Raiders Make Fordham Another Casualty



In the 2005 campaign by losing two of its first three games in ugly fashion. In the Raiders’ losses to Central Connecticut State and Dartmouth, senior quarterback Mike Saraceno threw seven interceptions and the Colgate defense went flat when called upon to make big stops.

But the Raiders’ early-season setbacks are quickly becoming distant memories. Saraceno starred on offense and the Raider defense put the Fordham Rams on lockdown as Colgate won its third consecutive game on Saturday, 23-0. The Raiders are now 1-0 in Patriot League play.

Saraceno threw for 164 yards, completing 13-of-25 passing attempts. He also led the Raider rushing attack with 92 yards on the ground.

Colgate’s defense, meanwhile, held the Rams to only 111 yards of total offense en route to a shutout. After giving up an average of 22 points in the first three games of the season, the defense has held opponents to only 10 points per game in its last three contests.

“We complement each other very well because we’re a fast defense,” sophomore cornerback Cody Williams said. “We might not have the same talent as [we did] last year, but we are a far better team. I know that everyone out there has my back and they know that I have theirs.”

Williams said the Raiders were so prepared for the game that facing the Ram offense was like “taking a test and knowing all the answers” beforehand. He showed that off by perhaps the game’s big–gest play when he intercepted an errant Ram pass at the Fordham 24-yard line and cut across the field for a touchdown to give Colgate a comfortable 16-0 lead.

The Raider defensive line gave Fordham fits, as it applied enough pressure to hold the Ram quarterback tandem of Derric Daniels and Matthew Fullam to a combined seven completions, the first of which did not come until the third quarter. Colgate senior defensive tackle, Jeff Galletly, led the charge with seven tackles and two sacks.

Galletly’s first sack came on the Rams’ opening drive. On Fordham’s second play from scrimmage, the Franklin Lakes, NJ native dropped Daniels for a 16-yard loss.

“The Fordham offensive line was very inexperienced and, as an experienced defensive line, we were able to take advantage of that,” Galletly said. “[Senior] nose tackle Chris Petrone has been having a big year, and I think they focused on stopping him, which freed me up to make plays.”

The game was scoreless until first-year running back Jordan Scott got the Raiders on the board with a one-yard plunge at the 7:28 mark in the second quarter. Scott’s 58 yards on the ground earned him a third consecutive Patriot League Rookie of the Week award. Averaging 109 yards rushing in his three starts, Scott has quickly become the Raiders’ consummate hard-nosed rusher, filling a void left by the graduation of star running back Jamaal Branch ’05.

“I just run where they tell me to run,” Scott said of his sudden success. “The offensive line does a remarkable job blocking for me.”

Raider senior kicker Mike Rava hit a 22-yard field goal with 1:10 left in the first half to give Colgate a 10-point lead. For the second week in a row, Rava missed an extra-point attempt, this time after Williams’ score, prompting the coaching staff to send in first-year Jacob Stein to kick the extra-point after Saraceno ran for a four-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Kicking issues aside, the Raiders are optimistic about the team’s status as it prepares for another Patriot League match-up tomorrow against Holy Cross, a team that Colgate rocked 41-7 last year.

“After a slow start this year, we didn’t quit or pack it in,” Galletly said. “We are heading in the right direction and believe it will carry through league play.”

Holy Cross, however, is no pushover. The Crusaders are 5-2 and have won both of their Patriot League games, including an upset of nationally-ranked Lehigh. Star running back Steve Silva posted an astounding 328 all-purpose yards against Dartmouth a week ago.

“I look at Holy Cross as a team of scrappers,” Williams said. “They are going to come out fighting hard because they have been kicked around for the last few years. To me, they are a dangerous team in that sense, because teams like that will go to the limits to win. But we can’t get caught up in their success this year. We just have to play our game, and come out fighting.”