Football Falls to Fierce Lafayette Team in Last Minute Decision

Ben Arledge

The Colgate football team fell to the Lafayette Leopards last weekend in over­time with a score of 37-24. As the fourth quarter came to a close, the Raiders and the Leopards were even at 24 points, but a quick Lafayette score in overtime, fol­lowed by an interception returned for a touchdown, pushed Colgate to its third straight loss. Sophomore quarterback Gavin McCarney threw for 274 yards and added 44 yards on the ground. Ju­nior running back Jordan McCord, who was filling in for senior Nate Eachus, took all thirty-seven of the carries for the day. McCord had a season-best 172 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns. He then tacked on 34 yards receiving. He has certainly proved that he is capa­ble of being a reliable and effective run­ning back for next season after Eachus graduates. Sophomore wide receiver Daniel Cason put up fantasy numbers, with a career-high 102 yards receiving and a touchdown. Colgate dominated throughout, compiling 490 total yards, but allowed Lafayette to come back from two fourth quarter seven-point deficits to push the game into overtime and take the eventual win.

Colgate started the game on top. With 3:42 remaining in the first quarter, Mc­Carney found Cason in the open for a long 36-yard touchdown. However, the Leopards responded immediately. On the following kick-off, Lafayette returner Ross Scheuerman weaved through the Colgate special teams for a 78-yard re­turn touchdown, which tied the game. The defense of both sides dominated the remainder of the first half, holding the score to 7-7 heading into halftime.

Lafayette opened the third quarter with a go-ahead 21-yard field goal. Col­gate’s offense then embarked on a ten-play drive, leading to a 5-yard touchdown run by McCord. One possession later, Cason hauled in pass from McCarney for 56 yards, leaving the Raiders on the 1-yard line. However, a penalty and failed at­tempts at the endzone forced Colgate to kick a field goal, which freshman kicker Joe Uglietto easily nailed from 20 yards out. The field goal gave Colgate a seven-point lead with just over eleven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Lafayette showed determination and fight that could only be matched by the New York Giants in their comeback win over the New England Patriots on Sun­day. After a swift 48-yard drive, Leopard quarterback Andrew Shoop ran the ball into the end zone to even the score. With the score tied, the game soon became a race against time for both the Raiders and the Leopards. The Raiders strategi­cally moved down the field on the fol­lowing possession, killing almost six and a half minutes off the clock. With 1:35 remaining, McCord took a handoff from the 1-yard line for his second touchdown of the day.

However, it did not take long for La­fayette to tie the game once more. Shoop tossed two passes for gains of 26 and 27 yards, putting the Leopard offense on the Colgate 8-yard line. Then, with only thirty seconds on the clock, Shoop found Kyle Hayes in the end zone for the game-tying touchdown.

In overtime, Colgate’s push for the win was not made any easier. Shoop hit Mark Ross in the endzone for a 14-yard score to take the lead. The Raiders slowly moved toward the endzone on their re­buttal possession.

On 4th and 4 from the 9-yard line, McCarney kept the drive alive with a 4-yard pass to Cason. After a McCord run for no gain, McCarney’s endzone pass attempt was picked by Darius Saf­ford and taken all the way back for a La­fayette touchdown, officially sealing the Leopard comeback.

The Raiders outplayed the Leopards, but could not end their three-game los­ing streak. McCarney had career-high passing yards and McCord had season-high rushing yards.

Senior linebacker Chris DiMassa led the Raiders defense with nine tackles, which leaves him only nine away from a total of 100 for the season.

Next weekend, DiMassa will have the opportunity to reach that mile­stone and the Raiders will try for a season-ending win against Bucknell on November 19 at 1 p.m.

Contact Ben Arledge at [email protected]