Patriot League: Week 11 Review and Power Rankings

The penultimate week in the Patriot League saw the Fordham Rams easily take care of Holy Cross in The Ram-Crusader Cup at Yankee Stadium. The combination of QB Kevin Anderson and RB Chase Edmonds proved far too difficult to stop for the Holy Cross defense. Like Fordham, Colgate road their experienced signal caller, Jake Melville, to an easy victory this weekend. Lafayette’s defense had no answer for Melville’s running and passing in the Raiders 21 point win. In the final game of the weekend Bucknell outlast Georgetown 20-7 in Washington D.C. The Bison offense was led by Joey DeFloria’s sixth 100 yard rushing game of the season.

Colgate 38 Lafayette 17

Colgate (4-5, 3-2) took one step closer to finishing the 2016 campaign with a .500 record by downing Lafayette (2-8, 1-4) 38-17 on a cool, crisp November afternoon in Hamilton, NY. Jake Melville led the way for the Raider’s offense with arguably his best game of the year. The senior QB rushed for 141 yards (1 TD) and threw for another 202 yards (2 TDs) in the victory. Melville’s 202 passing yards moved him to 5th on Colgate’s all-time passing list with 5,640 yards. The Colgate defense also stepped up with another impressive performance. They sacked Drew Reed 7 times and limited the Leopards to 47 net yards rushing. With Georgetown’s struggling offense on tap next week, Colgate’s rush defense has an excellent chance to finish ranked in the Top 3 in the country for the year.

While Colgate has turned their season around in recent weeks, Lafayette’s misery has continued on into November. The Leopard’s issues along the offensive line continue to plague them. Drew Reed has spent most of the year scrambling for his life while the Lafayette running backs have been hurling themselves into a brick wall week after week due to the ineffectiveness of the OL.

The Leopard offense once again got off to a slow start (32 total yards on first 4 drives) on Saturday. The Raiders on the other hand were able put points on the board on their first two drives of the game. John Wilkins (8 carries 59 yards 2 TDs) 1 yards TD plunge finished off an impressive 7 play 65 yard opening drive for Colgate. Jonah Bowman’s 39 yard FG on the Raider’s next possession gave Colgate a 10-0 lead with a little over a minute left in the 1st quarter.

Colgate extended their lead to 17-0 on Melville’s 19 yard TD pass to Owen Rockett (4 rec 93 yard 1 TD) midway through the 2nd quarter. Lafayette would finally put together a promising drive but on 4th and 1 at the Colgate 19 yard line Drew Reed’s pass fell incomplete to end the threat. The Raiders offense would take advantage of the momentum with their 3rd touchdown drive of the game. Melville found Nick Martinsen for a 12 yard TD strike to finish off a brisk 5 play 81 yard drive that took a little over 91 seconds off the clock. Lafayette would finally get on the board on their final possession of the half. Drew Reed (24-41 202 yards 1 TD) went 5-6 passing the ball including a 36 yard TD strike to Rocco Palumbo with a little over a minute left in the first half.

Lafayette would carry the momentum over from the late first half TD out of the locker room with a safety on Colgate’s first offensive possession to close the deficit to 24-9. Following Colgate’s free kick the Leopard offense once again got things going. This time Lafayette turned to RB DeShaun Brown (15 carries 91 yards 1 TD) to lead the way. The junior had 43 yards rushing on the drive. He finished it off by plowing into the end zone from a yard out. Lafayette’s 2 point attempt would be successful which cut the Colgate lead to 27-17 with 11:00 left in the 3rd quarter.

Colgate’s defense would make sure the Leopards would get no closer the rest of the way by holding Lafayette to 54 total yards rest of the game. The Raider offense finally got things going late in the 3rd with a 3 play 44 yard drive that ended with a 24 yard Melville TD run. Colgate would tack on one more TD midway through the 4th quarter to close out the scoring.

UP Next: Colgate will try to even their record at 5-5 when they host Georgetown to close out the 2016 season. Lafayette will try to salvage their season against Lehigh when the two clash for the 152nd time next week in Easton.

Fordham 54 Holy Cross 14

Fordham (7-3, 4-1) continued their late season playoff push with an emphatic 40 point route of Holy Cross (4-7, 2-4) in front of 21,375 people at Yankee Stadium. The win gives Fordham a 16-15 all-time lead in The Ram-Crusader Cup. It was Fordham’s first win at Yankee Stadium (then the old Yankee Stadium) since 1941. The Rams are now at 13-8-1 at the home of the Bronx Bombers. The win was also highlighted by Chase Edmonds Patriot League record breaking 58th and 59th career TD. The Fordham junior passed former Colgate RB Jordan Scott’s mark of 57 career TDs that was set in 2008.

Holy Cross’s attempt to end their disappointing 2016 season on a positive note did not come to fruition. The Crusaders were outgunned from the start of the game and were never able to mount a serious bid to make the game competitive. It proved to be a continuation of Holy Cross’s struggles against the top teams in the Patriot League this year. The Crusaders were outscored by a combined 126-36 against Colgate, Fordham and Lehigh on the season.

