Oct. 22, 2013
Patriot League Football Release: Week 9
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The first football Saturday of entirely Patriot League action features three teams that are going on the road to try and improve to 2-0 in League play.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*Three Patriot League games on Saturday will all kick off at 1 p.m.
*The Lehigh-Bucknell and Lafayette-Holy Cross games are available on Patriot League Network.
*Colgate also goes to Georgetown looking for its ninth-straight Patriot League victory.
*The Raiders are averaging 43.1 points during their eight-game League streak which begin in the 2011 season finale.
*Colgate's Gavin McCarney can become the third player in FCS history with 5,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards.
*McCarney needs five passing yards to join the group which includes Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards (2006-09) and Morehead State's David Dinkins (1997-2000.
*Fordham has its bye week after going 8-0 for the first time in the modern era with a win at Yale on Saturday.
*The Rams are one of four undefeated teams left in the FCS, and the only one with an 8-0 record.
*Fordham came in at No. 8 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 9 in The Sports Network top 25 on Monday.
*Lehigh was ranked for the 40th straight week when it was placed at No. 15 in both polls.
*Holy Cross quarterback Peter Pujals became the first player to receive five straight Rookie of the Week awards on Monday.
*Lehigh's Lee Kurfis (1,011) and Fordham's Sam Ajala (951) are 1-2 in the FCS in receiving yards.
*Bucknell's Brandon Wesley became the school's all-time leader in passing yardage (5,347) on Saturday.
Patriot League Notebook
PATRIOT LEAGUE SCHEDULE HEATS UP ON SATURDAY
There are five weeks left in the regular season, but the Patriot League race is just getting going with 15 League contests remaining. Three of those will be played on Saturday, the first of five consecutive dates featuring three League games. With Fordham on its bye, all three contests will count in the standings as No. 15/15 Lehigh goes to Bucknell, Lafayette is at Holy Cross and Colgate heads to Georgetown. Each game kicks off at 1 p.m., with the road teams aiming to get to 2-0 in the Patriot League standings. The Lehigh-Bucknell and Lafayette-Holy Cross contests will both be available on Patriot League Network.
COLGATE RALLIES TO CONTINUE PATRIOT LEAGUE WINNING STREAK
When Colgate was wrapping up the 2011 regular season at home against Bucknell, the Raiders were just looking for a win to avoid an 0-5 record in League play. The Raiders won that game, swept the six League contests in 2012 and opened with a win at Holy Cross on Saturday for their eighth consecutive Patriot League victory. The 28-24 triumph at Holy Cross was just the second of those contests to be decided by single digits, and took a fourth-quarter comeback capped by Gavin McCarney's touchdown to Brian Lalli with 59 seconds to play. Colgate has scored at least 28 points in all seven of its League games since 2012, and the Raiders are averaging 43.1 points during the eight-game streak.
McCARNEY MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN, NEARS EXCLUSIVE CLUB
Colgate senior Gavin McCarney has endured an injury-plagued season after opening as the Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and a Walter Payton Award candidate. McCarney returned to the lineup on Saturday, and showed he still has it by recording 312 total yards and three total touchdowns in the 28-24 win at Holy Cross. McCarney is up to ninth in Patriot League history with 7,562 yards of total offense, split between 4,995 passing yards and 2,567 rushing yards. With five more passing yards, he will join Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards (2006-09) and Morehead State's David Dinkins (1997-2000) as the only players in FCS history with career totals of at least 5,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards.
FORDHAM ROLLS AGAIN AS IT HITS THE BYE WEEK
Fordham was expecting to be tested with a trip to a 3-1 Yale squad on Saturday, but the Rams looked impressive as usual and came away with a 52-31 victory. That win made Fordham one of four remaining undefeated teams in the FCS, and the only one who sports an 8-0 record. Fordham has won its first eight contests for the first time in the modern era, building on a memorable season that already includes its highest ranking in school history, two wins over top-10 opponents and a victory against an FBS foe. Fordham heads into its bye at No. 8 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 9 in The Sports Network Top 25, and also held its position as the top-ranked team in the ECAC FCS Lambert Meadowlands Poll.
