BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin’s quarterback played because the two ahead of him on the depth chart were hurt. Colby’s quarterback played because the regular starter was suspended earlier in the week.

And the guy who arguably had the best game at quarterback in this annual end of the season rivalry isn’t a quarterback at all.

Despite the backups and new faces playing the most important position in football, it was still a Colby-Bowdoin game. It was still the season finale, and there was still a Colby-Bates-Bowdoin championship at stake.

Bowdoin beat Colby, 20-10, and that led to the second three-way tie in the CBB in three years. It also was Bowdoin’s sixth consecutive win over its rival, and it meant the Polar Bears keep the CBB trophy for at least another year. Tie goes to the guy who already has the hardware locked up in a trophy case.

The surprise absence belonged to Colby senior quarterback and captain Nick Kmetz, who was suspended during the week. When asked why, Colby head coach Ed Mestieri chose his words carefully and was as vague as possible.

“Nick was suspended in violation of athletic department and team policy,” Mestieri said.
In place of Kmetz, a starter since his freshman year, the Mules went with senior Connor Sullivan, who entered the game with 12 career passing attempts.

“I can’t get into the depth of the decision making. Connor’s always been the next quarterback into the game,” Mestieri said. “He played more football today than he’s played in his entire career here.”

For Bowdoin, freshman Mac Caputi, son of head coach Dave Caputi, was back at quarterback filling in for the injured Grant White and Thomas Romero. This game, Mac Caputi wasn’t asked to carry the offense. That fell, in large part, to senior wide receiver Pat Noone, who took a number of snaps running the Polar Bears’ offense out of the wildcat formation. Noone had 24 carries for 66 yards, most out of the wildcat, and also caught five passes for 83 yards, including a 30-yard catch for the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter.

“We (ran wildcat) a little bit in the last couple of weeks. We didn’t rely on it, it was more of a change of pace. This week, just to take some of the pressure off Mac,” said Noone, who touched the ball 33 times for 195 all-purpose yards. “Mac’s a young kid. He’s been getting better. There’s been a lot of pressure on him. Obviously, we struggled on offense. This week, we made (the wildcat) more of a staple of the game plan, and it seemed to work out.”

Noone was at quarterback on Bowdoin’s opening drive, and he was there again in the fourth quarter, when the Polar Bears wanted to run the ball, kill the clock and maintain their lead. Still, this was Caputi’s best game. The freshman was eight for 11 for 113 yards. That’s coming off an 11-for-30 game against Bates last week, in which Caputi threw four interceptions, and a 5-for-20 game against Wesleyan.

“You know, quarterback’s a tough position to play regardless of how old you are, and I think he handled himself great, in terms of dealing with the pressure of having to step in as a freshman and play varsity quarterback. I think he’s definitely going to develop into a great player, and he has the mind set and work ethic for it,” Noone said.

Sullivan was 11 for 27 for 102 yards, and he also gave way to the wildcat formation a few times, run by Connor Walsh and Luke Duncklee. It was the last game of the season, no time to leave anything in the playbook.

“I think we used (the wildcat) a little bit more today than we have, and I think this is how we would have liked to have used it a little bit more throughout the course of the season,” Mestieri said. “I thought as the game went on, (Sullivan) adapted, and I thought he did a real good job from a leadership standpoint. He played his heart out there today.”

For Noone and Sullivan, this was the last Colby-Bowdoin game of their careers. No matter the outcome, they went out picking up their teammates. In the game that will go down as the Day of the Backups, that won’t be remembered as much as the outcome.

It should be.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]


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