CLINTON, N.Y. — Special teams struggled especially in the Bates College football team’s 35-14 loss to Hamilton in both teams’ season finale Saturday.

Hamilton’s Sam Robinson returned the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown to break a 7-7 tie and kick off a third-quarter onslaught during which the Continentals outscored the Bobcats 21-0.

Hamilton’s Marcus Gutierrez scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 8:05 left in the third to make it 21-7.

On the ensuing kickoff, Bates mishandled Zach Altneu’s squib kick and the Continentals recovered the ball at the Bobcats’ 36-yard line. Ten plays later, Kenny Gray tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Eli Saucier. That came a play after Bates junior Coy Candelario and freshman David Campbell sacked Gray for a 20-yard loss.

Early in the fourth quarter, Mitch Bierman’s 12-yard touchdown run out of the wildcat stretched Hamilton’s lead to 35-7.

The Bobcats, who ran only 17 offensive plays in the second half, scored fast on their next drive, taking just 83 seconds to cover 72 yards. They reached the end zone on Brendan Costa’s 51-yard touchdown pass to Brian Daly with 8:59 to play.

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That was the last time Bates would touch the ball, as Gutierrez’s running helped Hamilton run out the rest of the clock. Gutierrez finished with 134 yards on 23 carries.

The Bobcats opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run by Kyle Flaherty on their first drive of the game. Flaherty, a former Oak Hill High School standout, led Bates on Saturday with 62 yards on 12 carries.

The Bobcats’ 7-0 lead held up until the end of the first half. The Continentals (3-6) had the ball at their own 27 with 51 seconds left in the second quarter. Gray completed five of six passes (the only incompletion being a spike to stop the clock) to move the ball the full 73 yards, culminating with a 36-yard scoring strike to Joe Schmidt in the middle of the end zone with 11.8 seconds left.

Gray, a sophomore, completed 22 of 34 passes for 262 yards.

Costa, Bates’ freshman quarterback, threw for a career-high 186 yards, and completed 13 of 22 passes for a career-best 59 percent completion rate. He also ran for 40 yards on nine carries.

Twelve of Costa’s 13 completions went to a trio of seniors: Mickoy Nichol caught five passes for 77 yards, Daly had three catches for 75 yards and team captain Frank Williams hauled in four passes for 25 yards.

Sophomore safety Jon Lindgren, a week after earning NESCAC defensive player of the week honors, led the Bobcats with 12 tackles (11 solo). Chase Fulton had an interception and Conner Suraci blocked a kick.

Bates (2-7) finishes eighth in the NESCAC standings, ahead of in-state rivals Colby (1-8) and Bowdoin (0-9). The Mules defeated the Polar Bears 31-20 on Saturday.


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