Patriot League: Week 6 Review and Power Rankings

Week six of the season saw three teams get off to 1-0 league starts. Bucknell did so in the weekend’s most exciting game. The Bison used a second half rally to take down Holy Cross in Worcester. Lehigh also won their first league game. The Mountain Hawks took down defending Patriot League champion Colgate 45-31 to extend their winning streak to 4 games. Chase Edmond’s record setting day propelled Fordham to an easy win over league foe Lafayette. The junior tailback set the single game rushing record as well as the Patriot League mark for career points. In the only non-conference game, Georgetown’s offense once again struggled in a 31-17 loss to Princeton.

Lehigh 45 Colgate 31

The Mountain Hawks (4-2, 1-0) made an early league statement against defending champion Colgate (1-4, 0-1). Lehigh used a third quarter burst to pull away in the earliest meeting between these two rivals since 1997. The win was Lehigh’s 4th in a row overall and 4th in the last 6 meeting meetings against Colgate. The Raiders have now lost three in a row after a dominating win over Yale a month ago. Their defense continues to be a major area of concern (38, 39, 45 ppg allowed) during the losing streak. To be fair, the Raiders have faced some of the top offenses (Richmond, Lehigh) in FCS

It didn’t take long for Colgate’s defense to a hit. After receiving the opening kickoff, Lehigh went on 4 play 64 yard drive in 1:44 to jump ahead 7-0. Nick Shafnisky (27-40 394 yards 5 TDs 1 INT), who returned after missing the Yale game, hit Gatlin Casey (11 rec 196 yards 3 TDs) in the back of the end zone from 33 yards for the score. Colgate’s offense, and Lehigh’s defense for that matter, weren’t to be outdone. Jake Melville (9-23 248 yards 2 TD 1 INT, 18 carries 151 yards 1 TD) took the Raider’s first play from scrimmage 75 yards for a TD on a perfectly executed zone read play. The two teams would trade interceptions before Colgate once again mounted a scoring drive. This time Melville connected with Thomas Ives on a 59 yard TD to give Colgate a 14-7 lead. The Raiders extended their lead to 17-7 with 9:57 to go in the 2nd quarter on Jonah Bowman’s 22 yard FG. The Mountain Hawks responded with a key TD drive before half time. For the second time, Shafnisky found Gatlin Casey for a score to cap an efficient 10 play 61 yard drive in just over 2 minutes.

The Mountain carried the momentum from the late TD over to the second half. Shafnisky (27-40 394 5TDs 1 INT) directed another productive drive which ended with a 25 yard Ed Mish FG that tied the game at 17. Lehigh retook the lead (24-17) midway through the 3rd quarter when Shafnisky found Casey for a 59 yard TD. Following a Colgate 3 and out the Mountain Hawks offense put together an impressive 8 play 70 yard drive that ended when Shafnisky rolled out and found a diving Troy Pelletier (6 rec 102 yards 1 TD) in the end zone for a 31 yard TD to extend the lead to 31-17. Colgate immediately answered with a 4 play, 75 yard scoring drive. Kenyon Washington (25 carries 107 yards 1 TD) found the end zone from 14 yards out to close the Raider deficit to 7 points. What came next was arguably the play of the game. Gatlin Casey received the ensuing kickoff and proceeded to race up the home sideline for a 92 yard TD that pushed Lehigh’s lead back to 14 points. After stopping Colgate on 4th down, the Lehigh offense put the game away with 8:40 left in the game when Shafnisky found RB Dominic Bragalone on swing pass that resulted in a 25 yard TD.

Colgate RB James Holland missed his second game in a row with an injury. It was determined late last week that Lehigh’s Quentin Jones will miss the rest of the season after suffering a serious concussion last week against Yale.

Up next: Lehigh hits the road to face Georgetown Saturday afternoon at Cooper Field. Lehigh is 15-0 against the Hoyas in Patriot League competition. Colgate will also be traveling. The Raiders will be playing their 5th road game in six games when they pay Bucknell a visit.

Fordham 58 Lafayette 34

It’s become nearly impossible to use the correct adjective to describe Chase Edmond’s greatness. The junior RB outdid himself in the Patriot League record books in the Rams win by rushing for 359 yards on 17 carries in Fordham’s (3-2, 1-0) win over Lafayette (1-5, 0-2). The 359 yards broke the previous mark of 347 yards he set against Lehigh last year. The performance helped get Fordham back on track after last week’s disappointing loss to Monmouth. Meanwhile, Lafayette’s misery continues. The Leopards have not won since taking down Central Connecticut on September 2nd to start the year.

