Football Falls to Dartmouth on the Road, 37-20

Ben Arledge

The Colgate football team dropped its sec­ond game in as many weeks this Saturday, los­ing 37-20 to Dartmouth on the road. Without star tailback Nate Eachus, the Raiders got a big time performance out of their quarterback Gavin McCarney. The sophomore dished out 26 com­pletions for 200 yards, but his real contribution came on the ground. McCarney ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns, which would end up representing the only Raider scores of the day.

Just like last week, Colgate found itself down early. After a three-and-out for McCarney and the offense to start the game, Dartmouth took the lead on the following possession with a nine-yard rushing score. It appeared that ‘Gate was in for another long day, but McCarney responded immediately with a 71-yard drive, taking it into the endzone himself with a twelve yard run. First-year Joe Uglietto added his first of two PATs on the day to tie it up at seven.

The Big Green took the lead again with a 41-yard field goal, and the Raiders were forced to punt it away on their next possession. Again, Dartmouth banged home a field goal, putting the Big Green in the driver’s seat with a 13-7 lead. Colgate got the ball back with five minutes re­maining in the half, and managed to bring the ball to the four-yard line. After a false start penalty to the Raiders, they were left with a 26-yard field goal attempt as time was running out.

However, Dartmouth put pressure on Ug­lietto quickly and managed to block the kick and maintain its six point lead going into half-time.

The second half opened with more points for the Big Green, after Foley Schmidt nailed his second 41-yard field goal of the day. The Raid­ers needed a momentum change and someone to bring the game back within reach. Once again, they looked to their young quarterback.

McCarney has shown ability early this season in leading the team on long drives, and he did just that again early in the third quarter trailing by nine. After taking over on their own 33-yard line, the Raiders used small-gain plays to drive down­field. A ten-yard reception from junior Chris Loo­ney put Colgate in the red zone, where McCarney took over. Looney led the team in receiving with eight catches and 83 yards. Sophomore Daniel Cason also contributed with six catches and 42 yards. The drive ultimately led to a seven-yard run from McCarney, narrowing the gap to 16- 14. Suddenly, the Raiders were in the game, and their offense was shining, even without Eachus in the backfield.

The high did not last, though. Nick Schwieger got the hand-off on 2nd-and-10 for a 46-yard cruise to the Colgate 14. Four plays later, the Dartmouth running back took it into the endzone on a 4-yard run. Then there was more bad news for Colgate. After a three-and-out possession, a punt from deep inside Raider territory was blocked, set­ting Dartmouth up on the 19-yard line. Big Green quarterback Conner Kempe imme­diately added six with a 19-yard pass for the score. The touchdown capped off a seventeen point third quarter for Dartmouth and put Colgate at a 30-14 deficit.

The climb back was halted when first-year running back Danny Epstein fumbled the ball, just fourteen yards from the endzone. Epstein stepped in this week for Nate Eachus, and had an otherwise impressive day. On sixteen carries, Epstein picked up 46 yards in his first collegiate start. Dartmouth failed to convert the fumble re­covery, punting the ball away and giving Colgate another shot. Following the punt, McCarney im­mediately found Looney for a 20-yard reception.

The Raiders continued their drive down to the Dartmouth 2, where McCarney took it him­self for the third time into the endzone. Colgate rolled the dice and went for the two-point con­version, but McCarney’s run was stopped by the Dartmouth defense. Colgate’s run game was not enough, and Dartmouth added seven points on another Nick Schwieger touchdown run. The Raiders’ failed 4th-and-4 conversion officially ended the comeback for Colgate.

Despite the second consecutive loss, the team seems to be settling down. McCarney showed that he can handle the starting role, and that his arm and legs can be a threat to opposing defenses. The Raiders fell victim to unlucky blocked kicks, and showed upside by totaling 384 yards on of­fense. The loss dropped Colgate to below .500, but a win this weekend could bring them to 2-2. McCarney and the Raiders go on the road to Towson for their third consecutive away game. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Saturday under the lights.

Contact Ben Arledge at [email protected]