October 13, 2012

Hamilton wins first game of the season over Bowdoin

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Jeff Hopsicker '15 threw a touchdown pass to Joe Jensen '15 and Garrett Hoy '13 kicked the extra point with 5:16 left in the fourth quarter to help lift Hamilton College to a 14-13 win against Bowdoin College in a NESCAC game at Hamilton's Steuben Field on Oct. 13.

Both teams are 1-3 overall and in the conference. The Continentals knocked off Bowdoin at home for the fifth straight time. The Polar Bears' last win at Steuben Field was in 2002.

Jordan Eck '13 got his first start this year at quarterback for Hamilton and was 14 of 25 for 155 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Hopsicker's lone completion out of two attempts was the TD toss to Jensen. Hopsicker also ran for 42 yards on eight carries and James Stanell '14 ran 28 times for 76 yards. Simon Jia '16 caught eight passes for a game-high 85 yards with one touchdown and Jensen finished with three catches for 66 yards.

Mike MacDonald '13 was credited with a season-high 16 tackles, including 13 solo stops, and broke up two passes for the Continentals. Jared Kochenash '13 chipped in 11 tackles and one pass breakup. Zach Klein '15 posted 3.5 tackles for a loss of 13 yards, including one sack. Dan Peters '13 came up with the fifth interception of his career, and the first by the Hamilton defense for 2012.

Thomas Romero '14 was 18 of 35 passing for 206 yards with one touchdown for Bowdoin. Zach Donnarumma '14 ran for a game-high 84 yards on 27 carries and David Black '15 led the Polar Bears with 71 receiving yards. Jimmy Garvey '14 made half of his four field goal attempts.

Jon Fraser '15 and Tom Wells '15 paced the Bowdoin defense with nine tackles apiece. Wells also forced a fumble and Fraser had an interception. Brian Glazewski '14 recorded a sack for a loss of 12 yards and Jibrail Coy '16 recovered a fumble.

The Continentals trailed 13-7 when they took over at their own 33-yard line with 7:56 left in the fourth quarter. Hopsicker and Stanell combined to gain 26 yards on five straight rushing attempts, and that put Hamilton at the Polar Bear 41. On first down, Hopsicker faked a pitch to Jia and lofted a long pass to Jensen, who caught the ball in stride at the goal line to tie the score. Hoy's PAT was the go-ahead point.

Bowdoin went three-and-out on its next drive, but the Polar Bears got the ball back at their own 20 with 2:20 remaining. Bowdoin generated 3 yards on its next three plays, and on fourth-and-7, Peters picked off Romero at the Polar Bear 35. The Continentals ran out the final 74 seconds for their first win of the year.

Neither team generated any points early on, but they had chances. At the end of Hamilton's first drive of the afternoon, Hoy missed a 38-yard field goal attempt to the left with 8:57 left in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Garvey was short on a 39-yard attempt for Bowdoin with 8:14 remaining.

The Polar Bears broke the ice on their next drive. Romero capped a 14-play march that started at Bowdoin's own 18 with a 33-yard strike to Ken Skon '16 in the end zone with 1:15 left in the half. The Polar Bears were 4 of 4 on third down during the drive. Garvey added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Eck and the Continentals came out firing in the second half. Stanell returned the opening kickoff 20 yards to the Hamilton 28, and on second down, Bowdoin was penalized 15 yards for illegal helmet contact after a 3-yard completion to Jensen. Stanell ran 10 yards to the Polar Bear 45 and Eck found Ethan Dukes '16 for 19 yards on the next play. Eck passed to Jia in the middle of the field and Jia ran into the end zone for a 26-yard score with 12:57 remaining in the third quarter. Hoy's PAT tied the score.

Garvey had a chance to put Bowdoin back on top midway through the third, but was wide left on a 35-yard attempt with 5:26 left. He came back to nail a 31-yarder with 13:10 remaining on the Polar Bears' first possession of the fourth quarter. Romero's 44-yard pass to Black down to the Continental 9 was the big play of the scoring drive.

With 9:25 left in the fourth, Fraser intercepted Eck at the Hamilton 40. On the next play, Donnarumma ran for 13 yards, and a face mask penalty on the Continentals put that ball at the 14. Bowdoin was promptly called for a false start (the Polar Bears finished with 95 yards in penalties), and after two incomplete passes, Donnarumma ran 9 yards down to the 10. Garvey booted a field goal from 27 yards out for the 13-7 advantage with 8:01 remaining.

Total yardage was nearly even with 311 for Bowdoin and 313 for Hamilton. The Continentals were allowing more than 300 yards per game on the ground entering today, but the Polar Bears generated just 105 yards of rushing offense. Hamilton has scored 14 points in all four games this year.

The Continentals travel to winless Colby College on Saturday, Oct. 20, and Bowdoin hosts undefeated Trinity College on Saturday.

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