Football Tames The Tigers

Jeff Fein

Great Scott! The football team’s running attack is back, led by first-year Jordan Scott. For the second week in a row, Scott carried the ball more than 30 times and rushed for over a 100 yards to earn the Patriot League Rookie of the Week award. Also for the second week in a row, the Raiders beat up on an Ivy League adversary, as they out-muscled Princeton, 16-10, in the midst of torrential rain on Saturday in New Jersey.

Scott, who only a few weeks ago was listed as the Raiders’ third-string fullback, carried the load for the offense against Princeton, as he rushed for 112 yards on 34 carries and a touchdown.

“He’s a good, tough back and very physical,” head coach Dick Biddle said of his budding star in the backfield. “Sometimes when you have a physical back, you get a couple of runs and it picks you up.”

The Raiders would need some picking up against a Princeton team thatwas undefeated going into its game against Colgate and had not trailed in a game all season. The Tigers’ gaudy stats, however,did not stop the Raiders from taking care of business.

Fully aware ofPrinceton’s potent offensive attack, whichran foran outrageous 324 yardsthe week before against Columbia, Colgate pounced first. Junior Geoff Bean returned the opening kickoff 60 yards to the Tiger 28-yard line. On the next play, Scott ran the ball just short of the goal line. Moments later, the first-year found the end zone and celebrated his second career touchdown.

At this point, the Raiders were just getting started. On the ensuing kickoff, another first-year made a big-time play when J.J. Bennett stripped dangerous Princeton return man Jay McCareins. Sophomore Cody Williams recovered, again giving the Raiders the ball on theTiger 28-yard line.

From there, senior quarterback Mike Saraceno got down to business.He found fellow senior wide receiver DeWayne Longfor an11-yard gain on the first play of the drive.Then, following twoshort runsby Scott,hehit junior wide receiver Kenny Parker in the end zone to give the Raiders a two-touchdown advantage less than three minutes into the game.

Princeton was stunned.

It took a Princeton interceptiondeep in Raider territory to getPrinceton on the scoreboard for its only points of the first half.

The Raider defense frustrated Princeton’s vaunted rushing attack all game, holding the Tigers to a combined 82 yards on the ground (242 yards less than the week before, but who’s counting). Bean and senior linebacker Jared Nepa continued their dominant play, as each posted a team-leading eight tackles. Seniors Jeff Galletly and Tom Cassano each sacked Princeton quarterback Jeff Terrell once.

“I thought our defense played extremely well under the conditions,” Biddle said.

Colgate’s defense held Terrell to 161 yards on 11 of 28 passing. He was intercepted by Williams in thethird quarter. Saraceno threw for 176 yards for the Raiders, the bulk of his passes going to Long, who had six catches for 68 yards on the afternoon.

Biddle was impressed with the way that the receivers played. “Our wide receivers came up with some big catches to keep drives alive,” he said.

Colgate held off a Tiger comeback in the second half. Princeton did score a touchdown on a 34-yard bombfollowing a Saraceno fumble,but the Raiders calmly marched 47 yards on the ensuing possession to set up a field goal by senior Mike Rava.

Rava, whomissed a field goal and an extra pointearlier in the game, came through when it mattered most and set the final score at 16-10.

The Raiders’ turnover ratiohas beena perfectbarometer for itssuccess in 2005. In each of its wins this season, the Raidershave won the turnover battle. In each of its losses, they have lost it.Saturday was no different, asColgate had three takeaways and two turnovers.

Colgateis now 3-2 heading intoits Patriot League openertomorrow against Fordham at Andy Kerr Stadium.

“This was a big win for us,”Biddle said. “It gives us two straight wins, and some momentum heading into league play onSaturday.”

Colgate will take on a Fordham team that has lost eight consecutive games dating back to last season. The Raiders are 13-3 in the all-time series between the two schools, and will look to use their big-time first-year running back to batter the Rams. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.