The Bates Student - November 6, 1998


We got Ass!
Bates football beats Colby

Staff Writer

Ryan Jarvis '00 scored on a 37-yard touchdown run on Bates's first possession of the second half and the Bobcats never looked back, moving on to a 13-7 win over Colby, putting in motion a 30-minute celebration on Garcelon Field involving both the players and the student body. The win gave Bates its first victory of the season and put them in the driver's seat of the CBB championships, which continue this week when the Bobcats travel to Bowdoin. If the Bobcats are victorious in Brunswick this Saturday, they will win the CBB championships outright for the first time since 1986.

The Bates defense provided a huge lift for the entire team. They were able to stop Colby's air and ground game, not allowing any Colby running back to rush for more than 70 yards and holding Nathan Bradley to 115 yards passing. The Bobcat defense looked flat when the White Mules took the ball 54 yards on their first possession. The drive was capped off when Don Gage '99 carried the ball 8 yards up the middle for the Colby score. However, after this drive, the Bobcat defense did not yield another point the rest of the day. Coach Harriman said, "We settled down and played the way we are capable of playing." On top of that they forced three turnovers, two of which were very important. Colby was in good field position at midfield and was looking to extend their lead midway through the first quarter when Frost Hubbard '00 forced a fumble which was later recovered by Vinny Billante '00. The other was a crucial interception by Jason Silva '00 with Colby driving in the fourth quarter.

The Bobcats went 3 and out after the fumble recovery, and then both teams settled down into a field position type game. Both teams were able to move the ball but neither could make its way into the other's red zone and come up with a score. The Bates offense got an emotional lift from the defense when Anthony Konieczny '99 tackled Thomas Keblin for a five yard loss on a fourth and 5 play. The offense took over at midfield and began to move the ball. After Bates was pushed back by an offensive pass interference call, Matt Bazirgan '00, who threw for 139 yards with one interception, found Paul Fantasia '00 on 3rd and 21 for a 31-yard pass completion and a first down. Then, on a 2nd and 7 play Ryan Jarvis had a 14-yard carry, planting the ball on the Colby 13 yard line. This is where the offense would halt, picking up only 5 yards on the next 3 plays, but not before Rejean Guerriero '01 kicked a 25-yard field goal through the uprights to put the Bobcats on the board, with 2:39 left in the half. The two teams exchanged interceptions right before the half. Colby had the ball in Bobcat territory but could not score because Bates forced an interception of their own.

The field goal, late in the second quarter, seemed to spark the Bobcat offense because they came out firing on all cylinders on their first possession of the second half. The drive started on the Bobcat 42 and after two runs by Jarvis and one pass from Bazirgan to Jason Coulie '00, the Bobcats had their first and only touchdown of the day. The big play was the 37-yard run by Jarvis which gave the Bobcats a 9-7 lead. Jarvis said, "It was an isolation play in which the fullback leads through the hole on the left side of the formation to block the linebacker. I broke to the outside, found some daylight, and broke into the open field." After an unsportsmanlike call on Jarvis, Guerriero was forced to hit a 35-yard extra point, which he did, giving the Bobcats a 10-7 lead. After the touchdown, the Bobcat defense took control of the game, forcing Colby to punt on its next three possessions. The third punt was the final play of the 3rd quarter and the game headed to crunch time with the Bobcats in front, 10-7.

Bates went 3 and out on its first possession of the fourth quarter and the game headed for one of its most critical possessions. Colby started the drive with excellent field position at their own 40 yard line. After 5 plays the White Mules had moved the ball to the Bates 30 yard line, and a Colby score was beginning to look more and more probable. But then, two plays later, with an important 3rd down on the Bates 26 yard line, Nathan Bradley's pass was picked off by Jason Silva. The Bobcat defense had bent, but it had not broken. On the first play from scrimmage, Matt Bazirgan completed a 32-yard pass to Jason Coulie, and suddenly, the Bobcats had the ball at midfield.

The drive continued deep into Colby territory and Bates was able to chew up much of the fourth quarter clock. Matt Bazirgan led the team down the field, throwing for three first downs and running for one more on an important 3rd and 9. He was also able to complete a 17-yard pass to Ryan Jarvis, bringing the Bobcats into field goal range at the Colby 20 yard line. One play later, he completed a 16-yarder to Jason Coulie in the far corner (from the home stands) putting the ball inside the Colby 5. The Colby defense stopped the Bobcats there, and after an illegal procedure penalty, and a 3 yard loss on a short pass, Rejean Guerriero was called upon to hit another important field goal. He did and Bates had a 13-7 lead with 5:00 remaining at Garcelon.

On Colby's next possession, after a five-yard completion to Chris Sheehan, Nathan Bradley threw two incomplete passes, bringing up a 4th and 5 for Colby from their 46 yard line. However, once again, on fourth down, Bradley could not connect with his intended receiver. The teams then traded 3 and outs and when Bates went 3 and out again, Colby had the ball back at their own 29 yard line with 9 seconds remaining. As the student body made their way on to the track, Bradley threw two more incomplete passes, the last of which sailed out of bounds, giving the Bobcats a much-needed 13-7 victory as students charged on to the field to celebrate with the team.

Overall, the offense got the job done by putting enough points on the board to put one in the win the column. Matt Bazirgan did a good job hooking up with his receivers, and he showed fearless running when pushed out of the pocket. Ryan Jarvis continued to add to a stellar season with another 100-plus yard performance. The defense gave an excellent performance, giving up no points to Colby after their first possession. One of the most important things the defense did was come up with big plays went it most needed them, none more important than the interception by Jason Silva.

"Basically I just did my job, stayed in my zone, and the quarterback threw it right at me," said Silva. "I was in the right place at the right time. The quarterback was trying to hit a receiver running behind me, but he didn't put enough air under it and all I had to do was jump up and grab it. Our offense did a great job of capitalizing on the turnover and putting points on the board. It was an all-around team effort and that's what allowed us to come out on top."

Rejean Guerriero was the hero on special teams, hitting two field goals and one extra point. On the win Coach Harriman said, "It is important for the program but more important for the players because they now know what it feels like to play to win." The win gives the Bobcats a 1-5 record while Colby fell to 2-4. This sets up a very interesting matchup this weekend when Bates travels to Brunswick to meet the 3-3 Bowdoin Polar Bears. A win will give Bates its first outright CBB championship since 1986. So if you can find a ride this weekend, which shouldn't be too hard, make the trip to Bowdoin and support these fighting Bobcats.

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Last Modified: 11/08/1998
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