BRUNSWICK — It was a chance for Colby College football to do not one but two things it hadn’t done in ages.

The Mules went into Saturday night’s game against rival Bowdoin looking for both a rare four-peat in the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin consortium and its first winning season in 17 years. Instead, one of Colby’s biggest rivals denied it at the final hurdle.

Bowdoin defeated Colby 21-14 in Saturday’s season finale at Whittier Field in Brunswick. The result gave the Polar Bears their first win over the Mules in seven years and deprived Colby of its first four-peat in the CBB rivalry series since it won five in a row from 1988-92.

“We were a little bit disappointed to be coming in here at 2-6, but to finish off with a win, it’s so awesome,” said Bowdoin junior wide receiver Colton Fahey. “All our boys worked hard, but we really fought for this one.”

The teams exchanged 75-yard scoring drives to start the game, Bowdoin (3-6) capping off a 16-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown run from Andre Eden and tying the game at 7 on a 7-yard scamper from Donovan Ganges. The Mules then forced a three-and-out and were in the end zone again two plays later as Matt Hersch threw a 43-yard touchdown to Jack Sawyer.

Bowdoin turned it over on downs deep in Colby territory on the ensuing possession, but after forcing a three-and-out of their own, the Polar Bears mounted the drive that would level the score. After a 37-yard pass from Robbie Long to Fahey set Bowdoin up at the 1, Long scored on a quarterback sneak to make it 14-14 midway through the second quarter.


The second half was a stalemate until Bowdoin took over in Colby territory early in the fourth quarter after two big sacks forced the Mules (4-5) to punt. Long then took over with his legs, taking the Mules 55 yards on seven plays and scoring from 5 yards out to put the home team up seven with 5:36 left to play. 

Colby then went three-and-out but would get one last chance after stopping Bowdoin at midfield with two minutes to play. Two plays later, though, the Mules’ dreams of a comeback would be dashed as Chris Althoff intercepted Hersch to set up two kneels to close out the game.

“Nobody was expecting that; it was just so amazing,” Long said of his teammate’s game-sealing defensive play. “We knew we had it if the defense could make one step, and it fell right into his hands. It was just unbelievable.”

Long ran the ball 26 times for 114 yards and the two scores while completing 7 of 11 passes for 77 yards. Bowdoin also got 83 rushing yards on 21 attempts from Andre Eden, who cracked the Polar Bears’ top-10 all-time rushing list on the team’s opening drive. Koy Price had six total tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack on defense.

Hersch was 18 of 33 with 162 yards passing for Colby, which ended its season on a three-game losing streak. The Mules also got two catches for 56 yards and the opening score from Sawyer on offense and eight tackles and 2 1/2 tackles-for-loss from Luke D’Aloia on defense.

Bowdoin, as noted, dropped a few contests this year it felt it should have won — a 21-14 loss to Bates on Oct. 15 and a 17-14 defeat at Amherst last week. Yet leaving the turf as winners, Fahey said, will be the lasting memory for a team that jumped from just a single win last year to three in 2022.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better end to the season, especially to beat them and put that trophy on the shelf for one more year,” Fahey said. “Everyone on that sideline played amazing, and we earned it.”

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