For nearly a decade, the Bowdoin football team (1–0; 1–0 NESCAC) has been playing games on the road without a win—until last Saturday. With a 26–12 victory over Hamilton College (0–1; 0–1 NESCAC) in their season opener, the Polar Bears brought home their first road win since 2014. The victory also represents the first time in over 30 years that the team has consecutively won two season openers.
“My expectations were to play incredibly hard [and] deal with the unknown in the first game, and I think our guys did that,” Fish Family Head Coach of Football B. J. Hammer said.
A pair of touchdowns by Brendan King ’23 and Luke Watson ’27 in the first quarter saw Bowdoin take an early 13–0 lead. Watson scored his first collegiate touchdown from a 68-yard run following a screen pass thrown by quarterback and captain Andrew Boel ’24.
“If we [got] a first down, we [were] going to throw a play we’d been practicing a lot,” Watson said. “It was almost like muscle memory at that point. I just did my job and ran straight and just found the end zone.”
Jotham Casey ’25 converted two field goals in the second quarter, bringing the Polar Bears up to 19–0 by half-time.
“[We were] feeling good that we were up, but [we were] not where we wanted to be. We left so much out on the table,” Boel said. “Coming out in the second half, we wanted to really just try and score a few more times and [make] the game feel comfortable.”
James Doody ’26 scored a 48-yard touchdown just one minute into the fourth quarter to extend Bowdoin’s lead to 26. Hamilton scored two touchdowns in the final fourteen minutes to scrape out a final score of 26–12.
“It was one of [Doody’s] first catches in his college career, and he took it for a 50-yard touchdown, so that was awesome,” Boel said.
Koy Price ’25 and Max Jacobs ’23 led the team defensively with nine tackles each. Price also had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
Bowdoin also defeated the Continentals 41–13 last season but finished the year 3–6. Looking ahead to the rest of the season, the team is hoping to build off of this victory and perform equally well against other tough opponents.
“We lost some games, [but] there were really only two games that I felt like we were just a little overmatched, and that was Tufts and Trinity. Every other game was very, very winnable,” Hammer said. “I think we got some real positive momentum beating Colby in our final game and heading into the offseason with that.”
Saturday’s win also marked Bowdoin’s one thousandth football game. Boel hopes the team’s continuous training will lead them to victory in the next eight.
“I try to keep it simple,” Boel said. “We’ve practiced what we’re doing a million times over and over again. No matter what, if we just do what we’re good at, we should be fine.”
Hammer emphasized consistency as the team prepares for their upcoming home game against Williams College.
“There’s no magic formula, no magic play. It’s being consistent and continuing to get better,” he said. “It’s being consistent on offense, scoring in the red zone, eliminating any turnovers [and] working on ball security.”
Watson added that the win against Hamilton has bolstered the team’s confidence for the rest of the season.
“There’s definitely a lot of momentum,” Watson said. “You really only get nine opportunities in a season, so it’s really nice to get out and win.”
The football team returns to play against Williams (1–0; 1–0 NESCAC) tomorrow at 1 p.m. in its home opener at Whittier Field.