Now nearing the end of his second season as Colby College’s head football coach, there’s not many traditions Jack Cosgrove hasn’t witnessed or been a part of yet. At the end of Thursday morning’s practice, Cosgrove crossed another Colby football tradition off his list.

A couple days before the annual season-ending rivalry game against Bowdoin, the Colby offensive and defensive linemen compete against each other in a punt, pass, and kick contest. This season’s was won by the offense.

So why did Cosgrove miss last season’s competition?

“I think I threw them off the field this day last year. They didn’t practice well,” Cosgrove said.

The punt, pass, and kick contest was a bit of levity in what’s been a serious week leading up to the 131st meeting between the Mules and Polar Bears. One of the oldest rivalries in college football, Bowdoin holds a 70-51-9 lead in the series, which dates back to 1892. In Division III football, only Williams-Amherst and Kalamazoo-Albion are longer rivalries.

Colby won last year’s game to claim the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin title. The Polar Bears lost to Bates last week, so Saturday’s game at Bowdoin’s Whittier Field will not be a showdown for the trophy. If Bowdoin wins, the CBB is a three-way tie, and Colby, the last outright winner, retains the trophy.

“It’s a great honor to be able to play in a championship game. We do have an opportunity here and a great rivalry, and I found that out last year,” Cosgrove said. “I think it’s going to be two teams that really go at each other hard, respect each other very much, and understand the situation we’re both in.”

It has been a trying season for both Colby and Bowdoin. The Mules lone win came two weeks ago over Bates, while Bowdoin enters this season finale winless.

“It really has not gone how we envisioned it. We’ve been challenged throughout the year with a variety of things that come to the game of football. It has not been difficult to come out here every day and practice,” Cosgrove said. “The guys, their attitude, their effort, their discipline, their energy, their want-to has been there each and every day. I love working with them every day. You get a win in a game like this, it gives you some momentum for next year. Those things are really necessary as you prepare for the next season.”

With a rivalry as old as Colby-Bowdoin, it’s hard to find firsts. With a 4:30 p.m. kickoff at Bowdoin’s Whittier Field, this is the first Colby-Bowdoin game played under the lights.

“This is a unique one for us. For us, it’s a little bit of a different schedule Saturday,” Cosgrove said.

 

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While Colby and Bowdoin wrap up the CBB in Brunswick Saturday, Bates will look to build off last week’s impressive 30-5 win over the Polar Bears with a good showing at Hamilton.

Last week’s win was by far the best effort for the Bobcats this season. Bates gained 523 yards of total offense, well ahead of its average of 295 yards per game. Tyler Bridge of Wells, winner of last season’s Fitzpatrick Trophy as Maine’s top high school football player, had the best game of his young collegiate career, running for 188 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.

Cameron Winslow, a first-year offensive lineman from Winslow, saw time on the line for the Bobcats in the victory.

 

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It has been a tough season for Madison native Bobby Wilder and his Old Dominion football team. Since a season-opening win over Norfolk State, the Monarchs have lost eight games in a row. Last week’s 24-17 loss at Florida International dropped ODU to 0-5 in Conference USA play.

“I was really proud of our team’s effort and attitude going down there. We were short-handed. We’ve got about 30 guys who in some way, shape, or form are hurt right now. We were down seven starters in that game,” Wilder said in a press conference posted to ODU’s athletics web page.

The Monarchs have three games remaining this season, beginning with Saturday’s home game against Texas-San Antonio. Wilder said he’s looking to see his team continue to play hard as it closes a disappointing season.

“When you’re going through a difficult stretch like we are right now, you can evaluate a football team by how they play and how they compete,” Wilder said. “I really felt like our guys played their tails off in this game (at FIU).”

 

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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