hair to NESCAC leader Williams (255.9). Senior quarterback Dan Hood has delivered the majority of those passes, completing 48.3 percent of his throws for 169.3 yards per game, with four touchdowns and 11 interceptions (five of them coming against Middlebury). Hamilton’s top two targets are senior Joe Rinaldo (27 catches, 294 yards, 1 TD) and sophomore Maxwell Foster (23 catches, 321 yards, 0 TD).
The Continentals have an average turnover margin of -1.00 per game, tying them with the Bobcats at eighth in that category.