Coming off another hard-fought loss—this time at the hands of the undefeated Trinity Bantams—the Polar Bears know they have to be perfect the rest of the season if they hope to finish with Bowdoin football's first winning record since 2005, when the team went 6-2.

This Saturday, the Bears will play host to the Wesleyan Cardinals as they look to even their season's record at 3-3.

"[Finishing the year with a winning record] would mean a lot," said quarterback Oliver Kell '10. "Each of the four years the seniors have been here, we've improved our record and winning out would continue that trend."

On the field last Saturday, the Polar Bears showed they have the mettle to go toe to toe with the best that NESCAC football has to offer.

Despite Trinity College's daunting 33-game home winning streak, the Polar Bears believed they had the talent to compete with the Bantams.

"We know how good Trinity is and how good they have been," said starting offensive lineman Joe Smith '12, "especially on their home field, but we've been playing at a pretty high level this year so I definitely felt like we had a chance."

Down 21-7 after Trinity quarterback Chris Drubosky's third touchdown pass of the first half, that confidence would be strongly tested.

"There was no fire and brimstone speech, I just told our guys to go out there and relax," said Coach David Caputi. "Everything was all there, we just had to keep our cool in tight situations and execute the way we were capable of executing."

After a Trinity field goal pushed the Bantam's lead to 17, Bowdoin's quarterback and senior captain Oliver Kell '10 began to find his rhythm, connecting on three straight passes including a 26-yard touchdown to his record-breaking sophomore target, Pat Noone.

The Polar Bears continued their furious comeback after sophomore linebacker Ian Vieira's sack forced the ball loose to give Bowdoin possession in Trinity territory.

The team quickly capitalized on Trinity's mistake, as Kell tossed his third touchdown pass of the game to senior receiver, Kevin Sullivan.

After Bowdoin's defense forced a three and out, Kell and the Polar Bear offense looked prime to take the lead after a 41-yard completion gave Bowdoin the ball within Trinity's 20-yard line. However, the Polar Bears were forced to settle for the game-tying field goal.

"I'm proud that our guys battled back," said Caputi. "They very easily could have folded the tents but they hung in there. [Trinity] was close to putting us away but our defense was resilient and our offense managed to come through with some big plays."

With just over a minute remaining on the clock, it looked like Bowdoin would head into the fourth quarter with a share of the lead. Trinity's offense had other ideas, however, as they moved the ball efficiently down the field for a 7-play, 61 yard drive capped off by a five-yard touchdown run as time expired.

Not to be outdone, Kell led the offense down the field for a score of its own, completing all six of his pass attempts, including a three-yard touchdown to receiver Jon Gren '13.

"I think we've got some great leaders at key positions," Kell said, "that allows a team to keep a level head and never give up, no matter the situation we're in."

Tied at 31, Trinity again responded, as Trinity quarterback Chris Drubosky delivered his fourth touchdown of the game.

Hoping for another late scoring drive, the Polar Bears moved the ball into Trinity territory before a bad snap out of the shotgun forced a Kell fumble and gave Trinity the ball on Bowdoin's 22-yard line.

What seemed like automatic points for Trinity were erased by a timely interception by Bowdoin's Michael Blouin '12 to give the Polar Bear offense a chance at redemption.

But Trinity's defense proved too much for the Polar Bears to overcome, as the Bantams clamped down, forcing six straight incompletions on Bowdoin's final two possessions.

Despite their impressive performance, the atmosphere in the visitor's locker room was decidedly subdued.

"I don't think guys were celebrating about having kept it close," Caputi said. "There's really no place for moral victories, we all felt that a play here, a play there, really could have made for a different outcome."

Kell completed 28 of 48 pass attempts for 358 yards and four touchdowns en route to becoming Bowdoin's all-time record holder for both single-season and career touchdown passes.

When asked about his achievements, Kell preferred to focus on the reality of where his team stands.

"It might be cool to look back after I graduate and tell my kids that I have these records, but the reality is we're an under .500 team right now and this game's about winning," Kell said. "If you can't get wins, then individual accomplishments don't mean a whole lot."

Despite the loss, the team remains upbeat heading into Saturday's contest against Wesleyan.

"This weekend's game is very important," said Kell. "If we don't win this game many of us will consider this season a huge disappointment. If we play the way we're capable of I have all the confidence in the world that we'll come out on top."