KURFIS, AJALA RANK 1-2 IN FCS IN RECEIVING YARDS
Fordham junior wide receiver Sam Ajala had the second-best receiving yardage total in Patriot League history with 282 in the win over Yale. That mark netted him Patriot League and national FCS weekly honors, and nearly brought him to the top spot in the FCS with 951 receiving yards for the season. While that mark stands at No. 2 in the country, it is not even the top total in the Patriot League. Lehigh's Lee Kurfis, a Walter Payton Award candidate, became the first FCS receiver to crack 1,000 yards while making seven catches for 77 yards in Saturday's win over Georgetown. While Kurfis saw his streak of 100-yard receiving games come to an end at seven, he still leads the FCS in both receptions (71) and receiving yards (1,011). Ajala's 282-yard game was the top mark for an FCS player this season, while Kurfis has the second-highest single-game total of receptions (14) and third in receiving yards (222) in the FCS this year.
NEBRICH, BIALKOWKSI CONTINUE TO LEAD AMONG FCS QUARTERBACKS
The guys throwing the ball to Ajala and Kurfis are pretty good, too. Fordham junior Mike Nebrich was named to the Walter Payton Award watch list along with Kurfis last week, and it's easy to see why. After his second-consecutive 400-yard passing day in Saturday's victory, Nebrich stands among the top eight nationally in six different statistical categories. He leads FCS in completion percentage (74.2%), is second in total offense (373.8 ypg), fourth in passing efficiency (173.6) and points responsible for per game (20.5), sixth in passing yards per game (323.4) and eighth in completions (26.1). Not to be outdone, Lehigh senior Brandon Bialkowski is second in the nation in passing yards per game (353.3) and third in both completions (28.9) and total offense (358.9) per contest. Bialkowski threw for 299 yards in Saturday's win at Georgetown, narrowly snapping his string of six consecutive 300-yard games to start the season.
FORDHAM JOINS LEHIGH WITH PERFECT NON-LEAGUE CAMPAIGN
Fordham completed its non-League schedule with a 6-0 mark after beating Yale on Saturday, giving the Rams a school record for non-League wins and their first perfect non-League mark since 2003. Fordham joins Lehigh with a perfect non-League record, as the Mountain Hawks finished 5-0 to run their non-League regular-season winning streak to 13. It marked the first time that two Patriot League teams completed a perfect non-League regular-season since 2003, when both Colgate and Fordham pulled off the feat.
ONE SCHOOL RECORD FALLS, TWO MORE TO GO?
Bucknell senior quarterback Brandon Wesley set the school's career passing yardage record during Saturday's game at Dartmouth, and now stands with 5,347 passing yards in his career. Two Patriot League wide receivers are also closing in on school records, which could come in the same game on Saturday. When Lafayette visits Holy Cross, Leopard senior Mark Ross comes in just two catches and 149 yards away from breaking school marks while Crusader senior Mike Fess is 10 receptions away from the school record, and within three of the Patriot League top 10.
PUJALS MAKES HISTORY WITH FIFTH STRAIGHT ROOKIE OF THE WEEK AWARD
Holy Cross freshman quarterback Peter Pujals had another strong outing on Saturday, totaling 287 yards and two touchdowns in a loss against Colgate. Pujals once again received word on Monday that he had been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week, and became the first student-athlete in League history to earn the honor five consecutive times. Pujals is a candidate for the Jerry Rice Award (FCS Freshman of the Year), and continues to put up amazing numbers with 1,294 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air and 302 yards and six scores on the ground. He ranks fifth in the nation in points responsible for per game at 18.0 per contest despite only playing the whole way in four of the six games in which he has appeared.
Patriot League Football Weekly Awards (Oct. 19)
Offensive Player of the Week
SAM AJALA, FORDHAM Jr., WR, 6-0, 194; DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto
Ajala had one of the top performances for a wide receiver in Patriot League history as he caught 10 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-31 win for No. 8/8 Fordham over Yale on Saturday. The receiving yardage total set a school record and ranks second in Patriot League history, and was the top mark for the League since Lehigh's Jason Cristino had 319 yards in 1992. Ajala tied a League record with four touchdown receptions, becoming the first to pull it off since Fordham's Jason Caldwell in 2009. Ajala's scoring catches were 68, 29, 68 and 33 yards, and he now stands second in the nation with 951 receiving yards this season. Ajala is named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the first time.
