Title Shot Next After Road Squeaker
Raiders Hold on for 28-24 Win at Lafayette; Host Lehigh for Patriot League Crown
By John Painter
(Easton, Pa. – Nov. 9, 2013) Colgate was nearly flawless on offense the first half, and its defense stood tall down the stretch to help the Raiders escape with a 28-24 win over Lafayette here Saturday.
The third Patriot League win in four tries sets Colgate up for another championship showdown next week against Lehigh. One year ago, Colgate rallied for a 35-24 victory at Bethlehem to claim the hardware. Andy Kerr Stadium is the site this go-round for Saturday’s 1 p.m. kickoff.
“Our kids have found a way to win and it’s very satisfying,” Raiders head coach Dick Biddle said. “Now we have a chance to win another championship and you can’t ask for more than that. It never gets old.”
Colgate scored touchdowns on its first four possessions and went into halftime leading 28-10. Lafayette adjusted and closed to within four points, but the Raiders defense held the Leopards at bay on three fourth-quarter possessions. Lafayette’s deepest penetration in the final 15 minutes was the Colgate 29-yard line.
“The thing I liked about it was we won the game on defense,” Biddle said. “It was good to see the defense step up and seize the momentum. Our defense stood up three times when they had the ball and were within a touchdown.
“We didn’t even let them get close to throwing the ball in the end zone.”
Colgate grabbed the opening kickoff and went 79 yards in 10 plays, culminating in a 1-run TD run by Demetrius Russell. The key to that early 7-0 advantage was a third-and-10 conversion pass right off the bat from Gavin McCarney to John Maddaluna III, preventing a three-and-out.
Lafayette answered with a 41-yard kickoff return by Ross Scheuerman that gave the Leopards possession at the Colgate 43. Despite the short field, Colgate’s defense held the hosts to a 36-yard field goal by Ryan Gralish that made it 7-3.
Enter Jimmy DeCicco
DeCicco has been battling turf toe since his terrific 141-yard rushing effort at Cornell one month ago. He’s barely played since then, but Saturday his first touch nearly resulted in a 90-yard kickoff return.
Had DeCicco not bobbled the ball after appearing to clear the last line of defense, he would have completed Colgate’s first true kickoff return for a touchdown since Ameer Riley raced 95 yards in a 1999 win at St. Mary’s of California. The 74-yarder still served as Colgate’s longest kickoff return of the season.
“I saw the end zone and as soon as I put it in my right arm it popped out,” DeCicco said. “Luckily, I got it back and we scored on that drive. The kickoff team did a great job – it was a wide-open hole.”
The Hurley, N.Y., junior said his injury won’t keep him from contributing.
“It’s a slow-going process, but once you’re running you don’t feel a thing. I’m not holding myself back; we’re playing for a ring right now and I’m just fighting through it these next couple of weeks.”
Touchdown Hat Trick
DeCicco’s effort led, two plays later, to Russell’s second TD rush of the game and a 14-3 lead.
Colgate’s defense forced a three-and-out, and the offense took it from there. Drive No. 3 was the most impressive of the game thus far as the Raiders marched 82 yards in 12 plays and took6:23 off the clock. Ed Pavalko did the honors this time from 2 yards out.
Lafayette put together its first TD drive of the game to cut the margin to 21-10 with 9:12 remaining in the half.
But Colgate answered once again, this time covering 74 yards in 12 plays and removing 7½ minutes from the clock. Russell picked up his hat trick touchdown – he had four coming into the game – with a 1-yard blast and Colgate went to the locker room leading 28-10.
McCarney to this point was 10-of-10 passing for 95 yards, with his top three receivers being tight end John Quazza, Cameron Kline and Maddaluna.
“We wanted to get out to a quick start and help our defense,” McCarney said. “Our offensive line blocked great today. And with the lack of receivers we have, a lot of guys stepped up – Cameron Kline in particular, John Maddaluna (playing with a bum ankle) and Brian Lalli.
“Plus we have our great tight ends who we can always rely on as well.”
Three Big Stands
To start the second half, Lafayette made quick work and again pulled within 11 points. The Leopards drove 61 yards in just five plays to make it 28-17.
