Colgate, Lafayette, Lehigh improve to 2-0 in Patriot League Football

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Lafayette's Mark Ross had another 100-yard receiving effort in the win over Holy Cross.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Lafayette's Mark Ross had another 100-yard receiving effort in the win over Holy Cross.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Oct. 20, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- One team did it with offense, another with defense and a third with special teams. But in the end the outcomes all kept Colgate, Lafayette and No. 7/9 Lehigh in a tie for first place in the Patriot League with more separation from the pack after home wins on Saturday.

The Raiders racked up a school-record 707 yards of total offense in a 57-36 win over Georgetown. Gavin McCarney had 377 passing yards and 133 on the ground to account for 510 of the team's offensive total, and also contributed three passing and two rushing touchdowns in Colgate's second-consecutive 50-point effort.

Lafayette turned to its defense for another stellar performance, as the unit only allowed one touchdown in a 30-13 win over Holy Cross. The Leopard defense had a pair of interceptions, Andrew Shoop had two passing touchdowns and one on the ground and Mark Ross recorded his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game as Lafayette exceeded last year's win total and improved to 5-2 for the season.

No. 7/9 Lehigh is one of only two remaining undefeated teams in the Football Championship Subdivision after using early special teams plays and late offense to top Bucknell 42-19. The Mountain Hawks tied a Patriot League record with four blocked kicks, including a blocked punt and return for a touchdown by Laquan Lambert, while Michael Colvin threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a pair of scores as Lehigh pulled away late with the final three touchdowns of the game. Lehigh is the only 8-0 team in the country to record the longest FCS overall winning streak, and also has the longest regular-season mark in the nation at 17. Lehigh extends its run against Patriot League opponents to 17 games, just two off the League record.

All three teams move to 2-0 in the Patriot League, giving the trio a two-game lead in the loss column over the field. Holy Cross (1-2), Georgetown (0-2) and Bucknell (0-3) all fall back in the standings. Fordham, which cannot compete for the Patriot League title in 2012, was off on Saturday.

Lehigh has its bye next week, but it will be Patriot League play for the other six teams as Colgate visits Bucknell, Fordham is at Holy Cross and Georgetown goes to Lafayette.

Recaps and box scores from all of Saturday's games are included below, along with a synopsis of each contest.

at Colgate 57, Georgetown 36
Box Score

HAMILTON, N.Y.- The offensive fireworks continued for Colgate (4-3, 2-0 PL), which set a school record with 707 total yards and topped 50 points for the second consecutive game in a 57-36 win over Georgetown (3-5, 0-2) on Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium.

It was another big day for Colgate junior quarterback Gavin McCarney, who completed 22-of-28 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 133 yards and two scores to accumulate 510 yards of total offense. Jordan McCord had his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the year with 35 carries for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

Both teams came out and moved the football, as McCarney threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kevin O'Connell and Georgetown answered with a 25-yard strike from Kyle Nolan to Kevin Macari just over five minutes into the game. Nat Bellamy answered with a 47-yard touchdown run for the Raiders as Colgate led 14-7 under seven minutes into the contest. Georgetown cut Colgate's lead to 17-14 on a nine-yard pass from Nolan to Macari with 9:29 left in the second quarter, but the Raiders pulled away with the final three touchdowns of the period. McCarney ran in from 41 yards out, McCord had a 10-yard touchdown run and McCarney threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to O'Connell with five seconds to go until the half to give Colgate a 37-14 lead at the break.

Georgetown got right back into the game early in the third quarter. Nolan threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Macari to trim the gap to 37-21 less than a minute into the period, and Macari followed with a three-yard touchdown run and the subsequent two-point conversion got Georgetown to within 37-29 with 11:54 to play in the third period. McCord gave Colgate a 43-29 lead with a two-yard touchdown rush later in the period, and McCarney threw a six-yard strike to CJ Stempeck to put the lead back up to 50-29 seconds into the fourth quarter. Jo'el Kimpela's three-yard touchdown run brought Georgetown back within 50-36, but McCarney capped the scoring with a 30-yard touchdown run as Colgate went on to the 57-36 win.

Colgate has scored 155 points in the last three weeks, and has opened Patriot League play with 51 and 57-point games. The Raiders posted the highest point total for a Patriot League team since Holy Cross beat Lehigh 59-10 on Oct. 20, 2007. Colgate's yardage total was just 29 away from the Patriot League single-game record set by Holy Cross in 1987.

Colgate ran for 330 yards and five touchdowns and had 377 yards and three scores through the air. The Raiders had a 707-320 edge in total offense, and 330-60 advantage on the ground. Daniel Cason led the receivers with nine catches for 173 yards. The Raiders racked up a pair of sacks and three interceptions on defense. Colgate is 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2009.