Defensive Player of the Week
MIKE ARMIENTO, COLGATE Jr., DB, 5-11, 175; Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy
Armiento had a game-high 10 tackles and created two key turnovers to help lead Colgate to a 28-24 comeback win at Holy Cross on Saturday. He made Colgate's game-winning drive possible by intercepting a pass in the endzone with 3:50 to play and the Raiders trailing 24-21. Armiento also recovered a fumble at the Colgate 1 yard line in the first half to keep Holy Cross from scoring. He also added a tackle for loss. The interception was his fifth of the season and 11th in his career. Armiento is named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in the last three weeks.
Special Teams Player of the Week
MICHAEL MARANDO, FORDHAM Jr., PK, 5-7, 157; Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian
Marando booted a 43-yard field goal and made all seven of his extra-point attempts in Fordham's 52-31 win over Yale on Saturday. It was his third 40-yard field goal of the season. Marando also averaged 56.1 yards per kickoff for the game. He is named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Rookie of the Week
PETER PUJALS, HOLY CROSS Fr., QB, 6-2, 185; Glenview, Ill./Loyola Academy
Pujals becomes the first player in Patriot League history to earn five consecutive Rookie of the Week awards after completing 25-of-40 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 55 yards and a score in a 28-24 loss to Colgate on Saturday. He had a one-yard touchdown run that put the Crusaders ahead 7-0 in the first quarter, and a touchdown pass for a 24-14 lead in the third quarter. Pujals is the first player since Bucknell's Brandon Wesley in 2010 to earn five Rookie of the Week awards in a season, and joins Wesley and four others in a tie for the second-most Rookie of the Week awards all-time behind the seven for Colgate's Jordan Scott in 2005.
GAVIN McCARNEY, COLGATE Sr., QB, 6-1, 205; Jefferson Township, N.J./Jefferson Township
McCarney completed 18-of-23 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 71 yards and a score in a 28-24 win at Holy Cross. He tossed the game-winning 31-yard touchdown to Brian Lalli with 59 seconds to play.
KEITH SHERMAN, LEHIGH Sr., RB, 6-0, 205; Bucksport, S.C./Lawrence (N.J.)
Sherman carried 19 times for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-24 win over Georgetown.
STEPHEN HODGE, FORDHAM Jr., LB, 6-0, 202; Medford, N.J./Shawnee
Hodge had a career-high tying 14 tackles, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in a 52-31 win at Yale.
TRACEY SMITH, BUCKNELL Sr., DL, 6-1, 265; Allen, Texas/Allen
Smith had career highs with eight tackles and 2.5 sacks and recorded a key forced fumble in a 17-14 win at Dartmouth.
MIKE BOLES, LAFAYETTE Sr., LB, 6-3, 233; Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park
Boles had a career-high 16 tackles, including 12 in the first half, and recovered a fumble in a 35-16 loss to No. 25 Harvard.
This Week in the Patriot League
Lafayette Leopards (1-5, 1-0) at Holy Cross Crusaders (3-5, 1-1)
Fitton Field; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
TV: Charter TV3
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Lafayette visits Holy Cross in a key Patriot League contest for both teams on Saturday afternoon.
*The game will be shown on Patriot League Network and broadcast by Charter TV3.
*Lafayette has a 15-12 lead in a series that has been played entirely in the Patriot League era.
*The Leopards posted a 30-13 win at home last season to stop a four-game win streak for the Crusaders.
*Holy Cross earned a 29-24 win in the last meeting at Fitton Field in 2011, and Lafayette last won in Worcester in 2007.
*Six consecutive meetings were decided by 10 points or less before Lafayette's 17-point victory last season.
*Lafayette is trying to go 2-0 in the Patriot League for the second year in a row and fourth in six seasons.
*Holy Cross aims to have a winning record through three Patriot League games for the eighth time in nine seasons.
No. 15/15 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (6-1, 1-0) at Bucknell Bison (2-4, 0-2)
Christy-Mathewson Memorial Stadium; Lewisburg, Pa. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*No. 15/15 Lehigh puts its long series win streak on the line when it visits Bucknell on Saturday afternoon.
*The contest will be shown through Patriot League Network.
*The Mountain Hawks have won all 15 meetings between the schools since 1998.
*The 15-game run is the longest series winning streak in Patriot League history.
*Lehigh has won each of the past 11 matchups by at least 16 points.
*That includes a 42-19 win at home last season and 30-6 at Bucknell in 2011.
*Bucknell's last victory over Lehigh was a 21-14 triumph at home in 1997.
*Lehigh leads the all-time series 44-29-3, with a 20-6-1 edge in Patriot League games.
