By Matt Noonan
It was exactly one year ago when Brendan Costa and the Bates College football team overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Hamilton College, 26-21.
Costa highlighted his team’s second-straight victory of the 2019 season by tossing a career and season-best four touchdowns, including three in the second half with two scores landing in the hands of Sean Bryant.
Bryant concluded the contest by posting season-bests in receptions (five), receiving yards (93), and touchdowns (three).
Hamilton commenced the game by jumping out to a 21-0 lead, thanks to a pair of Kenny Gray touchdown passes to Sam Robinson and Christian Donahoe, along with a 17-yard rushing score by Joe Park before Bates began mounting its comeback by capping the first half with a 15-yard strike from Brendan Costa to Sean Bryant.
Bates’ comeback would continue on its initial possession of the second half when Bryant hauled in a 15-yard strike from Costa before the Bobcats completed the comeback by scoring twice during the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Costa pulled the visitors within two points (21-19) with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Parker Smith with 2:31 remaining before locating Sean Bryant for a 25-yard score with 1:08 remaining to push the Bobcats ahead by five points (26-21).
Gray and the Continentals attempted respond on their final drive of the contest, but the Hamilton quarterback’s last three passes were incomplete.
The win over the Continentals was the Bobcats’ first since 2014. It was also the program’s biggest comeback in 50 years when Bates rallied to beat Trinity College by the same score in 1969.
In addition to throwing both a career and season-best four touchdowns against Hamilton, Costa established a new program record for total offense in a season with 1,739 yards. The Westport, Massachusetts native recorded 1,402 passing yards last season, along with 337 rushing yards. The new record erased the previous mark of 1,688 yards by Trevor Smith in 2011.