Football Prepares for Monumental FCS Playoffs

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#7 Colgate to Face #6 James Madison in Second Round of NCAA FCS Tournament

Kate Kelly, Maroon-News Staff

The Colgate football team has had an outstanding season so far, reaching many milestones, and the competition is not over yet. The Raiders are heading into the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs, having completed their regular season with a 9-1 record overall and 6-0 in their conference. They will face perennial power James Madison this Saturday, December 1, at Andy Kerr Stadium in Hamilton. Before we get into the details of this huge matchup, let’s take a moment to recap some of the highlights of Colgate’s memorable season so far.

A major theme for the Raiders in 2018 has been lock-down defense. Multiple games of theirs ended in shutout victories: a 45-0 win against Lafayette, 23-0 against William and Mary, 31-0 against Cornell, 38-0 against George- town and 41-0 against Fordham.

The Lafayette game occurred over Bicentennial Weekend and the Raiders surely did not disappoint. They gathered a crowd of 7,753 fans as they competed against Lafayette in their vintage 1932 throwback uniforms to celebrate the school’s bicentennial and honor the claimed 1932 national championship season. Colgate got a lead right away in this game, going up 15-0 within just the first ten minutes of the game. Some key players in this game were Abu Daramy-Swaray, junior defensive back, who had an interception and returned it 32 yards to score a touchdown for the Raiders. Another standout was sophomore quarterback Grant Breneman, who performed well on third down and sent in a pass to sophomore tailback, Malik Twyman, who was able to convert for the Raiders, putting them up 22-0. The Raiders continued this aggressive play and finished the game with an impressive score of 45-0.

Another milestone win for the Raiders was their 38-0 victory against rival Cornell. This was the 100th all-time meeting for these two teams and Colgate earned a shutout victory, their first since against the team since 1919. After this victory, Colgate became the first Patriot League team to post three shutouts in one season. Key players in this game were Colgate’s linebacking trio, including junior T.J.Holl (Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year), junior Nick Ioanilli and senior Dillon Deluliis, who all recorded double-figure tackle totals. Each player hit a personal career high.

Last weekend was a serious test for the Raiders. They faced off against D1 heavy-hitter Army West Point, who had gone an impressive 8-2 with a close overtime loss against the Oklahoma Sooners earlier in the season. The Raiders played the Black Knights tight in this one, down by a score in the fourth quarter. Despite the eventual 28-14 loss, the Raiders inspired fans and neutrals alike. Senior running back James Holland ran for 167 yards and one touchdown, and the defense only surrendered 25 passing yards.

There are so many great things to say about the Raiders’ football season so far, and there is still great football to watch! The Raiders will face James Madison in the second round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday, December 1 at 1 p.m. at Andy Kerr Stadium. James Madison is currently ranked #6 and has an overall record of 9-3, and an in conference record of 6-2. Some of their highlight victories include shutout wins against Norfolk State, 17-0, William & Mary, 51-0, and Villanova 37-0.

The Raiders are looking forward to this highly-anticipated matchup and hope to come out with a victory and move onto the FCS national quarterfinals. They have spent a great deal of time preparing over the Thanksgiving break and are using this week to make their last touch-ups before kick-off on Saturday. Be sure to head to Andy Kerr Stadium on Saturday to cheer on the Raiders!

Contact Kate Kelly at [email protected]