The No. 21 ranked Colgate football team lost a tough game on the road against the No. 9 Richmond Spiders Saturday afternoon. After falling behind 38-17, the Raiders stormed back to cut the lead to 38-31 in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, an interception by senior quarterback Jake Melville on the team’s final drive gave Richmond the opportunity to run the clock out with less than a minute to play.
Big plays were the theme of the game. After falling behind 10-0, the Raiders put together a five-play, 75-yard drive that ended with junior running back James Holland finding the end zone on a five-yard touchdown run. On the ensuing Richmond drive, senior defensive lineman Brett Field blocked the Spiders’ punt and sophomore defensive back Ben Hunt scooped and scored for an 11-yard touchdown that gave the Raiders their first lead of the game at 14-10.
Field talked about the boost it gave the team going into the half.
“The punt block was an all-around effort by the punt return team,” Field said. “There were three of us who all had a chance to block it. Ben Hunt did a great job scooping it and scoring. It definitely was a momentum booster when we needed it in the first half.”
However, the third quarter was all Richmond. Despite being tied at the half 17-17, the Spiders forced a Colgate three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half. On Richmond’s next possession, the Spiders put together a seven-play, 68-yard drive that ended with a touchdown. The Spiders would also add another touchdown, keeping the Raider offense largely on the sideline, to give themselves a 31-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Colgate head coach Dan Hunt stressed the importance of this lopsided third quarter when talking about the deciding factors in his team’s defeat.
“It really was back and forth, from the start of the game when we got down ten to take the lead,” Hunt said. “Obviously, the third quarter was our downfall. We just dug ourselves a big hole.”
After falling behind 38-17 in the early portion of the fourth quarter, the Raiders mounted a fierce rally sparked by first-year defensive back Abu Daramy’s 84-yard kick-off return that gave the Raiders the ball inside the Spiders’ ten-yard line. Melville would score two plays later to cut the deficit to two possessions.
Two posessions later, senior defensive back Christian Hardegree forced a Richmond fumble that was recovered by sophomore defensive back Cortney Mimms. It was then cashed in via a four-yard touchdown by junior running back Keyon Washington.
On the next drive, the Raiders’ defense forced a Richmond punt. But, with 50 seconds remaining, Melville was intercepted, and the Raiders’ comeback fell short.
After the game, Field also spoke about the team’s need to close out games as the season progresses towards the postseason.
“I thought we came out and played decent in the first half. However, we came out very flat defensively in the third quarter and let up too many points. We have to work on coming out of half[time] with more energy and more intensity on the defensive side of the ball,” Field said.
The Raiders will be back at it at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium, where they will face the Cornell Big Red in their annual rivalry game for Homecoming in front of the Hamilton crowd for the first time this season.