Colgate immediately drove into scoring position, reaching the Leopards 26, but McCarney was intercepted at the 3-yard line on a nifty play by Lafayette’s Matt Smalley. The Leopards proceeded to march 97 yards in 14 snaps to trim the Raiders’ advantage to 28-24 with still 2:02 showing on the third-quarter clock.
“Give Lafayette a lot of credit,” Biddle said. “It was a tough, physical game and they came back. The key for us is they weren’t able to consistently run the ball.”
Colgate held Lafayette to just 83 rushing yards, putting all the pressure on quarterback Drew Reed. The freshman was terrific, completing 19 of 25 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns, but he was just 6-of-11 in the fourth quarter after starting the game 13-of-14.
Lafayette’s opening possession of the fourth quarter found the Leopards once again in Colgate territory. Facing third-and-1 at the Raiders 29, consecutive rushing plays went for no gain and minus-1 thanks to the play of Anto Almasian, Demitri Diamond and Austin Dier. The clock showed 7:56.
Colgate couldn’t muster a first down and Lafayette again claimed possession at its 32 with 5:31 remaining.
“The only disappointing thing for me is we didn’t put the game away after we stopped them on fourth down,” Biddle said. “If we get a first down we would have made them use their timeouts.”
Didn’t happen, but it didn’t matter.
The Raiders defense forced a three-and-out of its own and Colgate regained possession with 4:27 left. This time, McCarney rushed twice for 11 yards to move the ball to the Raiders 41. The drive stalled there, but Lafayette was now out of timeouts and, after a Nikko Armiento punt, 74 yards from the end zone with just 1:54 remaining.
Reed completed his first three passes, all of the short variety, but gained 18, 8 and 5 yards in the process. The Leopards had a first down at the Colgate 43.
Reed tried to hit Mark Ross deep down the left sideline, but Diamond and Mike Armiento were there to defend. His second-down pass was incomplete on the right hash, but Reed was able to hit Ross for a 4-yarder to the Colgate 39.
Clock was ticking and it reached 50 seconds when Lafayette’s fourth-down set was called for a false start by center Pat Crosby. Since play was inside the final minute, Lafayette was assessed a 10-second runoff on the clock to 40 seconds remaining.
Reed’s final pass attempt, again to Ross, would have been complete if not for the on-the-spot breakup by Raiders defensive back Josh Ford. Colgate had the win and a championship game to host.
“They caught us with some blown coverages on our part in the third quarter, but we really pulled together in the fourth with those three late stops,” said Kris Kent, Colgate’s linebacker who led the team with nine tackles. “There’s nothing more you can ask of these guys. Everyone fought to the end and that’s all that mattered.”
Kent and cornerback Adam Bridgeforth hail from nearby Nazareth, Pa., and their friends and relatives helped make Fisher Stadium a great atmosphere for college football.
Said Bridgeforth, who had eight tackles and one breakup: “I’ve had this one circled on the calendar for a while. It was the first game that my dad (Linwood) was able to come and watch. It was a pretty big deal to me, and other guys like Jake Kern and Kris Kent – it was big for them too.
“We knew we were going to come out fired up.”
Added Kent: “It was awesome to see so many friends and family in the stands. It gave me a boost. I just tried to use that to get the rest of the guys hyped up and ready to play. And we came out and won.”
McCarney finished 14-of-19 passing for 149 yards and also rushed 14 times for 88 yards. Colgate tight ends Quazza and Kevin O’Connell had matching numbers of four receptions for 42 yards, while Russell carried 21 times for a game-high 92 yards.
Behind Kent and Bridgeforth, Diamond and Mike Armiento posted five tackles apiece, followed by Dier with four. Two of those four were sacks for the senior captain, with Victor Steffen adding a third. Dier takes over the team lead in sacks at 3½, with Steffen next at three.
To capture the school’s eighth Patriot League championship, Colgate must accomplish something it hasn’t all season: victory at Andy Kerr Stadium. The Raiders are 4-2 away from Hamilton but 0-4 at home.
“We’re exactly where we want to be,” McCarney said of the Lehigh matchup. “It’s back at our place and we’re very excited. It’s a big week for us and we have to be ready by Monday for a great week of practice.”
Raider Reel: Colgate (4-6, 3-1 Patriot) and Lehigh (7-2, 2-1) remain in control of their fates for the 2013 Patriot League football title and automatic FCS playoff berth … Colgate needs a win over Lehigh to clinch the title. If the Mountain Hawks win, the Nov. 23 Lafayette (3-6, 3-1) at Lehigh matchup would be for the outright Patriot League crown.
