Football Maintains Second Place in Patriot League Standings


Jordan Plaut

With the Patriot League title almost out of reach, a pick-me-up trip to Pennsylva­nia may have been just what the Raiders needed. Colgate junior running back Nate Eachus rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns as the Colgate football team cruised past the Bucknell Bison 31-7 on Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The victory guaranteed Head Coach Dick Biddle his 14th winning season in 15 years.

Eachus passed the 100-yard mark on the ground for the ninth time this season on 20 carries, while senior quarterback Greg Sulli­van threw for 105 yards and a touchdown and added 48 yards on the ground. Senior wide out Doug Rosnick finished with two catches for 32 yards and a score and first-year Daniel Cason added another two for 22 yards, but the big story was the ‘Gate defense.

The Raiders held Bucknell’s offense to 182 yards, including only 58 rushing, and held the Bison out of the end zone. Their only score came on a 58-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Rob Gerlach late in the fourth quarter. Senior lineback­er Chris DiMassa led the team with seven tackles and senior defensive end Lamont Sonds recorded six tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Colgate (6-4, 3-2) scored on a solid first possession, marching 57 yards in sev­en plays. The drive was capped off by an Eachus run from 38 yards out on a fourth-and-one to give the Raiders a 6-0 lead. The extra point attempt was blocked by Buck­nell’s Josh Eden and the lead stayed at six for another two minutes.

Bucknell (1-9, 1-3) did not start out well. On the ensuing possession, first-year Nat Bellamy picked off Bucknell quarter­back Brandon Wesley, returning the ball 51 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead. The interception was Bellamy’s first and the Raiders’ fifth in the last two games. The play, along with three other tackles, earned Bellamy Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors.

“The coaches had prepared me very well all week,” Bellamy said. “I was on the backside of the formation and knew I was all alone on an island in man coverage so I knew the ball was probably coming my direction on a short breaking route.”

Bellamy expressed his excitement once he reached the end zone. “[It] was amaz­ing,” Bellamy said. “I’ve been dreaming about a ‘pick-6′ in college since I started playing football at age 7. The best part about it was once I dove in the end zone and stood up, all my teammates were just as hyped about it as I was. Celebrating it was an amazing feeling too because it was a huge momentum shift in the game and I got to see the whole team hyped and excited to keep beating up on Bucknell.”

Colgate added to its lead in the second quarter when Eachus pounded his way into the end zone for the second time, this time from only a yard out. The score would not have happened if Sullivan had not found Eachus earlier in the drive for a 17-yard gain on 3rd-and-11. Eachus’ rush finished off an impressive 11-play, 82-yard scoring drive and gave the Raiders a 19-0 halftime lead after the extra point was missed.

The Bison recovered an onside kick to start the second half and tried to get some momentum back, but the Raider defense was too powerful. They forced a three-and-out and it was back to ‘Gate domination.

Colgate scored again late in the third quarter to add to its lead when Sullivan found Rosnick open in the end zone. The Raiders covered 80 yards in nine plays and a shade over four minutes to make it 25-0 after another extra point was missed. On the kickoff, senior defensive end Zach Smith forced a fumble and the Raiders got the ball back. Smith finished with six tackles, two sacks and the forced fumble.

“We have really tried, as a defense, to play these last few games of the season as state­ment games,” Smith said. “We have a good defense and we want people to see that. It’s been a driving force for a lot of us, especially the seniors.”

Twenty-eight seconds later, Colgate struck again as Eachus busted through the Bucknell defense for a 31-yard run and a 31-0 lead.

With 2:32 left in the fourth quarter, the Bison finally put up seven points on a fumble return to make the final 31-7.

The Raiders look to close out the sea­son strong against the Fordham Rams this upcoming Saturday in the Bronx, NY. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.