Colby College football coach Jack Cosgrove is pictured during a 2018 practice in Waterville. His White Mules open defense of their Colby-Bates-Bowdoin title on Saturday against Bates. Credit: Courtesy of Ben Wheeler Photography

The other New England Small College Athletic Conference football programs have not been kind to Maine’s three entries this fall. Colby, Bates and Bowdoin are winless through the first six weeks of the season.

But the CBB championship represents a second season of sorts for those three longstanding Division III programs, and that annual competition begins at 1 p.m. Saturday when Colby College of Waterville hosts Bates College of Lewiston.

Colby, playing under former University of Maine head coach Jack Cosgove for the first time last year, defeated Bates 21-6 and Bowdoin College of Brunswick 31-14 to capture the CBB Trophy outright for the first time since 2005.

Bowdoin leads the series with 19 outright CBB titles, while Colby has 15 and Bates 14.

The CBB competition continues Nov. 2 when Bowdoin visits Bates and concludes Nov. 9 when Colby plays at Bowdoin.

This week’s CBB opener marks the 121st meeting between Colby and Bates, with the Mules holding a 67-47-6 lead.

Both teams have similar statistics through their 0-6 starts, with Colby scoring 12.8 points and allowing 31.0 points per game while Bates has posted 10 ppg and yielded 37.0 points per outing.

Endicott Gulls (5-1) vs. Husson Eagles (2-4), noon Saturday, Winkin Complex, Bangor: This marks just the second meeting between these programs. Husson has joined Endicott in the Commonwealth Coast Conference for football, with the Gulls sharing the league lead with Western New England after last week’s 61-34 victory over Curry.

After last week’s 31-21 loss to the University of New England, Husson (2-1 CCC) is tied for third with Nichols College (4-2, 2-1 CCC). Nichols hosts Husson next Saturday.

One reason for Endicott’s success has been its red zone offense. After scoring on all seven of its forays inside the Curry 20-yard line last week, the Gulls (3-0 CCC) rank eighth in NCAA Division III with their .931 red zone conversion rate.

Husson’s defense ranks seventh in the eight-school CCC, allowing 34.0 ppg.

Husson’s offense includes junior wide receiver Tyler Halls of Lisbon, who leads the league with 44 receptions and 7.3 catches per game. Senior quarterback David Morrison has completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 1,409 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Maine Maritime Academy Mariners (0-7) vs. Norwich Cadets (4-2), noon Saturday at Northfield, Vermont: Norwich (1-2 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) holds an 11-0 lead in the series, including last fall’s 15-7 victory at Castine.

Maine Maritime (0-4 NEWMAC), known for its rushing prowess, has established some passing milestones this fall. Nikolas Moquin has become the seventh quarterback in MMA history to surpass 1,000 passing yards in a season. His 1,110 yards are the most since Chris Pelletier (1,160) in 2000.

Junior wide receiver Dominic Casale of Freeport set a school record with his ninth receiving TD of the season during last week’s 33-8 loss to Coast Guard. His 603 receiving yards are the most at MMA since John Guss (819) in 1991.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...