BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Tufts University defense, ranked 14th nationally and first in NESCAC allowing 9.7 points per game entering the weekend, earned its first shutout since 2006 as the Jumbo football team won 28-0 at Bowdoin College on Saturday.
|Jack Donohue scored his second touchdown of the season for Tufts|
The Tufts offense was also outstanding, going over 500 yards for the second straight week with 522 total on 271 rushing yards and 251 through the air. Senior QB Ryan McDonald completed 19 of 25 passes for 231 yards and two scores, while sophomore running back Mike Pedrini rushed for two TDs.
Tufts is now 4-0 heading into next Saturday's game at 3-1 Trinity College. Bowdoin dropped to 0-4 this fall and has lost 21 in a row overall.
This is the first shutout for the Jumbos since a 7-0 win over Colby on November 4, 2006, almost 12 years ago. It also marked the first time Bowdoin has been blanked since November 7, 2015. The Polar Bears played without conference rushing leader Nate Richam due to a foot injury. Tufts held the hosts to 11 first downs, 4 for 18 on third down (22 percent) and 230 total yards. Junior linebacker Greg Holt led Tufts with six stops including one for a loss and a pass break-up.
Bowdoin started the game with two take-aways on defense. Junior Matthew Williams intercepted McDonald on the Polar Bear 10-yard line during the game's first drive. On the second Tufts possession, a McDonald fumble was recovered by Bowdoin junior linebacker Joe Gowetski at the Polar Bear 15. The game was scoreless after one quarter.
The Jumbos would get on the board with a 13-play, 85-yard drive that started late in the first quarter and ended at 13:18 of the second when Pedrini scored from four yards out. The Jumbos marched down the field, never getting to third down during the drive. McDonald completed passes of 17 and 15 yards to Pedrini, had another for 17 yards to sophomore OJ Armstrong and added a 20-yard run.
Pedrini did most of the work when the Jumbos extended their lead to 14-0 with his one-yard run at 4:07 of the second. With Tufts taking over near midfield following a Bowdoin point, Pedrini carried nine times on the drive. A Bowdoin pass interference call which placed the ball at the Polar Bear 2-yard line aided the Jumbos.
Tufts limited Bowdoin to 59 yards of offense in the first two quarters as they took the 14-0 lead into halftime.
The Jumbos would score quickly in the second half. A 32-yard pass from McDonald to junior tight end Jack Donohue on their first play of the half gave them a first down on the Bowdoin 25. Two plays later, McDonald found senior WR Jack Dolan for a 17-yard touchdown and the Jumbos led 21-0.
After the defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing Bowdoin drive, the Jumbos scored again. Senior RB Dom Borelli was the star of the possession with runs of 28 and 15 yards. The touchdown came on a four-yard McDonald to Donohue pass at 10:12 of the third quarter.
The Jumbos defense would close the third quarter with three more three-and-outs by Bowdoin. The Polar Bear defense also held strong, while Tufts missed a 38-yard field goal attempt at 3:09 of the period.
Into the fourth, Bowdoin had a first and 10 at the Tufts 35 following a 14-yard pass from QB Austin McCrum to Bo Millett. However, Tufts' Tim Preston intercepted a pass at the Jumbo 15 and returned it 35 yards to midfield. It was the 15th pick of Preston's Jumbo career.
The Jumbos completed their shutout by turning the ball over on downs when Bowdoin went for it around midfield on both of their final two possessions.
Jumbo senior Jared Ahsler, who had two sacks last week versus Bates, had another today. Junior Miles Shipp and sophomore Jack Walton both recorded four solo tackles for Tufts. This is the second straight year that Tufts did not allow a Bowdoin touchdown, including last season's 31-3 win. The Jumbos did not let the Polar Bears into the red zone today.
Borelli had 73 rushing yards on seven carries to lead Tufts on the ground. Senior QB Ryan Hagfeldt gained 53 yards rushing in relief of McDonald. Tufts averaged 5.2 yards per rush. Nine Jumbos caught passes including four for 60 yards by Donohue and four for 47 by Dolan. Tufts finished with a 35:22-24:38 advantage in time of possession.
McCrum completed 21 of 47 passes for 162 yards while Gregory Olson caught six passes for 68 yards. Defensively, Nicholas Leahy, Gowetski and Franny Rose had nine tackles each for the Polar Bears.
Bowdoin travels to New York to face Hamilton next week.