Football feasts on Continental breakfast
The Polar Bears put their first check in the win column by beating the
Hamilton Continentals 28-14 on Saturday of Parent's Weekend. The offense
came alive as sophomore tailback Rob Patchett ran for 167 yards.
The game did, however, have its ups and downs. At the end of the first half, Bowdoin was up by only six points. For the first time this season, the Polar Bears rose to the challenge and regained control of the game.
They did so by scoring 15 points in the second half. It was most definitely a game to be remembered.
When asked about the team's performance, Head Coach Dave Caputi said,
"The reason why this game is such a step up for the team is that
we dug ourselves out of a hole. We were down at the beginning of the game,
but we rose to the challenge, did not panic, and made plays when we needed
The most notable statistic is the rushing yardage that the Bears have put up this fall. In the 2000 and 2001 seasons, the Polar Bears rushed for an average of 89 and 148 yards per game, respectively. In 2002, even against top-ranked opponents, the Bears have averaged 183 yards per game, including a near 300-yard output against Hamilton. Bowdoin's status as league's second-ranked rushing team in the league is credit to an improved offensive line and running game.
The Bear's defense had some difficulty with the first three teams on the schedule, but over the last two games, the young defense has started to gel. The Bears let up only 132 yards rushing against Hamilton, and the Continentals' biggest gain was a 26-yard fake punt. Every other play was contained under 20 yards.
After the game, Gil Barndollar '04 said, "Hopefully this can be the turning point of our season." Over the next few games, the team is confident that the defense will continue taking positive steps forward.
Even thought the team is still quite young, some young players are stepping in and making an immediate impact upon the team. Offensively, first-year stand-out Matt "Touchdown Stealer" Boyd has run for five touchdowns in the first four games. Other first-years such as Bryan Duggan, last week's NESCAC Rookie of theWeek, Shaun Kezer, and Mike Minogue (one interception against Hamilton) have contributed greatly to the ever-improving Polar Bear defense.
Thanks to the improvement of the young defense as well as the composure on offense, the team morale has never been higher. Coach Caputi and the captains of the team have pushed the idea of having fun for the last two weeks.
Some players have been more vocal about the new "fun rule" than others. Defensive leader Jeb Boudreau '04, quite oddly, has even been heard singing "Steal My Kisses" by Ben Harper in the locker room and on the field.
Over the past few years, the Bears have worked extremely hard in season and out. The inflation of this year's statistics is evidence of that dedication. The "fun" approach put into the game-plan last week has led the Polar Bears to a 1-0 record. Confidence is high and the Bears know that they will be victorious more frequently from this point forward.
"1-3...they still stink." Bowdoin Football may have been the butt of many jokes and "Ritalin rumors" over the past few years, as they compiled a 1-15 record in their 2000-2001 seasons.
Some even compare the Bears to the 0-14, 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers that,
as the esteemed Dr. Casten professes, would have gone 0-16 if they could
have. But, as the Buccaneers evolved, so will the Polar Bears. With the
win at Hamilton under their belt, they are well along their way.