Football Stays Undefeated Against G-Town

Max Yadin

The Raiders did not play nice with the Georgetown University Hoyas last Saturday in Washington, D.C. Colgate took off the kid gloves and defeated Georgetown, 45-12 in their penultimate game of the season. Junior tailback Jordan Scott, senior tailback J.J. Bennett, senior wide receiver Erik “Zorro” Burke, sophomore wide receiver Pat Simonds and junior quarterback Alex Relph led the Raiders’ offensive machine. Scott (180 rushing yards, two touchdowns) and Bennett (121 rushing yards, two touchdowns) ran through the massive holes created by the offensive line all day, while junior quarterback Alex Relph (243 passing yards, two touchdown) threw to Burke (102 receiving yards, one touchdown) and Simonds (101 receiving yards, one touchdown) with relative ease.

“I think we played a little bit better than Georgetown,” Head Coach Dick Biddle said. “Offensively, we were doing really well. We didn’t punt the ball the whole game…It was quite a day for those kids.”

Things did not start out so well for the Raiders. Relph’s first pass was intercepted by Hoya lineman George Cullen and Georgetown proceeded to march the ball into field goal range. Eric Bjonerud put up three points from 25 yards out, making the score 3-0 in Georgetown’s favor. Colgate reacted quickly, however, as senior Mike Buck fired the pigskin through the goalposts, tying the game with 5:54 left in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, it seemed as though the Hoyas had the momentum. Georgetown drove deep into Colgate territory and faked a field goal attempt to gain a first down on the inside the Raiders’ five-yard line. In an amazing show of competence and resolve, Colgate’s defensive unit held the line. On first down, senior defensive tackle Pat Nolan sacked Matt Bassuener, who then threw two incomplete passes. Sophomore defensive tackle Paul “Walnuts” Mancuso blocked the field goal attempt, leaving the Hoyas empty-handed.

Colgate followed up its defensive spectacular performance with an equally compelling offensive display. Relph led his team on a 90-yard drive downfield, which culminated with Bennett running one yard into the end zone. Down 10-3, Georgetown was unable to answer with a touchdown of its own and settled for another field goal with 6:59 remaining in the half. If the Hoyas thought they were on the verge of a comeback, they were mistaken. On the first play of Colgate’s next drive, Relph completed a 73-yard touchdown pass to Burke.

After the Raiders committed two penalties, Georgetown drove 62 yards and finally broke into the end zone when Bassuener found fullback Kyle VanFleet, but the Hoyas could not convert the extra point. Colgate subsequently marched 70 yards in six plays in a drive that ended with a 23-yard touchdown run by Scott. The score at halftime was 24-12, Colgate.

The third quarter of play was not a quiet one. The Raiders’ explosive offensive unit continued to impress (or disappoint) the Georgetown fans. Scott ran for his second touchdown of the game from four yards out, while Simonds caught a four yard pass in the end zone. The latter play extended Colgate’s lead to 38-12. In the fourth quarter, Bennett ran into the endzone from 31 yards out with 8:08 for the final score of the game.

“We played well offensively, and our defense picked up in the second half,” Biddle said.

With a little over one minute remaining, Bennett ran the ball up the middle and got hit hard by linebacker Chudi Obianwu. Bennett was put on a stretcher and carried off the field, but not before giving the crowd the thumbs up sign indicating that he would be alright. The referees and both head coaches decided it was best to end the game at that point.

“He [Bennett] had a concussion,” Biddle said. “They like to be careful, and took him to the hospital. He was in the training room Sunday morning. He’s questionable for next week, [but] he’s fine.”

Scott won the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award for his efforts, while senior linebacker Mike Gallihugh amassed a remarkable 17 tackles to earn the Defensive Player of the Week award. Also, the two players have made the final ballots for major Division-I FCS awards. Scott is one of the 16 finalists for the Walter Payton award, which is given to the best offensive player in Division-I FCS and named after the former Chicago Bears star. As one can imagine, Gallihugh has made the final ballot for the Buck Buchanan award, which is given to the best defensive player in Division-I FCS and named after the stellar Kansas City Chief defensive tackle.

With a 4-1 Patriot League mark and a 7-3 overall record, Colgate will now travel to Worcester to play Holy Cross in a battle for second place in the Patriot League. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.