In the football team's final game of the season, the Polar Bears (2-5) will take on traditional rival Colby College (4-3). After being defeated by Bates for the first time since 2003, Bowdoin will look to finish the season on a high note by claiming a share of the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) title.

"As a senior, it would be good to go out with a win," said quarterback Oliver Kell '10. This year's graduating class "is a tight knit group. We've had a lot of fun playing together and, even though our record hasn't shown it, I think we've been successful. We've got one last chance to wear this uniform so I can guarantee you we'll be excited."

In Lewiston last Saturday, the Polar Bears narrowly missed out on a chance to win the CBB title outright for the fourth-straight season.

On the team's first drive of the game, Bowdoin's offense efficiently marched down a short field to score the game's first touchdown. Starting the drive at the Bates 32-yard line following a fumble recovery by defensive back, Bobby Welch '10, the Polar Bears needed just five plays to take the early lead on Kell's one-yard run.

Bowdoin's next score would also come after a Bates turnover. After allowing the Bates offense into the red zone, defensive back Will McIver '10 intercepted a pass in the end zone to give the Polar Bears possession at their own 20-yard line.

Kell and the Polar Bear offense made sure to take advantage of McIver's momentum-swinging play as they marched down to the Bates nine-yard line before being forced to settle for a field goal and the 10-point lead.

Bates would respond with a scoring drive of its own to pull within a field goal at halftime. The drive spanned 57 yards on seven plays, including a nine-yard completion for the touchdown.

After opening the second half with an 11-yard completion, Kell plowed headfirst into a group of Bates defenders for a two-yard gain. A seemingly innocuous play became a major problem for the Polar Bears when Kell grabbed his throwing shoulder in pain, and eventually left the game with a separated shoulder.

"Oliver Kell is one of the toughest guys I know," said offensive lineman Joe Smith '12. "He's played hard all season long so to see him get knocked out of the game was rattling."

With the record-breaking quarterback sidelined, the team looked to sophomore quarterback R.J. Shea.

"RJ's got a lot of talent, he's not quite as mobile as Kell but he's got a strong arm," Smith said. "We were confident in his ability to lead our offense."

That confidence appeared to be well founded as Shea led the Polar Bears to their second touchdown of the game, scoring on a one-yard run. The drive went 76 yards on 15 plays to give Bowdoin a 17-7 lead.

Bates again responded with a touchdown to cut Bowdoin's lead to three as time in the third quarter ran out, this time on a five-yard touchdown pass.

After Bowdoin's opening drive of the fourth quarter stalled, Bates regained possession with a chance to tie or take the lead.

Senior captain Matt Leotti had other ideas as he intercepted Bates quarterback Trevor Smith and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown to give Bowdoin the 10 point fourth quarter lead.

Bates refused to give in, however, as they capitalized on junior kicker Billy Donahue's kick out of bounds on the subsequent kickoff. With a short field, Bates needed just three plays to get back within three points.

In what turned out to be the game's decisive play, Shea's pass was intercepted by Bates defensive end Tyler Kuehl and returned 25 yards for the touchdown. With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Bates had its first lead.

Bowdoin got the ball back two more times, but failed to score as Bates held on for the 28-24 victory.

"We did a lot of things well, but once again, we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory," said lineman Chris Grillo '11. "It's disappointing, but I know we'll come out and do our best to beat Colby on Saturday."

"The season has been a little bit of a disappointment but we've played well and I think we've set a good foundation for the future of this program," said Kell.

Kell and his senior teammates will have one more opportunity to play as Polar Bears when they take on the Mules this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in search of their fourth straight CBB title.