Raiders Outshoot Rensselaer in Loss
Colgate Falls to Engineers 3-0
By Kat Castner
(Hamilton, NY – Nov. 8, 2013) HAMILTON – After earning their first league victory on Friday night, the Colgate women’s hockey team dropped a hard fought 3-0 decision to Rensselaer on Saturday afternoon.
Colgate (3-9-0, 1-5-0 ECAC) tallied 28 shots to Rensselaer’s 21. The Raiders also recorded a game-high 11 shots in the final frame. Nicole Gass led Colgate with six shots. Taylor Craig added four shots while Megan Wickens recorded three. Brittney Brooks posted 18 saves in the loss.
The Engineers (3-7-1, 2-2-0 ECAC) saw Laura Horwood, Lindsey Hylwa and Mari Mankey register goals in the match. Kelly O’Brien made 28 saves, including a game-high 11 in the final frame.
In the opening period the Raiders were called for hooking awarding Rensselaer a power play opportunity. Colgate almost killed it off but a Horwood tally from Jordan Smelker and Kathryn Schilter gave the Engineers the 1-0 advantage.
Early in the second frame Rensselaer extended its lead to 2-0 when Hylwa netted one past Brooks. Following a scrum in front of the goal, Hylwa was able to get her stick in the mix to poke it through into the back of the net.
The Raiders tried to cut the Engineers lead on two power play chances but were unable to convert.
Mankey’s marker at the 15:46 mark in the middle period created a three-goal deficit between the teams.
Colgate yet again was looking for its first goal of the game in the third frame when the Engineers were called for interference and hooking. On the 5-on-3 power play, the Raiders earned shots from Rachel Walsh,Taylor Volpe, Miriam Drubel and WIckens but were unable to find the back of the net.
The Engineers held strong in the final minutes to ultimately secure their win.
Colgate is back in action Friday and Saturday at Dartmouth and #8/8 Harvard. They faceoff with the Big Green on Friday at 7 p.m. and follow that up with a contest with the Crimson at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Colgate Clinches Last Playoff Spot on Senior Day
Metzger Tallies Marker in 2-1 Loss
By Kat Castner
(Hamilton, NY – Nov. 9, 2013) Senior captain Barrett Metzger netted his first of the season on senior day as the Colgate men’s soccer team fell 2-1 on Saturday afternoon to American.
Even with the loss the Raiders still move on to post season play. They are scheduled to play at Holy Cross on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Prior to Saturday’s game the Raiders honored five Colgate seniors for their dedication to the men’s soccer program. These seniors included Metzger, Nick Arpey, Christian Quinttus, and Jack Randazzo.
Colgate (4-13-2, 3-5-1 PL) was led by Metzger who tallied its lone goal. Rookie Ethan Kutler also posted three shots in the loss. All three Raider goalies saw action in the game with Liam Stapleton and Ricky Brown handling the majority of action. Quinttus earned the start.
American (7-7-5, 4-3-2 PL) saw Chris Fanet and Colin Seigfreid grab two goals in the opening 20 minutes of play. Billy Knutsen recorded the victory making three saves.
In the sixth minute of play the Eagles took the early lead following Fanet’s marker. Seigfreid sent the ball deep into the box, where Fanet one-touched it past Stapleton into the left side of the net.
15 minutes later, American extended its lead to 2-0 when Seigfreid registered a goal. Michael Cherry played the ball from the left side to the senior, who volleyed it into the back of the net just past the shoulder of Stapleton.
The Raiders earned a great chance with four minutes to play in the half. Metzger curled a corner kick into the box finding the head of Tamen, but the Eagles were able to clear it away from danger before the Raiders could convert.
Colgate cut the Eagles lead to 2-1 after Kutler sent a brilliant set piece into the box. The rookie’s driven cross found Geinda Smith, who chested it down for Metzger. The senior then collected it and smashed it into the back of the net at the 44-minute mark.
Early in the second half, the Raiders stayed on the attack when Kutler fired a shot towards goal. AU was able to clear the rebound, however, before Nick Rizz could finish it off.
