Saturday, the Colgate football team defeated Sacred Heart by a score of 35- 14. After two tough opening season road losses against Albany and South Dakota, the Raiders returned to Andy Kerr Stadium, winning in front of a packed crowd.
The action in the game began early, as Colgate got on the board first with a one yard run by junior Gavin McCar-ney after an interception by sophomore Mike Armiento. McCarney finished the day with 55 yards on 14 carries. After Sa-cred Heart missed a field goal, the Raid-ers fumbled the ball and Sacred Heart capitalized, evening up the score.
After a few back and forths, senior Chris Looney converted a huge 4th down, catching a 22 yard pass from McCarney and scoring a touchdown. Shortly after, Sacred Heart returned the favor with a touchdown pass, evening up the score at 14 and sending the game to halftime.
The locker room atmosphere for the Raid-ers must have been influential, because the Raiders came out playing inspired football.
“Coach Biddle challenged the defense to come out and stop the run and that is what we tried to do. Everyone knew what we need to accomplish and something just clicked,” senior Patrick Friel said about the changes made from the first half to the second half.
After having their punt blocked on their first drive, the Raiders settled into a ground-and-pound mentality, running the ball down Sacred Heart’s throats with senior Jordan McCord doing much of the damage and putting the ball in the end zone twice.
Late in the third quarter, on another fourth down, Looney caught another big pass from McCarney to get the first down and the touchdown.
This reception put the Raiders up 35- 14, and the rest of the game was left up to the defense, which was more than ready to step up. Friel led the team with nine tackles and one sack while sophomore Kris Kent pitched in with six tackles and two sacks.
After giving up 40 points to Albany in week one, the defense strived for improve-ment and much of their hard work paid off in the game against Sacred Heart, as the Pioneers’ offense was held to a season low 14 points.
“Everyone in our front sev-en did a great job in their run fits,” Friel said.
At the end of the game, McCord finished the day with 167 yards on 28 rushes, improving his already stellar stats on the season. Looney was Colgate’s top receiver reeling in four catches for 73 yards, two of which were touchdown catches.
“When you have an offense that can convert on third and fourth down it makes it real easy to play defense,” Friel said, commenting on the two big touchdowns that Looney caught on 4th down. Looking forward to next week, Friel and the team recognize that their competition will be very difficult.
“Stony Brook is one of the best teams in the FCS and are extremely physical. We cannot have a slow start against them. [In order to do this,] we have to have a tough physical week of practice, get better and improve everyday,” Friel said.
The Raiders will play next at Stony Brook (2-1) next Saturday at 6 p.m.
Contact Spencer Serling at [email protected]