Football grinds out victory against Bowdoin

Mark Snickenberger '11
Mark Snickenberger '11

Mark Snickenberger '11 tied a Hamilton College record with four rushing touchdowns and the Continentals went on to a 28-17 New England Small College Athletic Conference victory against visiting Bowdoin College at Steuben Field on Oct. 11.

Five Hamilton players had rushed for four touchdowns in one game prior to Saturday. The most recent to accomplish the feat was Brandon Holtslag against Bowdoin in 2004. Snickenberger finished the game with 99 yards on 21 carries.

Jordan Eck '12 was 16-of-24 passing for 179 yards. Eck left the game midway through the fourth quarter after he got up slowly following a 5-yard scramble. His injury did not appear to be serious. Scott Kleinklaus '11 set career highs with 11 catches for 134 yards.

The Continentals (2-2 NESCAC) have won five of the last six meetings with Bowdoin and Hamilton leads the all-time series, 15-10. The Continentals gained 141 yards on the ground while the Polar Bears (1-3) had 88. Hamilton didn't commit a turnover and the defense intercepted two Bowdoin passes. The Polar Bears were just 2-of-12 on third-down conversions.

Two of the Continentals' first three drives ended in touchdowns as Hamilton built an early 14-0 lead. John Lawrence '10 gave the Continentals the ball at the Bowdoin 46 after he returned an interception 32 yards just 55 seconds into the first quarter. Eck started the drive with three straight completions to Kleinklaus.

Hamilton faced a third-and-seven later in the drive from the Polar Bears' 10, but Eck found Ben Tomaszewski '10 along the right sideline for eight yards to the 2-yard line. Two plays later, Snickenberger scored from the 2. George Taylor '11 added the extra point with 9:22 left.

Snickenberger scored again from 2 yards out with 13:55 left in the second quarter. Eck completed a 34-yard pass to Kleinklaus to the Bowdoin 7 on the first play of the quarter. A 42-yard field goal try by Taylor that would have made the score 17-0 hit the crossbar as time ran out at the end of the half.

The lead grew to 21-0 with 8:48 left in the third quarter on a 1-yard plunge by Snickenberger. Kleinklaus caught a 21-yard pass on the first play of the 6-play drive, and Max Foster '10 snared a 24-yard pass on third-and-eight that put the ball at the 2.

The Polar Bears finally answered with 17 straight points. It took Bowdoin just two plays after the Continentals' third touchdown to get on the scoreboard. The Polar Bears turned a screen pass into a 68-yard touchdown and added the extra point with 8:00 left in the third.

Hamilton went three-and-out on its next possession and the Polar Bears took over on their own 41. A pass interference penalty on the Continentals put the ball at the Hamilton 44, and on the next play a Bowdoin receiver was left all alone down the left sideline for a touchdown with 5:19 remaining in the quarter.

After another brief possession for the Continentals, Bowdoin embarked on a 15-play drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters. The drive was aided by a 6-yard run to the Hamilton 40 on a fake punt. The Polar Bears stalled at the 6, but booted a 24-yard field goal, and Bowdoin was within four points with 11:33 remaining.

The Continentals missed a 27-yard field goal wide left on their next possession. The Polar Bears then ended up with a fourth-and-two at their own 38, but a pass fell incomplete and Hamilton got the ball back in great field position. Kleinklaus leaped high for a 26-yard pass from Steve Mello '11 at the Bowdoin 3, and Snickenberger ran it in from there for the final points with 1:43 left.

Brian O'Malley '10 paced the Continentals with a career-high nine tackles. Ted Finan '12 returned an interception 30 yards and James Gibson '09 forced a fumble. Finan and Lawrence lead the team with three picks apiece. Taylor Soobitsky '09 recorded a 5-yard sack on the game's second play.

Hamilton travels to Colby College for another NESCAC game on Saturday, Oct. 18, at noon.

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