Colgate Smashes Lafayette 45-0 at Homecoming

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Raiders Win Homecoming Game

Gideon Hamot, Assistant Colgate Sports Editor

On homecoming weekend in front of a crowd of over 7,500 in commemorative 1932 throwback jerseys, the Colgate Football team continued their dominance this season with a 45-0 destruction of the Lafayette University Leopards. The win moved the team to 3-0 and cemented their place in the D1 FCS top-25 poll, where they currently stand at 24th.

The Raiders got off to an impressive start early when at the seven minute mark they took a 8-0 lead. After a sack and facing 3rd and 12, sophomore quarterback Grant Breneman threw a 21-yard completion to Nick Diaco that put the Raider in- side the Leopards’ red zone. On the next play, Breneman took the ball himself and took it three yards into the Lafayette end zone. On the extra point, senior Frank Ferrari took the ball into the end zone to convert the 2-point attempt.

On the next drive, the Colgate defense, which the prior week held a nationally ranked New Hampshire team to just three points, continued its dominant play. On fourth down, the defense forced a fumble and Senior Connor Wingenroth recovered on the Lafayette 11-yard line to give the offense excellent field position.

It took just three plays for the Raiders to once again find the end zone again as James Holland took the ball a yard on the ground. Chris Puzzi converted the kick to give the Raiders a 15-0 lead with nearly seven minutes remaining in the first.

The Leopards were able to use the rest of the quarter to march downfield but an acrobatic catch by Junior Abu Daramy-Swaray stopped the drive in the end zone and gave the ball back to the Raiders.

The maroon and white dominance continued in the second as Malik Twyman picked up 24 yards on the ground and a further 15 through the air on the next drive, including a 14-yard touchdown reception to make the score 22-0.

The teams then traded four straight unsuccessful three-and-out drives until something incredible happened. On a punt return, Daramy-Swaray took the ball and bursted 77 yards down the field for a rare special teams touchdown, extending the Colgate lead to 29-0.

The defense came up with another huge play on the next drive as senior Tyler Castillo intercepted Sean O’Malleys pass at the Colgate 45 and took it 52 yards all the way to the Lafayette three-yard line. The Raiders were able to capitalize once again as Junior Alex Mathews took the ball into the end zone to give the Raiders a 36-0 halftime lead.

On a different note, halftime at this home football game was a once-in-a-bi- centennial experience. By the direction of the PA announcer, Colgate athletes formed the outline of a giant “C” at the 50-yard line and Colgate students and families filled in the interior space. With the Colgate cheer squad gleefully energizing the crowd, we were all able to enjoy a special moment of unity and celebration.

Now, back to football. The Raiders received the ball back to open the second half and once again drove down the field progressing 59 yards and ending the drive with a Chris Puzzie field goal to make the game score 39-0.

The Raiders struck again near the end of the quarter when a series of James Hol- land runs helped the Raiders move the ball 27 yards and find the end zone again to make it 45-0 after a missed conversion.

The teams traded chances throughout the fourth quarter, however, neither was able to strike and the score remained the same until the final whistle as the Raiders won in dominant fashion.

With the victory, the Raiders move to 3-0 and 1-0 in conference. They continue the season at William & Mary next week- end and will return home on October 13 at noon when host rival Cornell. The Raiders have moved up in this weeks poll to #23.

One big reason for the victory was the Raiders success on the ground offensively. The Raiders rushed for a season-high 309 yards on the ground and held the Leopards to just 54. Highlighted in the Raiders ground attack was 139 yards from Russell and a career-high 69 yards from Pavalko.

The Raiders hope to carry this momentum as they come back home to Andy Kerr Stadium to face the Bucknell Bison, who come in hungry after their big upset against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. The Raiders will face the Bison this Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m.

Contact Gideon Hamot at [email protected]