Colby shut down Bates’ top-ranked running game and picked off three passes to take the first game in the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin rivalry, 21-3, on Saturday at Harold Alfond Stadium.

Bates, whose CBB title last year included with a 31-6 win over Colby, has now lost three in a row and drops to 2-4 overall.

Ryan Curit led Bates with 120 yards of total offense on 12 rushes and three receptions. Nick LaSpada completed 14 of 23 passes for 176 yards and two interceptions, while Matt Cannone was 2-for-7 for 16 yards and an interception.

Daniel Maddox, Jason Buco and Matt Vargas had the interceptions for Colby (3-3). But the key for the Mules was the run defense which, led by nine tackles apiece by Stephen O’Grady and Henry Nelson, limited the top NESCAC rushing offense to 88 yards on the ground and an average of 1.9 yards per carry.

Carl Lipani rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns for the Mules. Quarterback Justin Ciero led all runners with 87 yards and also completed 10 of 22 passes for 165 yards and an interception.

Lipani’s 49-yard touchdown run on the Mules’ first possession put them in front for good.

The Bobcats closed to within 7-3 on Charlie Donahue’s 31-yard field goal early in the second quarter. But Colby answered with another touchdown on Lipani’s 6-yard run to take a 14-3 lead into halftime.

Ciero added a 25-yard touchdown run with 9:08 left to play in the third quarter to cap the scoring.

Andrew Kukesh led the Bobcats defensively with a game-high 10 tackles, including two for a loss. Ryan Newson had nine tackles and Gilbert Brown five tackles and an interception.

Bates hosts Bowdoin at 12:30 p.m. next Saturday at Garcelon Field.

 

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