Wesleyan hands football 41-31 loss
In a game that wasn't nearly as close in the second half as the score
might indicate, the Bowdoin Polar Bears were defeated for the second straight
week at the hands of Wesleyan, 41-31.
During the game, standout Cardinals receiver George Thompson treated
a large homecoming crowd to several acrobatic catches. Thompson, whom
head coach Dave Caputi called "as good a wideout as the NESCAC has
seen in the past ten years," caught eight passes for 135 yards and
two touchdown passes.
Wesleyan's passing game, led by Thompson and quarterback Brennan Carney,
who completed 25 of 36 passes for 341 yards, was complemented by a strong
game from running back Young Douglas. Douglas, who rushed for 119 yards
on 22 carries, also scored three touchdowns.
There were a few bright spots on Bowdoin's offensive end last Saturday.
The line appears to have become more of a cohesive unit in every game,
providing junior quarterback Justin Hardison with more passing time in
Hardison was able to use this protection against Wesleyan, passing for
207 yards and one touchdown. Senior running back Mike Taylor rushed for
101 yards and put a touchdown on the board for the Bears.
Performances from Hardison, Taylor, and the rest of the offense were
not enough. "We lost our focus against Wesleyan," Caputi said.
"We're a young team, but that's no excuse."
The Cardinals were able to muster 496 yards against a lackluster Bowdoin
defense, which gave up over 40 points for the second game in a row.
The defense looks to regain the power it displayed three weeks ago against
Hamilton, but has been depleted by injury. "We're trying to regain
our health this week while we prepare for Bates this weekend," Caputi
This week's practices have included a change in some of the squad's defensive
formations. "The past two weeks, we faced teams that basically went
to the air from the first to last snap," Gaines said. "This
week, we expect Bates to come at us with a strong ground game."
The players' enthusiasm has shown through in practice this week, despite
the disappointing Homecoming loss last weekend. The Colby-Bates-Bowdoin
championship series opens this weekend when the Polar Bears travel to
Lewiston to meet the Bobcats.
Bates (0-6) lost the opening game of the CBB series to Colby last weekend,
Caputi is hoping that the team will come with the enthusiasm necessary
to win during the first leg of the CBB series.
"We have to be emotionally interested in the game," he said.
For Taylor and the rest of the seniors, this is will be the last time
they get a shot at their CBB rivals. While the first six games of the
season are important to the players, winning the CBB championship would
be more than enough to eliminate the sting of a 1-5 start.
"These next two are by far the most exciting games of the season,"
Gaines said. "Coach Caputi is constantly reminding us that the CBB
title is like a built-in playoff for us.
"This can be seen by the intensity at practice this week, because
those games are so steeped in tradition...it's hard not to feel excited
for them," he continued.