Bowdoin College allowed 254 yards of offense and forced four turnovers as the Polar Bears defeated visiting Hamilton College 21-7 in a New England Small College Athletic Conference game played at Whittier Field on Oct. 17.
After a scoreless first quarter, Bowdoin grabbed a 14-0 lead with two touchdowns in the second quarter. Hamilton (1-3 overall, 1-3 NESCAC) cut its deficit in half with 2 minutes, 19 seconds left before the break when Lance Wilson '11 threaded a 24-yard pass to Ryan Cray '12, who made it inside the pylon. Wilson has five touchdown passes this year. George Taylor '11 added the extra point.
The Polar Bears (2-2, 2-2) held the Continentals scoreless in the second half. Bowdoin clinched the victory with a touchdown with 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The two-play drive was set up by a 37-yard punt return to the Hamilton 8.
Mark Snickenberger '11 ran for a team-high 55 yards on 16 carries. Wilson completed 13 passes for 168 yards with two interceptions. He was sacked four times. Tight end Kevin Petrick '13 recorded five receptions for 71 yards.
John Lawrence '10 was credited with a game-high 10 tackles, including nine solo stops, and broke up a pass. Mike MacDonald '13 added nine tackles and knocked away a pass. Burke St. John '11 chipped in seven tackles, including two sacks, and forced a fumble. Jim Forrey '13 picked up his first collegiate sack. Landrey Mack '10 and Camron Waugh '13 registered one-half sack apiece. Ted Finan '12 made six tackles and returned three kickoffs a total of 78 yards.
The Polar Bears received the opening kickoff and started their first drive at the Bowdoin 33. The Polar Bears completed a short pass on the first play from scrimmage, but the receiver fumbled and Brian O'Malley '10 recovered the ball at the 23-yard line.
The Continentals couldn't take advantage of the great field position. Hamilton drove to the Bowdoin 8, where Wilson completed a pass to Cray on second down-and-7. However, Cray fumbled and the Polar Bears recovered at their 9.
The Continentals' next drive started at their own 15. Hamilton gained four first downs on nine straight running plays to open the drive. On the 10th play, Wilson threw a pass that was picked off at the Bowdoin 23.
The Polar Bears took the next drive to the Continentals' 6 where it stalled and Bowdoin tried a 24-yard field goal on fourth-and-goal. On the first play of the second quarter, Brad Kennedy '13 blocked the kick, and Hamilton recovered at its own 15.
After a punt by the Continentals, the Polar Bears drove 56 yards in five plays to score the first touchdown with 11:08 left in the half. The teams traded punts and Hamilton had the ball at its own 38 midway through the quarter. On the first play of that drive, Bowdoin intercepted Wilson again at the Continentals' 49. Ten plays later, the Polar Bears scored their second touchdown with 4:08 remaining.
Hamilton avoided the shutout with a touchdown on the next possession. Wilson accounted for 67 of the 73 yards on the six-play drive. The big plays were a 24-yard run, a 19-yard pass to Petrick and the 24-yard completion to Cray for the score.
Bowdoin threatened to score again before the half. The Polar Bears returned the ensuing kickoff to their 40, and a 51-yard pass play put the ball deep in the Continentals' territory. Bowdoin attempted a 21-yard field goal, but Hamilton came up with its second block of the afternoon. This time Jared Kochenash '13 got through the line to get a hand on the ball.
The Continentals reached the Polar Bears' red zone once in the second half. Early in the fourth quarter, Wilson drove Hamilton from its own 17 to the Bowdoin 14 on four completions for 69 yards. Petrick caught three of the passes for 47 yards. However, on fourth-and-3, Wilson's pass was batted away and the Polar Bears took over on downs.
Bowdoin controlled the time of possession as the Polar Bears had the ball for more than 35 minutes. The Continentals' stingy run defense limited Bowdoin to 78 yards on 37 attempts. The Polar Bears had lost the previous three meetings in this series.
Hamilton returns home to Steuben Field to play Colby College in another NESCAC game on Saturday, Oct. 24, at noon.