Lafayette Puts a “Hurt” on Colgate’s Playoff Hopes

Lafayette Puts a

Bill Stoklosa

At the beginning of the season, the Colgate football team never thought it would have to win its last three games to finish above .500. Unfortunately for the Raiders, that is exactly the position they are in after a 27-10 loss to Lafayette on Saturday.

Colgate struck early in the first quarter when senior Geoff Bean put the Raiders on the Lafayette 34-yard line with a 21-yard punt return. Bean’s return set up a four-yard touchdown run by sophomore Jordan Scott. Lafayette answered in the second quarter with a 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brad Maurer to running back Jonathan Hurt. It looked as if the completion would only go for a short gain, but Hurt put on the jets and took the ball to the house. Neither team would put up any more points in the half and they went to their respective locker rooms with the score deadlocked at seven.

Lafayette opened up the second-half scoring with a 43 yard field goal. Then, after starting on their own 20-yard line, the Leopards handed the ball to Hurt who took the ball 80 yards for a score.

“The thing that really hurt us is that we gave up two big plays on defense,” head coach Dick Biddle said. “Guys in the secondary were blocked and that got us out of position.”

In the fourth quarter, Hurt found the end zone again, this time on a three-yard run to expand Lafayette’s lead to 24-7. Colgate showed some life, as senior quarterback Mike Saraceno led the Raiders downfield, looking for a comeback. The drive culminated in a 33-yard field goal by junior Mike Buck, making it a two-score game. However, Hurt once again doomed the Raider’s hopes. Lafayette ran Hurt several times on the ensuing drive and the Raiders could not stop him. The drive ended in a 25-yard field goal, but more importantly it took over eight minutes off the clock, leaving Colgate with the impossible task of making up a 27-10 deficit in three minutes.

“We had chances to get back in the game but we hurt ourselves with bad penalties,” Coach Biddle said. “We were never able to get anything done consistently on offense.”

The Raiders loss puts them at 3-5 for the season and 2-1 in the Patriot league. If they win out, the Raiders will still get at least a share of the league title, but there are no guarantees if they lose any of their last three games. Colgate will face a formidable challenge on Saturday when they it visits first-place Lehigh.