CBB championship with a dramatic 34-28 overtime home victory over Colby; this time around they didn’t quite need as much drama, although the victory was just as sweet.
Bates beat Bowdoin 31-0 on Saturday afternoon, securing their second consecutive CBB championship for the first time since the 1966-67 seasons, and the third in the past four years. With the win, Bates improved to 2-5 on the season, while the Polar Bears dropped to 1-6.
“Obviously, it’s a great feeling,” wide receiver Mark Riley ‘16 said. “We worked extremely hard and made it one of our goals from the start of the season, so to accomplish it in back-to-back years feels great. Going out with a victory at home is the best, especially in front of our home crowd.”
Riley led all receivers with five catches for 93 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown strike early in the second quarter from quarterback Pat Dugan ‘16 to put the Bobcats up 14-0.
Coach Harriman, in his 18th year as head coach, won his fifth outright CBB championship with the victory on Saturday. “Since no team since the 1967 team has repeated as CBB champions, it separates this group from the pack and gives a very hard working group of guys a sense of accomplishment that few other Bobcat football teams have enjoyed,” he remarked.
The Bobcats were in control on both offense and defense throughout the game. Dugan rushed for one score and connected with Riley for another in the first half. The offensive line was efficient, not allowing any sacks and paving the way for 266 rushing yards. But just as the offense was in their best rhythm of the season, the defense easily played their best game of the year.
Bates held Bowdoin to -6 rushing yards, while recording 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, and forcing 2 more fumbles. Junior cornerback Trevor Lyons returned his 4th interception of the season 50 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Sophomore Max Breschi, who joined the team at the beginning of this season in addition to being a member of the lacrosse team, remarked, “We were flying all over the field disrupting any sorts of run game that they had. Their first few run attempts were unsuccessful, and they kind of veered away from the run game for the rest of the game. Once we got up on them by a couple of scores, they had no choice but to throw the ball.” Breschi finished the game with 3 tackles and a sack.
“Our defense always prepares well, and this was a culmination of their hard work,” added Harriman. “Seven weeks ago we started out with only 3 guys in this unit that started last year, so their evolution over the last couple of weeks has been great to see.”
The Bobcats conclude their season away against Hamilton this Saturday, in search of their third consecutive victory and a 3-5 finish.