Football survives late Bates surge
Junior quarterback Nick Kmetz gets a block from Conor Tidgwell '11. Colby survived a fourth-quarter scare against Bates, winning 10-6.
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The Colby Mules are halfway to securing the CBB (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin) Championship after a 10-6 win over Bates (1-5) this past Saturday at Garcelon Field in Lewiston, Maine.
Despite the fact that it was Bates' homecoming weekend, the Bobcats could not hold off the Mules. As a result, Colby moved to 3-3 in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play.
Only Colby got on the scoreboard during a quiet first half of play. In the middle of the second quarter, David Bendit '13 kicked a field goal from 21 yards out, setting the halftime score at 3-0.
Late in the third quarter, the Mules scored again when quarterback Nick Kmetz '12 completed a pass to Spencer Gopaul '13 for a 41-yard touchdown reception. Bendit knocked in the extra point to make the score 10-0.
Colby maintained control of the game well into the final quarter, most notably when Derrick Beasley '13 returned an intercepted pass from Bates' quarterback Trevor Smith for 36 yards.
The Bobcats didn't go quietly. They took advantage of an opportunity when defensive end Tyler Kuehl grabbed a tipped pass from Kmetz and returned it 71 yards to the Colby one-yard line. This enabled Jared Jammal's one-yard score. Kicker Gavin Segall-Abrams missed the extra-point attempt, leaving the Bobcats trailing by four, 10-6.
Colby succeeded in running down the clock on its next possession, which ended with a punt from Connor Sullivan '12 into the Bates end zone for a touchback.
With 1:46 left to play, Bates avoided a turnover-on-downs when Smith ran nine yards to secure a first down. After two incomplete passes, Smith found Evan Tierney on third-and-10 for 26 yards. Smith then completed a six-yard pass to John Squires. When Smith tried to connect with Squires in the end zone, the Mules were penalized for pass interference, which brought the Bobcats inside the Colby 15. On fourth-and-four, Smith chose to run the ball, but fell shy of the first down marker. Colby regained possession and ran down the final three seconds.
Kmetz went 17 for 26 with 197 yards of passing. Patrick Burns '11 had five catches for 100 yards. Connor Walsh '12 had four receptions for 42 yards and also threw a 37-yard pass to Burns. Conor Tidgwell '11 had 35 yards rushing on 13 carries.
On the defensive side, Tom Duffy '12 led the Mules with ten tackles, which brings his season total to a team-high 58. Brian Mellett '12, Lester Batiste '13, Ryan Veillette '13 and Philip Amato '13 each contributed seven tackles. Ryan Murphy '11 had a fumble recovery and six tackles of his own. Beasley's interception was his third of the season, a team-best. The Mules had five quarterback sacks, two of which were contributed by Veillette.
Colby will play at Tufts University this Saturday at noon. Bates will meet Bowdoin for the second game in the CBB Championship series. The Mules will finish off the championship series and the season against Bowdoin at home on Saturday, November 13.