Colgate football traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to face the Yale Bulldogs this past weekend. After falling behind 7-0 in the opening minutes of the game, the Raiders rallied to score 55 points, matched only by six more Yale points to give the Raiders a decisive 55-13 road victory. The No. 23 ranked Colgate Raiders handed their Ivy League foe their worst home defeat in program history.
Despite the resounding win, the Raiders did not get off to a hot start. Senior quarterback Jake Melville’s pass on the opening possession of the game was tipped and intercepted, giving the Bulldogs an early red zone opportunity. Yale punched the ball in the end zone two plays later to give the home team, playing their first game of the season, an early 7-0 lead.
Fortunately, Melville and the dynamic Colgate offense responded in a big way. Just two minutes later, Melville hit first-year tight end Nick Diaco for a 22-yard touchdown pass for his first career catch and score. Later in the quarter, senior wide receiver John Maddaluna scored his first career rushing touchdown on an eight-yard run. Then, with a little over two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Melville found sophomore tight end Nick Martinsen for a 55-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the drive to give Colgate a 21-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Yale added back-to-back field goals at the beginning of the second quarter before junior running back James Holland scored on a nine-yard plunge followed by a ten-yard touchdown pass from Melville to junior wide receiver Alex Greenawalt to give Colgate a 35-13 halftime lead.
A stout Colgate defense would hold the Bulldogs scoreless in the second half. Senior captain linebacker Kyle Diener, junior linebacker Trent Williams, sophomore cornerback Tyler Castillo and sophomore linebacker T.J. Holl each recorded an interception. Williams, along with junior outside linebacker Pat Afriye each added two sacks. The defense held the Bulldogs to 188 total yards while the Colgate offense piled up an obscene 558 yards.
After a 29-28 home loss last season that saw the Raiders squander a 14-point fourth quarter lead, the Raiders took it to the Bulldogs in the 2016 version of the matchup in front of a crowd of over 8,000.
When asked about his team’s all-around performance, Melville stressed the
importance of his offensive line’s play and their ability to protect him all day.
“We had to battle a little bit of adversity, but throughout the whole game, the wide receivers played great, the line gave me a ton of time and it was just my job to get them the ball,” Melville said. “I can’t say enough about the O-line. I was pretty clean the whole game.”
The team will travel to the University of Richmond this weekend for a top-25 matchup with the previously No. 2 ranked Richmond Spiders. Despite defeating their ACC opponent Virginia Cavaliers in the opening game of their season, Richmond was upset by Stony Brook this past weekend 42-14. Kick-off from Richmond will be at 3:30 p.m. this weekend. The Raiders have proved themselves to be a strong program already this season, building off last year’s success as Patriot League champions. Hopefully, the Raiders will be able to capitalize on their momentum in their upcoming games. Early wins such as their victory over Yale will prove paramount to their success later on this season.