Despite the loss, Georgetown had a number of stellar individual efforts. Macari caught eight passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns and also had the rushing score, while Nolan was 16-of-39 for 260 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. Robert McCabe tied his career high with 17 tackles, and in the process became Georgetown's career leader in tackles with 364. The nation's leading tackler is already up to 116 for the season, just 18 off the school record he set last year. Jeremy Moore had 13 tackles and returned eight kickoffs for 179 yards.

at Lafayette 30, Holy Cross 13
Box Score

EASTON, Pa.- Lafayette (5-2, 2-0 PL) used a stifling defensive effort and got going on offense in the second half to defeat Holy Cross (1-6, 1-2) 30-13 on Saturday at Fisher Stadium.

The Leopards have already exceeded last year's overall win total, and start 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2009.

Lafayette's defense shut out Holy Cross in the first half, one week after shutting out Yale in the second half of a 20-10 win. The game remained scoreless into the second quarter when Andrew Shoop scored on a 10-yard touchdown run, set up by a 43-yard pass to Mark Ross, with 6:14 left in the period. Ryan Gralish added a 31-yard field goal later in the period as Lafayette took a 9-0 lead into the half.

The Leopards quickly added to the advantage, with Shoop tossing a five-yard touchdown to Ross for a 16-0 lead with 11:11 to play in the third quarter. Holy Cross answered when Steven Elder threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Alex Schneider to trim the Lafayette lead to 16-6 with 7:27 left in the third quarter. Lafayette took a 23-6 lead with nine minutes to play in the game on Shoop's 28-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Hall, though the 17-point advantage was short-lived as Holy Cross' Kalif Raymond returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to get the Crusaders back within 23-13. Lafayette put the game away when Mike Boles' interception and return to the two-yard line set up Vaughn Hebron's touchdown run with 3:12 left for the 30-13 victory.

Shoop completed 20-of-28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for the score, with Ross catching 12 passes for 168 yards and a score for his fourth consecutive 100-yard receiving game. Hebron carried 13 times for 95 yards and the touchdown. Lafayette entered the game with an FCS-best 15 interceptions, and picked off two more passes on Saturday. Boles had eight tackles and the interception while Rick Lyster picked up two of the team's six sacks. Lafayette beat Holy Cross for the first time since 2007, and knocked off the Crusaders at home for the first time since 2004.

Elder completed 22-of-34 passes for 197 yards and the touchdown for the Crusaders, with Mike Fess catching nine passes for 93 yards. Tom Mannix led the defense with 11 tackles while Roman San Doval had nine tackles and a sack. The Crusaders will finish under .500 on the season for the first time since 2004.

Watch Lafayette's post-game extra below for reactions from the game.

at No. 7/9 Lehigh 42, Bucknell 19
Box Score

BETHLEHEM, Pa.- No. 7/9 Lehigh (8-0, 2-0 PL) was tested in the second half against Bucknell (1-6, 0-3) before scoring the final three touchdowns of the game to pull away for a 42-19 win over the Bison on Saturday at Goodman Stadium.

Lehigh is the only 8-0 team in the country to record the longest FCS overall winning streak, and also has the longest regular-season mark in the nation at 17. The Mountain Hawks are one of only two remaining undefeated teams in the country along with Cal Poly. Lehigh extends its run against Patriot League opponents to 17 games, just two off the League record.

The Mountain Hawks took a 21-6 lead into the half on the strength of its special teams, particularly from Laquan Lambert. The freshman blocked a punt and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown to give the Mountain Hawks an early 7-0 lead, and later had a blocked punt that set Lehigh up at the Bucknell 15 and led to Michael Colvin's 14-yard touchdown pass to Lee Kurfis which made the score 21-6 with 11:40 to play in the second quarter. Colvin threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Kurfis earlier in the period to put Lehigh up 14-6 after Bucknell's Jeremiah Young had a touchdown run in the first quarter. Lehigh blocked the extra point after Young's touchdown and had three blocked punts in the first half to tie a Patriot League record with four blocked kicks in the game.

The Bison came roaring back in the second half, with Young scoring on runs of five and six yards as Bucknell cut Lehigh's lead to 21-19 with 5:38 to play in the third quarter. The Bison went three-and-out on their possession with a chance to take the lead, and Lehigh responded by quieting the surge with a three-play, 76-yard drive that ended with Colvin's two-yard touchdown run for a 28-19 lead with 2:24 left in the third quarter. The Mountain Hawks put the game away in the fourth as Colvin had a four-yard touchdown run and four-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Coyle for the 42-19 final.

Lehigh beat Bucknell for the 15th consecutive season. Colvin completed 20-of-32 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for the pair of scores. With multiple top wide receivers out, including All-American Ryan Spadola, Kurfis stepped up with eight catches for 129 yards and the two scores and Josh Parris had five receptions for 114 yards. Nigel Muhammad led the defense with eight tackles and a half-sack, while Sajjad Chagani had 1.5 of the team's five sacks. Lehigh gained only 26 yards on the ground, but had a 324-281 edge in total offense and just one penalty in the game.

Young had 23 carries for 100 yards and the three touchdowns for the Bison, which had a 117-26 edge in rushing yardage. Brandon Wesley completed 12-of-22 passes for 164 yards. Beau Traber had 10 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, while Matthew Steinbeck had a pair of interceptions for the Bison. Bucknell matched its season high with 19 points.

Lehigh's wrap-up from the victory is included below.