*The Mountain Hawks try to win their first two games in the League standings for the fifth year in a row.
*Bucknell tries to avoid its second straight 0-3 start in Patriot League play.
Colgate Raiders (2-5, 1-0) at Georgetown Hoyas (1-6, 0-1)
Multi-Sport Field; Washington, D.C. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Hoya Vision
*Colgate tries to extend its Patriot League winning streak to nine when it visits Georgetown on Saturday.
*The Raiders' run in League action started with the season finale in 2011.
*Colgate beat Georgetown 57-36 at home last season as part of the eight-game League winning streak.
*The Hoyas recorded their only win over the Raiders with a 40-17 triumph at home in 2011.
*Colgate leads the all-time series 9-1, with every matchup played as a Patriot League contest.
*The only meeting not decided by double digits was Colgate's 20-19 win during an unbeaten regular season in 2003.
*Colgate aims to go 2-0 in the Patriot League for the second year in a row.
*Georgetown hopes to get to at least .500 in the League standings for the third time in four seasons.
Bucknell Bucknell scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to rally for a 17-14 win at Dartmouth on Saturday...Matt DelMauro rushed in from 15 yards out to make it 10-7 early in the quarter, then C.J. Williams followed with an 11-yard scoring rush for a 17-7 lead...Dartmouth scored in the final minute to get within three, but the Bison secured the onsides kick to preserve the win...DelMauro and Williams combined for 143 yards and the two scores on the ground...Brandon Wesley completed 11-of-21 passes for 127 yards in his return to the lineup...Wesley became the school's all-time passing yardage leader in the game, and now stands with 5,347 for his career...The Bucknell defense finished with seven sacks, led by Tracey Smith with 2.5...Evan Byers led the defense with 13 tackles, while Clayton Ewell had nine tackles and a sack...Bucknell limited Dartmouth to 252 total yards, and only 76 on the ground...The Bison stand in the top 20 nationally in rushing defense, and seventh with 3.3 sacks per game...Bucknell's win marked its first over an Ivy League team since 2011 at Princeton...The Bison get back to Patriot League action Saturday at home against No. 15/15 Lehigh.
Colgate Colgate scored a dramatic victory as Gavin McCarney threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Brian Lalli with 59 seconds to play for a 28-24 win at Holy Cross on Saturday...The Raiders held the Crusaders on downs to preserve the victory...Colgate's final drive was set up when Mike Armiento picked off a pass in the endzone on a 3rd-and-goal play from the five yard line...Armiento was named the
Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week as he also recorded 10 tackles and a fumble recovery at the Colgate one yard line in the game...McCarney went 18-of-23 for 241 yards and a touchdown and had 71 rushing yards and a score in his return to the lineup from injury...He is into the Patriot League career top 10 with 7,562 yards of total offense, and only five passing yards away from becoming the third player in FCS history with career totals of at least 5,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards...Dan Cason had six catches for 123 yards for the Raiders... Colgate won at Holy Cross for the first time since 2005, and beat the Crusaders for the second year in a row...Colgate also won its Patriot League opener for the second straight year and fifth in the past six seasons...The Raiders have won eight straight Patriot League games dating back to 2011, and hope to continue the run on Saturday at Georgetown.
Fordham Fordham starts a season at 8-0 for the first time in the modern era after a 52-31 win at Yale on Saturday...Wide receiver Sam Ajala had a huge day with 10 catches for 282 yards and four touchdowns...The 282 receiving yards are a school record and the second-most in Patriot League history, and top mark for any League player since 1992...The four touchdown receptions tied a Patriot League
and school record last set in 2009....Ajala was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week and Sports Network Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his performance, and is up to second in FCS with 951 receiving yards and fourth with 10 touchdown receptions for the season...All four touchdowns were big plays, as Ajala hauled in a pair of 68-yard scores as well as 33 and 29-yarders...Fordham led 17-7 at halftime, then broke the game open with a 21-10 advantage in the third quarter to take a 38-17 lead...The Rams had 35 points in the second half to finish with more than 50 points for the fourth time this season...Mike Nebrich completed 19-of-26 passes for 421 yards and four touchdowns, his second-straight 400-yard passing game...He also ran for a touchdown and is in the top eight nationally in six different statistical categories, including first in completion percentage (74.1%) and second in total offense (373.8)... Stephen Hodge and Ian Williams each led the Fordham defense with 14 tackles, while Hodge had five of the team's 11 tackles for loss....The Rams also forced four turnovers in the game, with Hodge forcing two fumbles and Williams forcing one...Hodge was selected as FCS Defensive Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards...Fordham leads the nation with 13 fumbles recovered, and is fourth with a +1.6 turnover margin...Fordham gained 614 yards of total offense, the Rams' third 600-yard total offense game of the year...Fordham is fifth in the country with 512.6 yards of total offense per game...Fordham is one of four undefeated teams in FCS, and the only one with eight wins...The Rams remained at No. 8 in the FCS Coaches Poll and fell one spot to No. 9 in The Sports Network top 25 on Monday...Fordham finished its non-League slate at 6-0 for the first time, and recorded its first undefeated non-League campaign since 2003...The Rams have a bye this week, and return to action on Nov. 2 at home against Holy Cross.
