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Football beats rival Bowdoin, wins CBB championship

WATERVILLE, Maine -- The Colby College football team hoisted the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) trophy in the air near midfield and then went off to ring the Revere Bell after a convincing 30-14 victory over rival Bowdoin College on Saturday at Harold Alfond Stadium.
The Mules last won an outright CBB championship in 2005 and did not let this chance in 2018 get away under head coach Jack Cosgrove. 
"We have worked so hard over the past four years and all of that was worth it for today," Colby captain Jake Schwern said. "This moment has been surreal and we hope it to be a turning point for the program as a whole. This means a whole lot for the team and the senior class."
The CBB trophy was at the stadium after both the Mules (3-6 overall) and Polar Bears (1-8) defeated Bates College to set  up a winner-take-all game. The two teams were playing for the 130th time, the third-longest Division III rivalry. 
"I did not fully understand how important a win over Bowdoin is to our players and alumni until today," Cosgrove said. "That, and securing the CBB Championship after 13 years, made today a memorable one for the silver and royal. I've heard from a lot of alumni since we won and I look forward to responding to all of them and thanking them for their support."
By the numbers
* Schwern had another big game against Bowdoin. He rushed 34 times for 185 yards and three second-half touchdowns. Those numbers were actually down from last year when he set a school record with 262 yards of rushing and added four touchdowns in a win at Bowdoin.
* First-year quarterback Matt Hersch threw for 127 yards and ran for 13 yards and one touchdown. Colby tight end Ethan Smith finished with five catches for 77 yards, while Brandon Miner added three catches. 
* Colby's kicking game was once again a key component to the victory. Walter Thilly booted a 29-yard field goal, went 3-for-3 on extra points, and had three touchbacks on kickoffs. Mule punter Moises Celaya averaged 35.7 yards per punt in wet conditions, had two kicks inside the 20-yard line, and once again had good hang time on his punts.
* Brendan Ward rushed 28 times for 146 yards and one touchdown for the Polar Bears. He averaged 5.2 yards per rush.
* Bowdoin quarterback Austin McCrum passed for 172 yards and one touchdown and helped the offense with 12 rushes for 45 yards. Bo Millett was often targeted by McCrum and finished with nine catches for 138 yards and one score. 
* Colby linebacker Marcus Bullard had nine tackles, one tackle for loss, and added an interception. Will Caffey also was active with nine tackles, while senior captain Don Vivian had eight stops. Patrick Sopko finished with five tackles and had the lone sack of the day.
* Liam Dougherty had a game-high 11 tackles for the Polar Bears. Nicholas Leahy and Drew Ortiz both had eight tackles.
Game highlights
* After a scoreless first quarter, the Mules took a 3-0 halftime lead on a 29-yard field goal by Thilly with 3:29 to intermission.
* The Polar Bears did a good job of slowing down Schwern in the opening half, but he exploded in the final 30 minutes. Schwern's 47-yard touchdown run gave the Mules a two score lead
* Colby senior Jack Colleran had a memorable play in his final game. He fielded a short punt at midfield and raced 29 yards up the right sideline to the Bowdoin 21-yard line. Three plays later, Hersch scored from a yard out for a 17-0 margin.
* Colby received a huge break when Bowdoin's punt returner went back on a 54-yard punt by Celaya and fell backward as the ball went off him at the 8-yard line. Colby's Mike Whiting recovered the ball at the Polar Bear 1-yard line. Schwern scored from a yard out to make the score 24-0 with 14:20 left in the final quarter.
* The Mules went up 30-0 on Schwern's 16-yard scoring run with 10:38 remaining. Schwern ran for all 54 yards of the drive, including a 24-yard run up the left sideline.
* Bowdoin answered Colby's touchdown with a score just 57 seconds later on a Ward's 48-yard scoring run. The Polar Bears added a 5-yard scoring pass from McCrum to Millett with only 34 seconds remaining.
Box score