November 14, 2013
As the Hamilton football team said goodbye on Nov. 9 to both the 2013 season and, more poignantly, its senior members, a bittersweet sentiment consumed Steuben Field. Though the Continentals were ultimately defeated by rival Bates, the game most importantly celebrated the remarkable college athletic careers of these prominent teammates.
Prior to the official start of the game, the Continentals and their fans in the stands honored James Stanell ’14, Andrew Madigan ’14, Andrew Austin ’14, Darren Fuller ’14, and Charlie Bueneman ’14, along with their families. Stanell is one of just four players in program history with more than 2,000 career yards, and he finished his career with 23 touchdowns. Madigan, who transferred to Hamilton from Pace University in his sophomore year, recorded 14 tackles, one for a loss and a fumble recovery in 12 games, at the start of this season. Austin began this season with 39 tackles in his career, including one for a loss and one pass break up in seven career games; Fuller similarly, recorded 34 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for a loss and one sack in 22 games. Finally, Bueneman began this season with an impressive record of 60 tackles, including 8.5 for a loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 21 games.
Bates has won eight of the last 10 competitions against Hamilton, and this year’s battle was no exception.The 38-21 loss to Bates marks this season as the first winless year for the Continentals since 2002. Bates, ranked fifth in the NESCAC, immediately took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter of play and, despite Hamilton’s strong improvement in the second half, proved to be untouchable.
Hamilton struggled to score for the first half of gameplay. The score remained 31-7 until late in the third, when Hamilton’s Zach Klein ’15 picked off a pass at the Bates 35, which ultimately allowed the Continentals to bring up the score to 31-13 with 1:18 left in the quarter.
Early in the fourth, Hamilton embarked on a 15-play touchdown drive that took 5:37 off the clock and brought the Continentals within 10 points of Bates. Ultimately, a defensive pass interference penalty allowed Stanell to make an inside run out to the right and into the end zone on the next play. Quarterback Chase Rosenberg ’17 then passed to Charles Ensley ’17 for the two-point conversion, completing Hamilton’s final successful scoring attempt this season.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, Hamilton had noteworthy accomplishments during play. Quarterback Rosenberg was 20 of 40 passing for 150 yards with a TD and two interceptions for Hamilton; he also ran for 90 yards, a season-high. Nick Caso ’16, a key receiver during the Bates game, caught a career-high seven passes for 52 yards. Klein also had a career first when he picked off a pass.
With a season record of 0-8, Hamilton is tied for 9th in the NESCAC League with Tufts, who they will compete against for the first time in two years in its opening game of the upcoming 2014 season. But, the Continentals will not be discouraged by this season’s struggles; they instead will focus on strengthening the team’s skills and dynamic.
Linebacker John Phelan ’16 said, “This season was rough, but we have a young, hardworking team and I have no doubt that we’ll continue to improve.”
The team certainly views this season as a period from which they can learn and improve as both individual players and as a united group.