Things are always a little bit different at practice the weeks the Colby College football team prepares to play one of its in-state rivals. This week, the Mules practiced in advance of Saturday’s game against Bates. This season marks the 115th game between the rivals.

“There’s a ton of history. It’s tough not to get caught up in all of it,” Colby co-captain Danny Maddox said. “There’s definitely a little extra edge, a little extra excitement. That’s what is great about this rivalry.”

The annual Colby-Bates-Bowdoin series kicks off with Saturday’s game between the Mules and the Bobcats. It continues next week in Lewiston when Bowdoin plays at Bates, and concludes on Nov. 9 when Colby plays Bowdoin in Brunswick.

Bates is the defending CBB champ.

“The rivalry is so fierce. It’s a great rivalry because they’re good guys, and they’re a good team. We have a great deal of respect for them,” Colby head coach John Michaeles said.

Maddox said he’s received emails and text messages all week from alumni and former Colby football captains, wishing the team luck and sharing their stories on what the game means to them.

“There’s a sense there’s a lot more riding on our shoulders than just the game. There’s a lot of people who care about it, and you want to win for them, too, as much as for us,” Maddox said.

In Bates, Colby faces an opponent that runs the triple option, the only team in the New England Small College Athletic Conference to operate out of the run-heavy offense. The Bobcats lead the league in rushing. The Mules have seen Bates already, in a preseason scrimmage.

“That’s the advantage, I guess, to having them in preseason as a scrimmage. You get some plays on film and you have some things to teach from,” Michaeles said. “It’s responsibility football. That doesn’t change. Fortunately, last week we played a team (Hamilton) that ran read option, which is very similar.”

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Colby will be honoring veterans during Saturday’s game. The day is the result of the work of sophomore tight end Henry Holmes, who wanted to do something to honor veterans, Michaeles said.
Working with the Christmas Across Maine program, which helps military families of all branches of service with food, presents and utilities during the holiday season. Henry gathered donations from Colby alumni, and the team will be selling T-shirts that incorporate the Colby C and the United States flag, to raise more money for Christmas Across Maine.

Maine veterans and active service members will be honored at halftime.

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Husson travels to Washington, D.C. this weekend, for a big Eastern Collegiate Football Conference game against Gallaudet. Both Husson and Gallaudet are 3-0 in conference play, and the winner of Saturday’s game will be alone in first place.

Husson (4-2) has won four games in a row, which is one more win than their total from the last three seasons combined. In the latest NCAA Division III stats, the Eagles are ranked 25th in the country in total defense, allowing 280.2 yards per game.

The team ranked 24th, one spot ahead of Husson? Gallaudet. The Bison allow an average of 279.3 yards per game.

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Bowdoin will tune up for the CBB rivalry with a home game against Wesleyan (5-0) on Saturday. The Polar Bears (2-3) are playing their second straight game against an undefeated opponent, losing to Trinity last week, 40-21.

Joey Cleary, a senior linebacker for the Polar Bears, leads the NESCAC in tackles with 59.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com