This Saturday, the football team will travel to Lewiston, looking to salvage their season with a victory over rival Bates.

"[The rivalry games] are big games, our guys look forward to them every year and we'll do our best to come away with the victory," said Coach Dave Caputi.

The Polar Bears suffered their first home loss of the season against Wesleyan in front of a large Parents Weekend crowd. The Bears fell behind by three touchdowns after a series of costly mistakes.

"Anything can happen on any given day. We lost our focus early and handed them 16 points," Caputi said.

On Wesleyan's opening drive, the Bears were unable to slow down the Cardinal attack, as Wesleyan quarterback Blake DuBois's skillful pass led to a touchdown drive in the back right corner of the Bowdoin endzone.

After a pair of unsuccessful attempts, Bowdoin moved the ball into Wesleyan territory before the Cardinals defense recovered a fumble by senior quarterback Oliver Kell, and returned it 35 yards for the touchdown, giving Wesleyan the early 14-0 lead.

On Bowdoin's next possession came another costly mistake. After the Polar Bears failed to pick up a first down, the team lined up to punt. The ball was snapped and before punter Beau Breton '13 could get the ball away, a Cardinal defender blocked the punt in the backfield. This resulted in Wesleyan's second defensive touchdown of the first quarter and gave them a 21-0 lead.

Midway through the second quarter, the Bowdoin offense began to get in rhythm. Kell completed all three of his pass attempts, cutting Wesleyan's lead to 21-6.

Wesleyan responded with a scoring drive of its own, this time following an interception by Kell. With only 38 yards to the endzone, the Cardinals and regained a three-touchdown advantage.

Another Bowdoin score before halftime cut Wesleyan's lead to 15. The Polar Bears knew they had a challenging road ahead of them if they hoped to get back in the game.

"We came out and played with a sense of urgency in the second half," said Caputi. "We stumbled out of the blocks but the touchdown right before halftime gave us confidence that we could come back. You're going to make mistakes and it's how you bounce back from them that matters."

Midway through the third quarter, Bowdoin scored it's third touchdown, but once again, was unable to complete a two-point conversion attempt. The Cardinals recovered a fumble and brought it into the Bowdoin end zone to leave the score at 29-18. At the end of third quarter, the chances of a Bowdoin comeback appeared to be fading.

Bowdoin would not lose quietly, though. Kell completed five of seven pass attempts and accounted for all the team's rushing yards on a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive, capped off by a five-yard touchdown pass to receiver Justin Starr '10.

Bowdoin continued its late rally when the defense forced Wesleyan to turn the ball over, giving Kell and the Polar Bear offense a chance to tighten the gap. The Bears celebrated their second touchdown of the fourth quarter after just 46 seconds.

After another defensive stop, Bowdoin regained possession at its own two-yard line. Eight plays, 98 yards and 1 minute, 39 seconds later, the Bears had completed one of the most impressive fourth-quarter comebacks in the team's history. On the back of Kell's third TD pass, this time a 38-yard catch-and-run by standout Pat Noone '12, the Bears took their first lead of the day with just over a minute remaining.

After the Polar Bear defense came up with a third-down sack, Bowdoin fans and players experienced a collective sinking feeling on fourth and 13 as Wesleyan completed a 16-yard pass for the first down. Three plays later, the Cardinals regained the lead with just over half a minute remaining.

Bowdoin's offense had one last chance to avoid falling to 2-4, but it proved to be too much to ask. The Polar Bears' hopes of a winning season were sacked on the final play.

"It's draining," said Caputi. "Those games hurt. Honestly it's really tough for a team to bounce back from that. Our guys are resilient and have been focused all week. We've had a few tough losses but that's part of the game."

Kell, who was named NESCAC Co-Player of the Week, threw for 478 yards and three touchdowns. Noone also played a good game, catching fourteen balls for a total of 201 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow wideout Starr finished the game with five catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. Jon Gren '13 added 12 catches for 120 yards.

"We've made a lot of progress this season," Caputi said. "Our guys have played really well and we've had a chance to come away with a victory in all of our games. We've had some disappointing outcomes but we're looking forward to these final two weeks [against Bates and Colby]."