A few minutes later Rizzo found himself with the ball inside the 18-yard box. He struck one on net but the Eagles came up with a goal saving block to stop the Raiders from equalizing.
Colgate almost knotted the score when Rizzo, Kutler and Tanner Schilling teamed up. Rizzo started the play sending a simple pass over the Kutler. The rookie quickly flicked it on with his head through to Schilling, who struck it one-time towards goal. His attempt unfortunately just skimmed the right post and sailed wide.
With a 1:30 to play, Metzger sent another great corner kick into the box where Frankie Bergonzi tried his luck on net. His header looked to be on frame but curved missing the back post.
Despite strong chances in the closing minutes from the Raiders, American held on to earn the win and secure itself a spot in the Patriot League Tournament.
The Raiders are back on the pitch Tuesday when they travel to Worcester, Mass. for a matchup with the Crusaders at 7 p.m.
Raiders Tripped Up at #10 Rensselaer
By Matt Faulkner
(Troy, NY – Nov. 9, 2013) The Colgate men’s hockey team got down early against 10th-ranked Rensselaer and dropped a 6-2 decision on the road in ECAC Hockey play.
The Raiders (4-6-1, 2-2-0 ECAC) were led by Tylor Spink and Andrew Black. Spink scored a power play goal in the second period, while Black had a nice backhander in the third frame.
The Engineers (6-2-2, 2-1-2 ECAC) saw Ryan Haggerty tally two goals and overall Rensselaer had five different goal scorers. Mark McGowan had a game-high three points with a goal and two assists, while Brock Higgs and Jacob Laliberte added a goal and assist each. Scott Diebold made 15 saves to earn the win.
The Engineers got out to the early lead at 6:55 into the first period with Higgs scoring on a wrap around behind the net. He went all the way around the net and Finn tried to make it across the crease and Rensselaer was up 1-0.
Colgate had a golden opportunity with a five-minute power play after RPI was called for a hit from behind. However, the Engineers scored a shorthanded goal on a crazy bounce that got behind Finn to make it 2-0. Guy Leboeuf cleared the puck out of the zone and it took an unusual bounce and past Finn.
McGowan gave Rensselaer a commanding 3-0 lead with under two minutes into the middle frame. Curtis Leonard put a shot on Finn that he pushed aside, but McGowan got to the open area and hit the net on the rebound.
Colgate was able to get to within two during a five-minute power play, which the Raiders had three on the night. Mike Borkowski slid the puck to Tyson Spink on the goal line and he fired the puck through Diebold and Tylor Spink was on the other end to rifle it home.
The Raiders had another chance on a five-minute major, but couldn’t get any puck luck. Colgate hit two posts around 20 seconds apart. Borkowski thought he had a goal, but hit the pipe with an open net chance.
The Engineers increased their lead to 6-1with three goals in the third. Colgate got one back on a beautiful backhand from Andrew Black that went just under the bar on a breakaway for his third of the season.
Colgate is back on the road next weekend with a trip to St. Lawrence and Clarkson.
Fourth Year Reinstated for Colgate’s Harries
NCAA Reconsiders Original Decision on Eve of Raiders’ 2013-14 Basketball Opener at Wake Forest
By John Painter
(Hamilton, NY – Nov. 7, 2013) Colgate learned Thursday that the NCAA has returned the full four years of eligibility to first-year men’s basketball player Nathan Harries.
The Alpharetta, Ga., native had been docked a year for playing briefly this past summer in a men’s church league. Those types of competitions are accepted practice for most incoming freshmen student-athletes, but Harries had served a two-year church mission since his 2011 graduation and thus fell outside the allowable window for playing organized ball.
NCAA rules state that student-athletes who do not enroll in college immediately after graduating from high school are penalized one year of eligibility for every academic year they participate in organized leagues, e.g., those with officials, uniforms and a league schedule. The rule is in place so student-athletes do not gain an unfair advantage prior to college enrollment by playing for a number of years against outside competition.
Colgate had filed an appeal of the original ruling, but with the NCAA reversal that appeal no longer is necessary.
“We appreciate the NCAA reversing its decision and granting Nathan all four years of eligibility,” said Victoria M. Chun, Colgate Director of Athletics. “I’d also like to thank (Colgate Assistant AD/Compliance) Cara Marie Singel for her hard work and due diligence on this. We all are looking forward to watching Nathan play here for four years.”