Football Defeats Dartmouth for Fourth Straight Time

Football Defeats Dartmouth for Fourth Straight Time

Bill Stoklosa

Trailing 15-13 in the third quarter to a team that was 0-10 last season, it looked like the Colgate Raiders may have been primed for an embarrassing upset. However, Colgate responded well to adversity and closed out the game on a 21-0 run, to pick up a 34-15 win at Dartmouth on Saturday.

“As the game goes on the team gets stronger,” sophomore running back Jordan McCord said. “Coach says it all the time; games are won in the fourth quarter. I think we were able to turn it up because we all have the same goal, and that’s winning. We came out with a chip on our shoulder, trying to prove we can play with anyone.”

The win was Colgate’s first road victory of the season, and it improved Colgate’s record to 3-0 for the first time since 2003, when the team finished 15-1.

The game started off with the ball in Colgate’s possession. Moving well, the Raiders found themselves on the 30-yard line, where sophomore running back Jordan McCord (playing in place of injured sophomore Nate Eachus) was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-two. After the turnover on downs, Dartmouth’s offense was forced into a three-and-out situation.

On the ensuing Colgate possession, the Raiders faced a tough third-and-ten at midfield. However, junior quarterback Greg Sullivan delivered a 27-yard pass to junior Doug Rosnick to keep the drive alive. After the completion, Sullivan came up big again, this time connecting with senior wide receiver Pat Simonds for a 12-yard touchdown strike that put the Raiders up 7-0. On the ensuing drive Dartmouth needed just one play to even the score, as their quarterback pump faked and tossed a 57-yard touchdown pas to knot the score at 7.

Sullivan was picked off at the Dartmouth 45 on the next possession, but the Big Green found trouble against the Raider defense, and they were forced to punt the ball back to Colgate. 13 plays and 79 yards later Colgate was in the endzone again, courtesy of Greg Sullivan’s 12-yard rush. However, all did not end well for the Raiders, as first-year Evan Colborne had his extra point attempt blocked and returned all the way to the opposite end zone. The play counted for two points for the Big Green, and the end result was a 13-9 Raider advantage. Dartmouth drove down deep into Colgate territory on their next possession, and had a first-and-goal from the Colgate 7. However, the Raider defense came up with three huge stops in a row, and Dartmouth settled for a field goal to cut the lead to 13-12.

After both teams exchanged punts, Colgate had a shot to extend their lead before heading into the locker room. The Raiders drove all the way down to the Dartmouth 12, but had to settle for a Colborne field goal attempt. Unfortunately, the rookie pushed the kick wide left, and Colgate went into the half clinging to a one point lead.

Dartmouth started off the second half with a bang, as they took the half’s opening kick back 42 yards to the Raider 38. Kick coverage has been a huge issue for Colgate this year, and according to Head Coach Dick Biddle it will be a hard issue to fix.

“We have to work on it,” Head Coach Biddle said. “”At times our kickoffs have been too short, and at other times the coverage has just been bad. The problem is that kickoff coverage is hard to simulate in practice without getting people hurt.”

Despite the big return, the defense again made the best of a bad situation. Dartmouth drove down to the 12, but the Raider defense forced three consecutive incompletions by Jenny. Schmidt came on and drilled a kick to put the Big Green up 15-13.

Things were definitely going Dartmouth’s way, but not for long. On the ensuing drive Jordan McCord ripped off a 33-yard run to bring the ball to the Dartmouth six. Three plays later, Sullivan rammed the ball through from one yard out, giving Colgate a 20-14 lead after the extra point. Dartmouth took over at their own 40 after Colborne pushed the ensuing kickoff out of bounds. It initially looked like Dartmouth would take advantage of the good field position as the quarterback delivered a 16-yard pass to move the ball to the Raider 44. However, on the very next play he was sacked by sophomore safety Vinnie Nicosia and the ball popped out to be recovered by junior defensive end Lamont Sonds at the Raider 48. Nine plays later, McCord ran the ball in from seven yards out to give Colgate a 27-15 advantage.

Early in the fourth it looked like Dartmouth might cut into the lead, as they fielded a punt from Colgate first-year Evan Goldszak at their own 17 and ran 39 yards to the Colgate 44, before Goldszak made a touchdown saving tackle. But the defense forced Dartmouth to punt after a three-and-out on the ensuing possession. Coach Biddle cited Goldszak’s tackle a turning point in the game.

Later in the fourth, Colgate iced the game with another McCord run to put the Raiders up 34-15. That score would hold up until the final whistle, and Colgate left New Hampshire with a 3-0 record.

McCord had a whopping 212 yards on 44 carries. He also scored twice. For the most part McCord stacked his stats by racking up 4-10 yards each carry. McCord gave the credit for his success to his offensive linemen.

“The linemen have put in a lot of work,” McCord said. “They are a tough young group. I feel like they are the key to the team’s success. They played great Saturday and opened a lot of holes for me to run through. “

Jordan’s coach also pointed out that pounding the ball with McCord was a deliberate effort to take advantage of Dartmouth’s defensive scheme.

“Dartmouth was making an effort to make sure that Sullivan wouldn’t run on them,” Coach Biddle said. “They were also double-teaming Simonds. That meant we had to go to Jordan as our third option. The line blocked well, and Jordan is a very talented player who stepped up and had a big game.”

Complementing McCord was Sullivan, who had 51 yards and two scores on the ground. He also passed for 172 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, senior linebacker Greg Hadley had a stellar day with nine tackles, two of them for a loss. Senior linebacker Garrington Spence was also solid with eight tackles, while senior safety Uzoma Idah added six.

Colgate’s next contest will be one of their most important games of the year as they come home to battle the Fordham Rams this Saturday at 6:00. It will be Colgate’s first Patriot League game of the year, and if Colgate wants to repeat as league champions they can ill afford to lose their opener.