Three weeks, three blowout wins in a row. The Raiders made winning look easy on Saturday October 28, cruising to a 40-3 victory against Bucknell in the last home game of the season. The victory moved Colgate into first place in the Patriot League standings and into the title hunt with two games left to go.
“We talked about that after the Lehigh game. We said we’ve got to win three going into the bye week, whatever it takes. One of the good things is we went 3-0 and we played better each week,” head coach Dan Hunt said.
Colgate has been dominant in its three-game winning streak which has featured comfortable victory margins of 26, 38 and now 37 points as the team heads into its bye week on a tear.
Heading into the second quarter against Bucknell, the score stood at 6-3, Colgate. 27 unanswered points later and Colgate ended the half on top with a score of 33-3, accumulating 293 of its total 386 yards off four touchdown drives before cooling down in the second half. The Raiders were able to capitalize and convert on all six red zone opportunities in the game, demonstrating a fluid offense that took care of business.
“It was nice to get out to a hot start. We wanted to make a statement that we’ve still got a chance to win this league and we’re the best team in the league, and we proved that. Three wins in a row, putting up some points, and the defense is playing great,” junior wide-receiver Thomas Ives said.
Ives, who has had two spectacular catches featured on SportsCenter’s “Top 10 Plays” segment over the last three weeks, reeled in two touchdowns, both of which came in the second quarter. First-year quarterback Grant Breneman tied his season high with three touchdown passes while adding a rushing score, diving just inside the pylon for the touchdown. Breneman saw his streak of passes without an interception end at 170, but now has 15 TD’s on the season against just two interceptions, sweeping the Patriot League offensive and rookie awards last week. Colgate’s ground game was in led by senior tailback James Holland with his third straight 100-yard rushing effort; Holland was joined by Breneman who flashed his dual-threat abilities with 87-yards on his legs.
On the other side of the ball, Colgate was able to force three turnovers highlighted by two interceptions from sophomore linebacker Nick Ioanilli, which both led to scoring opportunities for Colgate. The defense stood stout and never let Bucknell establish any kind of offensive rhythm, and allowed the fewest points to an opponent since 2014.
“Coach Shaff just prides us every week on bend-not-break fundamental football, and that’s pretty much what we played. Credit to all the defense, we all played great,” Ioanilli said.
The Raiders head into their bye week looking to rest up and prepare for the final two games of the season. Their final two games will be at Lafayette and Georgetown.
“We have a couple of guys who we’ll probably get back by our next game, and then we’ve got a two-week season,” Hunt said.
Contact Neil Ahlawat at [email protected]