In a Homecoming win, Colgate football defeated the Cornell Big Red this past weekend in overtime 35-28 at Andy Kerr Stadium, putting the team on a three-game winning streak. However, all is not well in Raider Nation. The squad had its third quarterback injury of the season, forcing the services of fourth-string first-yearJimmy DeCicco. Sophomore Gavin McCarney had been the clear starter after senior Steve Rizzo went down before the season, but McCarney was knocked out of last week’s game and his status remains unclear. The sophomore had rushed for eight touchdowns and passed for seven. Junior Josh Hasenberg got the start this past weekend against Cornell, but he too succumbed to an injury. Despite the quarterback uncertainty, the Raiders rallied in the rain in front of a Homecoming crowd of 3,817 to hold a winning record for the first time since week one.
Cornell opened the Saturday afternoon contest with a thundering 47-yard field goal from Brad Greenway, putting the Raiders down by three points early. However, Colgate responded with a drive ending in a Hasenberg ten yard rushing touchdown. Hasenberg dominated on the ground with 127 yards, but his passing game suffered in the elements. The rain and wind kept him to 52 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. The second quarter opened with a Cornell touchdown on an eighteen yard pass from Jeff Mathews. Again, Colgate responded swiftly with a touchdown. Junior running back Zauhn Lewis dashed for a seven yard rushing score to put the Raiders back on top 14-10 heading into half-time. Lewis coupled with junior Jordan McCord to fill the backfield with senior Nate Eachus out once again. Lewis would total 81 yards on the day, while McCord added 84.
The second half was barely underway when Colgate added to their lead with a touchdown. This time, it was McCord who took the handoff and darted seven yards. The running game gave the Raiders a seemingly comfortable 21- 10 lead. However, the momentum was short lived. On the following kickoff, Cornell’s Rashad Campbell took the ball back 85 yards to close the gap. The game certainly offered the back-and-forth action desired by the Homecoming weekend crowd.
Three minutes later, Josh Hasenberg scrambled for a three yard touchdown. Unfortunately, it would be his last scoring play of the day, as he left the game shortly after with an injury to his foot. Hasenberg’s big rushing day was crucial to Colgate’s eventual win. Jimmy DeCicco entered under center, but was a minimal factor to the Raider run-driven offense. The large lead held until the 1:52 mark in the fourth quarter, when a deep 52-yard pass play from Mathews to Luke Tasker put the Big Red in contention. The converted two-point attempt closed the gap to just three. Then, with only five seconds left on the clock, the Cornell kicker nailed a 40-yard field goal to tie the game and almost create a collapse of epic proportions by forcing overtime.
However, the Raiders would not let this win escape them. McCord would be the hero of the day with his second rushing touchdown of the day. The junior scored from four yards out to claim the lead. Colgate’s offense scored all five touchdowns in the ground, putting together a 291 rushing-yard day. Cornell had an opportunity to tie the game, but came up just short. On fourth-and-goal from the four-yard line, Mathews failed to connect with intended receiver Lucas Shapiro in the endzone. The defense, in addition to keeping the ball out of the endzone in overtime, also picked two passes from Mathews (intercepted by senior Chris DiMassa and Jordan McCord) and recovered a fumble.
Despite playing with third and fourth string quarterbacks and without its starting running back, Colgate put together a win against a weak Central New York foe. The Raiders dominated the clock, doubling the time-of-possession of Cornell with over fifty minutes on offense. It has been a season filled with unfortunate injuries, but the team has still found ways to win. Colgate will undoubtedly have to do just that again this weekend against a 5-2 Georgetown team. The Raiders look for their fourth straight win on the road at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
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