Georgetown The Hoyas dropped their first game in the League standings with a 45-24 loss at Lehigh on Saturday...Georgetown fell behind 38-3 at halftime before holding a 21-7 edge in the second half... Nick Campanella had a career-high 129 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and also caught a touchdown pass...The Hoyas have their next two games at home, welcoming Colgate on Saturday before hosting Lafayette on Nov. 2.
Holy Cross The Crusaders suffered a heartbreaking loss as Colgate scored with under a minute to play for a 28-24 win in Worcester on Saturday...Holy Cross turned it over on downs on its final possession and fell to the Raiders for the second year in a row...The Crusaders had a chance to ice the win, but Peter Pujals threw an interception in the endzone with 3:50 to go to set up Colgate's winning
drive...That pick came on an otherwise good day for the freshman, who went 25-of-40 for 232 yards and a touchdown and ran for 55 yards and a score...On Monday Pujals became the first player in Patriot League history to receive the Rookie of the Week award five straight times...He had helped the Crusaders rally from a 14-7 deficit to take a 24-14 lead into the fourth quarter...Pujals stands fifth in the nation with 18.0 points responsible for per game...Mike Fess has 181 career receptions, putting him three away from the Patriot League top 10 and 10 from the Holy Cross school record...Holy Cross tries to get back over .500 in the Patriot League when it hosts Lafayette on Saturday.
Lafayette Lafayette completed its non-League schedule with a 35-16 loss at No. 25 Harvard on Saturday...The Leopards trailed 14-3 at the half, and fell behind 28-3 before tacking on two touchdowns in the fourth quarter...Freshman Drew Reed went 17-of-22 for 231 yards and two scores in the game after coming in off the bench in the second half...It was the first signifcant game action of Reed's career...Mike Boles led the defense with a career-high 16 tackles, whil Lafayette had 11 tackles for loss and four sacks in the game...Mark Ross needs two catches to become the all-time leader for career receptions at Lafayette and 149 receiving yards to take over the top spot on the school's career receiving yards list...Ross has 161 catches for 2,258 yards in his career...Lafayette continues its four-game road trip at Holy Cross on Saturday, and completes the journey with a visit to Georgetown on Nov. 2.
Lehigh Lehigh opened up a 38-3 lead by halftime and cruised to a 45-24 in over Georgetown on Saturday...It was the highest first-half point total since 2002.... The Mountain Hawks start 1-0 in the Patriot League for the sixth straight season...They inched up to No. 15 in both national polls on Monday, earning a ranking for the 40th consecutive week since 2010...Keith Sherman ran for a
career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns, while Sean Farrell had three rushing touchdowns...Brandon Bialkowski was 26-of-36 for 299 yards and a touchdown for Lehigh, just missing his seventh-consecutive 300-yard passing game...Bialkowski remains in the top-three nationally in passing yards, completions and total offense per game for the season...Lee Kurfis had seven catches for 77 yards as his seven-game streak of 100-yard receiving games came to an end...Kurfis is the only FCS receiver with more than 1,000 yards for the season, and leads the nation in both receptions (71) and receiving yards (1,011)...Lehigh gained 532 yards in the game, which moved the Mountain Hawks up to 10th in FCS in total offense to go with the No. 3 spot nationally in passing offense...Lehigh has won all 13 of the Patriot League matchups with Georgetown...That series winning streak is the second-longest in Patriot League history, topped only by the 15-game streak for Lehigh against Bucknell heading into the matchup in Lewisburg on Saturday.