It's not often that D-III athletics are featured on national television, even for just one play. But on Sunday, two of the football team's highlights were featured in the third and fourth spots on ESPN's SportsCenter Top Ten.
The historic plays occurred during Bowdoin's 27-6 victory over Tufts last Saturday, in which the Polar Bears set a NESCAC record by returning two interceptions for touchdowns of over 99 yards, making these two plays the longest in the history of the College.
The feat may also be the first of its kind for any D-III team, though that is unconfirmed.
Joey Cleary '14 started off the scoring in the second quarter with a 99 yard pick-six, then, with just over four minutes left in the game, classmate Griffin Cardew one-upped him—by one yard—with a 100 yard return off goal-line interception.
Both of these plays were featured on the Top Ten, with Cleary's checking in at No. 4 and Cardew's one spot higher. The two interception returns were also shown on ESPNU.
For his efforts, which also included seven tackles (six solo) and one sack, Cleary was named the NESCAC defensive player of the week.
In the second half of the game, the Polar Bears had possession of the ball for more than twice as long as the Jumbos. This included a seven-minute, 86-yard drive of 16 plays to open the final quarter.
Also against Tufts, Zach Donnarumma '14 finished with 28 rushes for an even 100 yards, while captain Pat Noone '12 led the team with 48 yards in the air. Quarterback Grant White '14 finished the day 13-of-16 for 101 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 62 yards.
The six points allowed were the fewest for Bowdoin since 2008.
"We were very pleased with the outcome," said Head Coach Dave Caputi. "The win was the most important, and the ESPN stuff was icing on the cake"
Against Amherst a week earlier, Bowdoin took the early lead off a Jim Garvey '14 field goal with 4:21 left in the first half, but Amherst scored soon thereafter.
The Lord Jeffs never gave the Polar Bears another chance, winning 20-3.
White completed 13 of 23 passes for 73 yards and three interceptions, Donnarumma led the team with 22 rushes for 75 yards, and Cardew and David Nurse '13 had the most tackles, with 10 each.
Now 1-2, Bowdoin plays Hamilton (2-1) tomorrow at noon in its Homecoming game.
-Compiled by Sam Weyrauch.