On November 6, the football team narrowly missed out on a victory over Bates in its last home game and second-to-last game of the season. Playing under the lights in the third night game in the history of Whittier Field, the Polar Bears fell short by a score of 25-24.
The historic Bates vs. Bowdoin New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rivalry played a large role in the pre-game atmosphere.
“There was a lot of energy before the game,” running back Andre Eden ’24 said.
Wide receiver Griff Stalcup ’21 spoke to the role of the robust home crowd in the team’s excitement.
“It was great to see so many people come out and support us. We really appreciate it,” Stalcup wrote in an email to the Orient. “That was the biggest crowd we had all year, which made the game that much more fun to play in.”
The Polar Bears started the game strong, leading 10-0 at halftime and applying pressure to the Bobcats.
“Bates’ offense couldn’t do anything against our defense, and our offense was moving the ball at will,” Stalcup wrote.
Eden contributed to this offensive success, carrying the ball 30 times for 140 total yards. He attributed his ability to run the ball to his diligent teammates.
“I have an offensive line that works really hard and blocks really well, and they help me get to where I need to get to,” Eden said. “[The wide receivers] also make big plays and set up opportunities to score.”
The Polar Bears continued to match the attacks of the Bobcats throughout the game, creating a consequential final possession that was thrilling in the eyes of Stalcup.
“The last drive was one of the most exciting moments of football I had ever been a part of,” Stalcup wrote. “I thought our team left everything we had on the field, but we just came up a little short in the end.”
Looking to the future, both Stalcup and Eden have high hopes for the upcoming game at Colby College against the Mules this Saturday.
“We want to just come out, play super hard and get the win,” Eden said.
Stalcup echoed Eden’s thoughts, emphasizing the historical importance of the matchup.
“The Bowdoin-Colby game is one of the biggest rivalries in Division III football. It is the third oldest game in DIII,” Stalcup wrote.
The team has shown growth and potential throughout the season, recording its first win since 2018.
“We’re a super young team,” Eden said. “We have learned from our losses and mistakes, and we hope to execute a bit better and have better mental focus during the games going forward next season.”
Despite the fact that Stalcup will be graduating in the spring, he has confidence in future successes for the Polar Bears.
“It’s clear this football program is moving in the right direction. It won’t be long before Bowdoin is competing for a NESCAC championship year in and year out,” Stalcup wrote.