Colby football blanks Bowdoin behind defense, run game

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WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College football team made the 124th meeting between the Mules and Bowdoin College a day to remember with an aggressive defense and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to earn a 17-0 win at Seaverns Field at Harold Alfond Stadium on Saturday.

The Mules, for the second straight year, won three of the final four games to finish the season at 3-5. Bowdoin ended the year with a 1-7 record. The Polar Bears had won six straight games against Colby in what is the third-longest Division III series rivalry.
Bowdoin came into the game with a league-worst minus-12 turnover margin and had problems again Saturday with Colby's stifling defense. The Mules forced four turnovers, held the Polar Bears to just 90 yards of total offense, and allowed Bowdoin just four first downs on the day.
The Mules held a staggering time of possession advantage of 43:01 to 16:59 and allowed Bowdoin just 41 offensive plays (Colby had 81 plays).
While the final score and the statistics look decisive, the Mules only led 3-0 heading into the fourth quarter. The Mules scored their first touchdown of the day after taking over on the Bowdoin 43-yard line after a 20-yard Polar Bear punt. Colby, which had 252 yards of total rushing on the day, stayed with the run and drove the 43 yards on eight running plays and one pass until senior running back Spencer Gopaul (Washington, D.C.) scored from 1 yard out with 6:50 to play. Mule first-year quarterback Justin Ciero (Chappaqua, N.Y.) had an 18-yard run during the drive.
Bowdoin went into passing mode with time running out in the fourth quarter. Colby senior defensive end Ryan Veillette (Westfield, Mass.) sacked Polar Bear quarterback Thomas Romero (Mansfield, Mass.) and forced a fumble that was recovered by Mark Vargas (Coventry, R.I.) at the Bowdoin 12-yard line.
Gopaul rushed for 10 yards on the first play of Colby's drive to get to the Bowdoin 2-yard line. After a rush of 1 yard, Gopaul went left and scored again from 1 yard out for a 17-0 margin with 5:06 left.
The Polar Bears had three of their four first downs on the next drive to to reach the Colby 24-yard line. David Black (Corpus Christi, Texas) caught a Romero pass for 23 yards and Nick Goldin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had a 15-yard grab on the drive. However, senior defensive back Derrick Beasley (Andover, Mass.) intercepted a Romero pass at the 15-yard line and returned it 10 yards to close out the victory.
Zach Padula (Coventry, R.I.) and Henry Nelson (Reading, Conn.) led the Colby defense with five tackles apiece. Veillette had 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception, and a pass break-up. 
David Nurse (Waltham, Mass.) and Griffin Cardew (Ipswich, Mass.) each led the Polar Bears with 15 tackles. Dan Johnson (North Attleboro, Mass.) and Matt Savard (Duxbury, Mass.) both had interceptions.
Gopaul ran for 127 yards, the two touchdowns, and had a 4.7-yard per carry average. Ciero ran the ball 30 times for 122 yards (4.1 yards per rush). Ciero also threw for 55 yards, with senior Kyle Layne-Allen (Dorchester, Mass.) catching two balls for 18 yards.
Bowdoin managed just 25 yards of net rushing, with Zach Donnarumma (Ramsey, N.J.) accounting for 31 yards. Bowdoin had just a 1.2-yard per carry average. Romero and Mac Caputi (Brunswick, Maine) combined for 65 yards passing on nine completions. Goldin had four catches for 31 yards.
Colby senior kicker David Bendit (Emmaus, Pa.) made a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter for the only points of the opening three periods. Mule kicker Louw Scheepers (San Diego, Calif.) had four kickoffs for a solid 62.5-yard average.
Colby 17, Bowdoin 0
Bowdoin.............  0  0  0  0  -  0       
Colby...............  3  0  0 14  - 17       
Scoring Summary:
  1st 08:18 Colby - David Bendit 27 yd field goal
  4th 06:50 Colby - Spencer Gopaul 1 yd run (David Bendit kick)
      05:06 Colby - Spencer Gopaul 1 yd run (David Bendit kick)
                                   BOW12-  COLFB12
  FIRST DOWNS...................        4       21
  RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............    20-25   60-252
  PASSING YDS (NET).............       65       55
  Passes Att-Comp-Int...........   21-9-2   21-9-2
  TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....    41-90   81-307
  Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0
  Punt Returns-Yards............     2-21      2-5
  Kickoff Returns-Yards.........     4-85     1-14
  Interception Returns-Yards....      2-6     2-10
  Punts (Number-Avg)............   9-32.3   5-27.0
  Fumbles-Lost..................      2-2      2-1
  Penalties-Yards...............     8-88     6-54
  Possession Time...............    16:59    43:01
  Third-Down Conversions........  1 of 10  8 of 18
  Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 0   1 of 2
  Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      0-0      3-6
  Sacks By: Number-Yards........      1-8     3-13
RUSHING: Bowdoin-Zach Donnarumma 14-31; Mac Caputi 4-4; Thomas Romero 2-minus
  10. Colby-Spencer Gopaul 27-127; Justin Ciero 30-122; Thomas Brewster 2-5; TEAM
  1-minus 2.
PASSING: Bowdoin-Mac Caputi 6-15-1-27; Thomas Romero 3-6-1-38. Colby-Justin
  Ciero 9-20-2-55; Jason Buco 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Bowdoin-Nick Goldin 4-31; David Black 2-25; Matt Perlow 2-4; Daniel
  Barone 1-5. Colby-Kyle Layne-Allen 2-18; Spencer Gopaul 2-8; Thomas Brewster
  2-7; D. Von Euw 1-12; Indigo Dow 1-6; Michael Lahiff 1-4.
  INTERCEPTIONS: Bowdoin-Matt Savard 1-6; Dan Johnson 1-0. Colby-Derrick Beasley
  1-10; Ryan Veillette 1-0.
  FUMBLES: Bowdoin-Thomas Romero 1-1; David Black 1-1. Colby-Justin Ciero 2-1.
Maintenance in progress.
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