The Colgate football team grabbed an important Patriot League win this weekend at Bucknell University with an impressive 27-7 victory on the road. After a disappointing 1-4 start to the season, and a loss in their first
Patriot League game to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 45-31, the Raiders faced a must-win game if they wanted to retain their Patriot League crown. The defense led the way in this win, holding the Bucknell offense to just seven points and, most notably, 27 rushing yards on 23 attempts. Senior linebacker Kyle Diener and senior outside linebacker Chris Morgan combined for 14 tackles to lead the defense. Diener explained how their defensive efforts helped during the game.
“They got 23 attempts for 27 yards rushing. Whenever you can do that to a team, you feel really good about your chances to win the game,” Diener said.
This was definitely the most complete game the Raiders’ secondary has played all season, which will only improve with the likely return of senior safety Christian Hardegree after the bye week as he nurses a hamstring injury. Sophomore cornerback Tyler Castillo accounted for the Raiders’ only forced turnover on an interception that he returned 31 yards.
Castillo stressed the importance of the role that his teammates played on the interception.“I saw it was fourth-and-short and we called man coverage, so my eyes were on the receiver the whole time. [I’ve] got to give credit to the D-line. They got pressure in the quarterback’s face and forced him into a bad throw, and I broke on the route and made a play,” Castillo said.
The offense was led by junior running back Keyon Washington. In his first full season playing on the offensive side of the ball after making the switch late last season, Washington played the best game of his career. While fellow junior running back James Holland has been out with an injury, Washington and senior quarterback Jake Melville have been forced to carry the load. Washington carried the ball 25 times for 158 yards.
After the game, Washington talked about the offensive line’s great job in opening up the field.
“The O-linemen blocked really well; I give it all up to them. I just ran behind them and ran as hard as I could. I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable out there, but it’s only the beginning,” Washington said.
Melville completed 17 of 28 passes for 149 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Junior wide receiver Alex Greenawalt caught six balls for 71 yards and sophomore tight end Nick Martinsen, in his first game back since missing time due to a concussion, added four catches for 31 yards.
The Raiders have a much needed bye this week and will use it to recuperate. Colgate will most likely have to win their four remaining league games to have a chance at winning back-to-back league titles. The fact that three of their four remaining games are at home will only help the cause. The Raiders will face Holy Cross during Family Weekend on October 29 before going on the road for a crucial contest against rival Fordham. They will then return to Hamilton to finish the season against Lafayette and Georgetown.