Bates College’s Zach Doyon reaches for an interception during the Bobcats’ 30-5 win over Bowdoin on Saturday in Lewiston. Brewster Burns/for Bates College Athletics

LEWISTON — There was no way Bates College security could hold back grateful fans, who lined the fences and impatiently waited to storm Garcelon Field on a chilly Saturday night.

Just as soon as this NESCAC football game ended, security opened the gates and stood back to watch the Bobcats become engulfed by a wave of humanity after Bates ended a seven-game losing streak with a 30-5 victory over CBB-rival Bowdoin College.

“I am still kind of at a loss of words,” Bates coach Malik Hall said. “So for me, like the win, I am more excited for our guys. It is hard to win, but losing is hard, too, because it messes with your confidence. It puts you in a downfall.

“What better way to win it than Garcelon’s first night game?” he added. “Defensively, we started all four seniors we have. (We) created a package for them to go out in style. We played that package 85 percent of the game. Offensively, No. 3 (quarterback Brendan Costa) is a stud. All in all, it was a good game,. I am happy for the Bobcat family. I am happy for the Bobcat fans. It is a long time coming.”

There were plenty of heroics to go around on the Bobcats’ side of the field.

Costa threw three touchdown passes and went 9-for-17 for 212 yards. Two of Costa’s TD passes ended up in the hands of sophomore wide receiver Jackson Hayes.

“I think our offense really came through,”  Costa said. “We can show we can do it every week and we just have to be consistent now.

“The win feels great, really long overdue,” Costa said. “Coach Hall does a great job with us. So this is really good for our program. We just have to move forward and build off of this.”

The Bobcats’ defense also pulled its own weight, holding the Polar Bears to just three points (with the kicking game giving up a safety) and stopping one of Bowdoin’s drives on the 1-yard line.

“These boys have been chomping at the bit to play a game where everybody is executing, and tonight we came out and did our thing for 60 minutes,” Bates strong safety Jon Lindgren said. “It is about time. We have been waiting for this for two years. Defense played their tails off. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of guys.”

The Bobcats came right at the Bears in the first quarter on a five-play, 84-yard drive. Hayes grabbed a 54-yard pass from Costa and spilled into the end zone at 12:27 into the first quarter. Liam Spillane’s two-point conversion pass was a success and the ‘Cats led 8-0.

Bates did the bulk of its scoring in a second quarter that featured three touchdowns.

Freshman running back Tyler Bridge bulled his way into the end zone with a touchdown at 12:35. The conversion rush failed, but Bates was on top 14-0. Bridge was Bates’ leading rusher with 188 yards in 28 attempts. He averaged 6.7 a carry.

Costa found an open Hayes again at 9:07 and reeled off a 36-yard TD pass. Kicker Simon Redfern split the uprights. He also made good on a 25-yard field goal, providing Bates with a 24-0 lead. But Bowdoin’s Michael Chen booted a 28-yard field goal with no time left in the first half.

Bates picked up another touchdown when Costa spotted an open Sean Bryant and threw a 33-yard TD pass. Redfern’s extra-point attempt was blocked and the Polar Bears ran it back for two points.

 

Bates College’s Jackson Hayes hauls in a catch for a big gain during Saturday’s 30-5 victory over Bowdoin in Lewiston. Brewster Burns/for Bates College Athletics

Bates College quarterback Brendan Costa looks downfield for a pass option during the Bobcats’ win over Bowdoin on Saturday in Lewiston. Brewster Burns/for Bates College Athletics


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