It didn’t take long for the Crusaders to find themselves in a hole against Fordham. The Rams received the opening kickoff and proceeded to go on a 6 play 68 yard TD drive in 2:42. Chase Edmonds (23 carries 119 yards 4 TDs) capped the drive by racing around the edge for a 41 yard TD. The Rams offense would get rolling again following a defensive stop. Edmonds 1 yard TD dive with 7:25 left in the 1st quarter capped an 8 play 67 yard drive. Holy Cross would get to Fordham’s 24 yard line on their second possession of the game before being stopped on a 4th and 3. Following the defensive stand, the Ram offense once again would prove to be too difficult to stop. Kevin Anderson (28-34 426 yards 3 TDs) would go 4-4 on Fordham’s third TD drive of the game. The Marshall transfer hit Jorge Solano for a 27 yard score to finish off the drive. The score extended the Fordham lead to 21-0 with 2:06 left in the first quarter.

The Rams made it 27-0 (failed XP) midway through the 2nd quarter on Edmonds third TD of the game. Holy Cross would finally break through on their ensuing possession. Geoff Wade (21-36 307 1 TD) connected with Lacy Darrius for a 55 yard gain to set up the Crusaders with a 1st and goal at the Ram 8 yard line. Holy Cross RB Diquan Walker would find pay dirt on the next play to cut the Ram lead to 27-7. The Crusader momentum would be short lived as Anderson and Co. would put together a 7 play 75 yard TD drive to push the Ram lead to 33-7 (failed 2 pt try). Holy Cross would make into the Fordham red zone again on their next possession but on 4th and 15 from the Ram 17 Wade’s pass fell incomplete. Fordham’s offense would once again march down the field. Anderson’s short 2 yard TD toss to Robbi Cantelli (5 rec 70 yards 1 TD) finished off a fast paced 8 play 83 yard drive that lasted a little over a minute. The late first half TD gave Fordham a commanding 40-7 lead as the two teams headed into the Yankee Stadium locker room.

Holy Cross would cut the lead to 40-14 with a TD drive on their first possession of the second half. Geoff Wade hit Richie DeNicola for a 36 yard TD to close out the drive. The Rams would answer the Holy Cross score with a lengthy 5 minute TD drive that pushed the lead back to 33 points. Edmonds 4th rushing TD of the game midway through the 4th quarter closed out the scoring.

Up Next: Fordham will try to keep the playoff, and Patriot League title, hopes alive when they travel to Lewisburg to take on Bucknell. Holy Cross’s season ends with an extremely disappointing 4-7 record. Tom Gilmore’s status as head coach seems to be tenuous at best at this point.

Bucknell 20 Georgetown 7

Bucknell (4-6, 3-2) overcame their disappointing loss to Lehigh last weekend by dispatching of Georgetown (3-7, 0-5) 20-3 in a game that resembled a UFC brawl at Madison Square Garden. With two stout defenses on display, the game figured to be a low scoring slugfest and it was. Bucknell limited the Georgetown offense to 9 first downs and 33 net yards rushing on the day.

The Hoya defense also did a good job for the most part by holding the Bucknell “O” to 295 total yards. The only player they couldn’t get a beat on was Bison RB Joey DeFloria (31 carries 150 yards 2 TDs). Freshman QB John Chiarolanzio surprisingly got the start for Bucknell rather than senior R.J. Nitti. Nitti ( 4-7 41 yards) did see action during the game so he wasn’t held out due to injury. The Bison and Hoyas combined for 13 punts on the day.

Georgetown’s offense had been treading water since league play started and Saturday was no different. The rushing attack (33 net yards) continues to offer very little productivity for the Hoyas. The passing game was once again plagued by multiple interceptions (3) and only one TD pass. Georgetown has the worst passing TD to INT ratio in the Patriot League by a wide margin.

Bucknell received the opening kickoff and proceeded to put together a promising drive before the Hoya defense came up with a big 4th and 7 stop at their 17 yard line to end the scoring threat. Neither team would mount any real offensive surge for the rest of the first quarter. It took until the Bison’s sixth possession of the game for the scoreboard to finally light up. Joey DeFloria’s 14 yard TD run capped off a grinding 8 play 67 yard drive that took over 4 minutes off the clock.

Georgetown got the ball to start the second half. On 2nd down Hoya QB Clay Norris (17-34 157 yards 1 TD 3 INTs) was intercepted by Bucknell’s Bryan Marine at the Hoya 32 yard line. It wasn’t easy, but 8 plays later the Bison took advantage of the excellent field position when Chad Freshnock muscled his way into the end zone from a yard out to extend the lead to 14-0 with 9:38 left in the 3rd quarter. The Hoyas offense would finally break through on their third possession of the second half when Clay Norris hit Jim McLaughlin for a 23 yard TD with 5:10 left in the 3rd quarter. Following the Hoya score, Bucknell’s defense preserved the 7 point lead until Joey DeFloria’s 28 yard TD run with a little over 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter put the game on ice.

Up Next: Bucknell will look to upset Fordham to close out the 2016 on a high note. The Bison have come close to defeating the Rams each of the last 3 years. Georgetown will try to end their 7 game losing streak when they travel to upstate New York to take on Colgate. The Hoyas have not defeated the Raiders since 2011.

Power Rankings

  1. Lehigh
  2. Fordham
  3. Colgate
  4. Bucknell
  5. Holy Cross
  6. Lafayette
  7. Georgetown

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