Converting four of six Bowdoin turnovers into 23 points, Wesleyan built up a 30-6 edge with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter, then turned back a fourth-quarter Bowdoin rally to post a 30-22 victory in Brunswick. The win evened Wesleyan's record at 3-3 for the year while Bowdoin, lost its sixth straight to Wesleyan, dropped to 0-6 on the season.
After taking the opening kickoff and marching 47 yards on eight plays, capped by a 21-yard run by John Pascucci, who led the Wesleyan ground game with 93 yards on 17 carries, for a 7-0 lead after just 2:19, Wesleyan scored its remaining 23 points directly from turnovers as three interceptions and three fumbles by Bowdoin proved the Polar Bears' undoing. Wesleyan also had its best running day of the year, despite a consistent and heavy rain throughout the contest. Dave Cottrell added 89 yards on 19 runs and scored on a one-yard bolt for Wesleyan's final TD at 4:49 of the third period, as Wesleyan totaled 244 yards on 58 attempts. Wesleyan threw the ball just six times, completing two for eight yards.
Wesleyan picked up its first takeaway of the afternoon at 7:19 of the opening quarter when Devin Fletcher pounced on a ball coughed up by Justin Eldridge at the Bowdoin 13. Wesleyan added a 31-yard Rob Stager field goal from there for a 10-0 edge. On the first play of the second quarter, Chris Millsback intercepted a Ramon Martinez offering and returned it nine yards to the Bowdoin 23 before the Cardinals backed up 10 yards via penalty. From there, three Pascucci runs followed by a 15-yard TD scamper by QB Scott Hevesy gave Wesleyan a 16-0 edge. The extra point was missed.
Bowdoin got its only points of the first half from a 10-yard TD run by Martinez on a 4th-and-7 play with 1:34 to go.
A 45-yard interception return for a TD by Mark McAleenan on a pass by John Wihbey and a 22-yard interception return by Fletcher, leading to Cottrell's one-yard score, accounted for 14 third-quarter points by Wesleyan and a 30-6 bulge.
But Bowdoin, which picked up nearly half its 309 yards of total offense during the final 10 minutes, mounted a 12-play, 67-yard drive that consumer better than five minutes of the fourth quarter to make it 30-14. Nat Wysor provided all eight points with a one-yard run and a conversion gallop. Wesleyan, expecting an onside kick with 4:35 to go, was surprised when Jeremy Riffle sent one deep that the Cardinals' Jermaine Lawrence had to fall on at the one-yard line. Wesleyan was eventually forced to punt, and Bowdoin again mounted a strong drive, going 61 yards on six plays, with a 14-yard pass from Martinez to Tony Teixeira providing the points, followed by another two-point conversion with 1:03 to go.
This time, the onside kick came, and Bowdoin's Chris Chadderdon came up with the ball at the Wesleyan 47. A pass from Martinez to Steve Lafond gave Bowdoin a first down at the Wesleyan 20. The second sack of the day by Toros Maksoudian pushed Bowdoin back seven yards, but a holding penalty by Wesleyan on third down gave the Polar Bears a first down at the Wesleyan 17 with :08 showing. A Martinez toss to the goal line was batted down by Fletcher, and then Greg Fischer tipped away the final Martinez pass to the endzone to preserve the win.
Wesleyan went on to host undefeated and eight-time defending Little Three champion Williams (6-0) in its next game, while Bowdoin traveled to Bates (0-6) for a battle of the NESCAC's winless teams. Williams entered the game riding the longest winning streak in NCAA Division III at 20 games, and was currently third nationally behind Bentley (29 in Division II) and Nebraska (21 in Division I-A).
|1st Qtr||2nd Qtr||3rd Qtr||4th Qtr||-||Total|
|First Downs (Run-Pass-Penalty)||21 (10-7-4)||10 (10-0-0)|
|Positive Yards Rushing||228||262|
|Negative Yards Rushing||39||18|
|Net Total Yards Rushing||189||244|
|Net Total Yards Passing||120||8|
|Total Offensive Plays||86||66|
|Total Net Yards||309||252|
|Average Gain Per Play||3.59||3.81|
|Interceptions By: Number-Yards||0-0||3-76|
|Punt Returns: Number-Yards||3-15||2-16|
|Kickoff Returns: Number-Yards||6-67||1-30|
|Fumble Returns: Number-Yards||1-5||0-0|
|Time of Possession||30:43||29:17|
|Third-Down Conversions||4 of 13||3 of 15|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||1 of 4||1 of 1|
|Sacks by: Number-Yards||0-0||3-22|
RUSHING: Wesleyan - John Pascucci, 17-93, 1 TD; Dave Cottrell, 19-89, 1 TD; Scott Hevesy, 10-33, 1 TD; Tom Themistocles, 12-29. Bowdoin - Anthony Molinari, 17-71; Ramon Martinez, 15-48, 1 TD; Justin Eldridge, 12-27; Nat Wysor, 8-23, 1 TD; John Wihbey, 3-18; James Kim, 1-2.
PASSING: Wesleyan - Scott Hevesy, 6-2-0, 8 yards. Bowdoin - Ramon Martinez, 27-8-1, 120 yards, 1 TD; John Wihbey, 3-0-2.
RECEIVING: Wesleyan - Dave Cottrell, 1-6; Dan Fabrizio, 1-2. Bowdoin - Anthony Molinari, 2-39; Steve Lafond, 2-33; John Whipple, 2-28; Tony Teixeira, 2-20, 1 TD.
PUNTING: Wesleyan - Rob Stager, 9-321, 35.7 average. Bowdoin - Jim Cavanaugh, 6-244, 40.6 average.