LEWISTON — Colby College handed football coach Jack Cosgrove a 10-2 victory over Bates College and then his players serenaded him with a bellowing rendition of “Happy Birthday” on a chilly, rainy Saturday afternoon at Garcelon Field.

The Bobcats (1-6), who lost their shot to win the CBB title outright, moved the ball with ease, but when it came time to score, they were prevented from entering the end zone by their own folly or Colby’s stubborn defense.

“That is the story of our season,” Bates interim coach Ed Argast said. “(We) just can’t finish things. Some of it is inexperience — more bonehead mistakes than anything else.

“Give Colby credit. They play hard. They were certainly not any pushover. It is a great rivalry. Wish we would have had a better showing.”

Colby (3-4) struck first with 1:45 left in the first quarter. Moises Celaya booted a 24-yard field goal to put the Mules out front, 3-0.

“I will tell you what — it was a hard-earned win,” Cosgrove said. “Our defense played their fannies off and we left a lot of points on that field today. It was a great credit to Bates. Let’s face it. They played their fannies off, and a really great compliment to coach and the staff. I can’t tell you how much respect I have for that program.”

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But the rain started picking up, making it difficult to handle the slippery ball and for players to remain upright. There were several injuries, including Bates starting quarterback Brendan Costa (9-for-14, 126 yards passing), who injured his leg late in the second quarter. Colton Bosselait took over the backfield in the second half, completing seven of his 21 passes for 76 yards.

The Bobcats squeezed out a safety worth two points when Colby College was pushed back to their goal line in the second quarter. Bates took advantage of Colby’s tight fit and ganged up on the ball carrier into the end zone.

Colby responded with 5:36 left in the first half. After driving up the field, Mules senior quarterback Matt Hersch tossed a 33-yard pass to Brendan Sawyer for a touchdown. Celaya booted the extra point and the Mules took a 10-2 lead that stood up the for the rest of the game. Hersch completed 21 of his 33 passes for 226 yards.

“It gives us our third victory of the year,” Cosgrove said. “It gives us a chance, you know (being) 3-4. We close out with Bowdoin and Tufts, and of course, (there is) the CBB. It puts a little bit more spark back in (us).”

The Bobcats had a stellar drive in the third quarter but never made it to the end zone, and there were several opportunities to tie game toward the end of the fourth quarter.

“Every CBB game is like this,” Colby junior linebacker Marc Dougherty said. “Bates came in with a good game plan. Our coaches gave us a good game plan. Momentum swung both ways and I think we held on the longest and kept coming every play.”


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