Football Gets Revenge, Defeats Stony Brook



Last season Colgate started the year with an embarrassing 42-26 loss at Stony Brook. That loss was definitely on Colgate’s minds this past Saturday, as the defense came up huge and led the Raiders to a 23-13 victory.

Both teams struggled on offense early, but it was Colgate who would be the first to get momentum rolling in their favor. Stony Brook went three-and-out their first three possessions. Their third series ended in a three-and-out that was made possible by an 11-yard sack of Stony Brook’s Michael Coulter by senior defensive tackle Carlton Walker. The sack put Stony Brook in a third-and-seven situation from their own 11. A five-yard run on third down then left the Seawolves just short of the first down marker.

After the rush Stony Brook managed a weak 34-yard punt, which was fielded by first-year John Schademan and returned to the Stony Brook 40. Two plays later, Colgate’s dynamic duo connected for their first big play of the game, as junior quarterback Greg Sullivan delivered a 37-yard strike to senior receiver Pat Simonds. Simonds made the catch despite pass interference on the play. After the PAT the Raiders were up 7-0.

However, early in the second quarter Stony Brook knotted the contest up at seven when running back Edwin Gowins broke off a huge 39-yard run. Colgate then answered back on their next possession, driving all the way down to within the Stony Brook 10. After a 7-yard run by senior running back Mark Colon (who filled in for injured sophomore running back Nate Eachus), Colgate had the ball second-and-goal from the Stony Brook two yard line. However, Colon was stuffed on second and Sullivan on third down to hold Colgate to a 19-yard field goal attempt. First-year Evan Colborne nailed the kick, his first career field goal attempt, to put Colgate up 10-7.

Colgate extended their lead on its next possession when Sullivan connected with Simonds for the second time on the evening, this time from 35 yards out, to give the Raiders a 17-7 lead. However, Stony Brook mustered a pair of field goals before halftime to cut the score to 17-13 going into the locker room.

In the second half, both teams’ defenses dominated. It was not until the fourth quarter that there was another score, and that was because of a huge defensive play. After another Colgate drive floundered, first-year punter Evan Goldszak executed a beautiful coffin corner kick to pin the Seawolves on their own one. Three plays later Stony Brook made the bold decision to go for it on fourth-and-one form their own 10. Running back Conte Cuttino just made it past the marker, but on the next play Coulter was nearly picked off by sophomore safety Vinnie Nicosia. On the following play, Coulter was not so lucky. Sophomore Jordan McCord came in unblocked and hit Coulter as he threw. Then senior linebacker Garrington Spence played the ball perfectly, coming up with a huge pick that he ran all the way back to the house. The score put Colgate up 23-13, after Colborne missed the extra point.

Stony Brook responded to this heartbreaker by throwing another pick. This time junior corner Coree Moses intercepted Coulter’s toss. On the ensuing possession, Colgate was able to run out the clock thanks to an 11- yard run by Jordan McCord on third-and-five, which sealed the deal.

The 23-13 win improved Colgate’s record to 2-0 for the first time since 2003, when the Raiders went to the Divisions 1-FCS title game. Mark Colon did an acceptable job with 65 yards on the ground, but Nate Eachus was certainly missed. Greg Sullivan helped pick up a lot of the slack in the running game, compiling 113 yards with his feet. He wasn’t too shabby passing the ball either, with 148 yards and two touchdowns through the air. For his efforts, Sullivan was named Patriot League offensive player of the week and ECAC offensive player of the week.

“Sullivan has been very good a lot of times,” Head Coach Dick Biddle said. “You noticed it more this week because with the loss of Eachus he was our leading rusher. He really took it upon himself to do that.”

Pat Simonds was also crucial to the Colgate win. Simonds caught two long touchdown passes and compiled 93 receiving yards. His two touchdown catches of 35 and 37 yards constituted the only two offensive touchdowns for Colgate on the day. According to Coach Biddle, these deep plays were a response to the defense that the Seawolves were running.

“Stony Brook really pushed us hard against the run,” Coach Biddle said “That’s why we were able to go deep and open up some big plays through the air for touchdowns.”

However, the defense deserves the lion’s share of the credit for this victory. Colgate’s defense not only held the Seawolves scoreless in the second half, but Garrington Spence was also responsible for the second half’s only points, thanks to his interception return. Senior safety Uzi Idah also had a spectacular contest, racking up nine tackles, two of them sacks. Senior linebacker Greg Hadley recovered nicely from an off-game against Monmouth; he compiled seven tackles. Vinnie Nicosia had his second straight solid game with six tackles. The defense’s performance was especially impressive since last season Stony Brook racked up 42 points against Colgate.

“That’s the reason we won the game, because of our play on defense,” Coach Biddle said. “They [the defensive players] were successful for two reasons. First of all, we didn’t give up any field position in the kicking game, so they [Stony Brook] had to drive against us in order to score. Secondly, our defense is getting more comfortable as they gain experience.”

On the losing side, Stony Brook’s Edwin Gowins ran for 108 yards and a score. Michael Coulter threw for 154 yards, but was sacked three times and threw a pair of picks. On defense, linebacker Stephen Schwicke led the way with 12 tackles.

This Saturday the Raiders travel to Hanover, New Hampshire to battle Dartmouth at 1:30 p.m. Colgate will try to extend their winning streak against Dartmouth to four consecutive years and improve to 3-0 on the 2009 season.