Things did not start out poorly for the Lafayette Saturday afternoon. Phillip Parham had a pick six less than two minutes into the game to give the Leopards an early 7-0 lead. The Leopard lead was short lived however. It only took Fordham 2 plays and 30 seconds to respond on their next drive. Edmonds notched his first TD of the game from 29 yards out to tie the game. Fordham would take the lead on their next drive. Ram QB Kevin Anderson (12-18 181 yards 3 TDs 1 INT, 10 carries 108 yards 1 TD) broke free for a 33 yard rushing TD with 7:16 left in the 1st quarter. The Leopards closed the gap to 14-10 when Jacob Bissell hit a 35 yard FG to cap a grinding 10 play 49 yard drive that took a little over a 3 minutes off the clock. The two teams would trade TDs on their next possessions to finish off a wild 1st quarter with Fordham leading 20-14 ( FU missed 2 pt try).

The Rams would take control of the game in the 2nd quarter. Edmonds got things going 57 seconds into the quarter when he scampered for a 19 yard TD. Following a Leopard FG, Edmonds exploded for a 74 yard TD to extend the Fordham lead to 34-20. After a Lafayette interception, Anderson tossed his second TD pass of the day. This time he found Rob Cantelli from 22 yards out to give Fordham a commanding 41-20 lead heading into the locker room.

Following a Lafayette 3 and out to start the second half Edmonds went back to work. This time the sensational RB exploded for a 65 yard TD to give Fordham a 48-20 lead with 13:02 left in the 3rd quarter. Makay Redd would push the Rams point total over 50 when he connected from 44 yards out midway through the 3rd quarter.

Edmonds broke two more records in the win. His 21.1 yards per carry average bested VMI’s Gene Brown (1988) 19.07 average. His 372 points scored also set the Patriot League record. The previously benchmark (358) was owned by Colgate’s RB Jordan Scott.

Lafayette QB Blake Searfoss (25-41 325 1 TD 2 INTs) started for second game in a row while injured Drew Reed recovers.

Up Next: Fordham will host Yale for their final non-conference game of the year. Yale (1-3) is coming off a surprising 21-13 win over Dartmouth.

Princeton 31 Georgetown 17

On a rainy day in Washington D.C. the Princeton Tigers (3-1) handed Georgetown (3-2) their second straight defeat. It happened to be the Hoyas second loss in a row by the score of 31-17 (lost to Harvard last week). A limited offense continues to hold the Hoyas back in their attempt to notch a signature win this season. Not having the services of starting QB Tim Barnes did not help matters. Clay Norris (13-26 103 yards 1 INT), who filled in Barnes last week, struggled in the defeat. The Hoyas also failed to get the ground game going (88 net yards). It was Princeton’s second win over a Patriot League team this year (beat Lafayette & Georgetown, lost to Lehigh).

Georgetown used a terrific special teams play to get on the score board first. Hunter Kiselick broke through the middle of the Princeton line and blocked the Tiger’s 42 yard FG attempt. Jelani Williams scooped up the ball and returned it 51 yards to give the Hoyas a 7-0 lead midway through the 1st quarter. The Tigers would miss 4 FGs on the day. Princeton would respond on their next drive. Backup QB John Lovett finished off a 7 play 69 yard drive with a 1 yard quarterback sneak to tie the game at 7. Lovett would score his second TD of the day on the Tiger’s next drive to extend the lead to 14-7. The second string signal caller would put his arm to use early in the second quarter on a 3 yard TD toss to Graham Adomitis to push the lead to 21-7. Georgetown would climb back into the game on their next drive. Alex Valles’s (13 carries 91 yards 1 TD) 13 yard TD run finished off an impressive 6 play 75 yard drive. Both defenses would hold serve the rest of the half.

The Tigers would come out locker room swinging. Their defense forced a 3 and out on Georgetown’s first possession of the second half. The Princeton offense then proceeded to march 58 yards on 8 plays for a TD. John Lovett notched his third short TD run of the day to give the Tigers a two possession lead. Princeton pushed their lead to 31-14 on their next drive when Tavis Rice hit a 22 yard chip shot FG. The Hoyas could only muster up a FG the final 30 minutes of the game. Of their 7 second half possessions, 5 ended in a punt, 1 on downs and the other was the before mentioned FG.

Up Next: The Hoyas will look to halt their two game losing skid next Saturday when Lehigh visits Cooper Field. Georgetown has not beaten Lehigh since 1925.

Bucknell 21 Holy Cross 20

The Bison (2-3 1-0) used a dominating second half to notch an important league win over Holy Cross (2-4 1-1) in Worcester. The Crusaders, who were playing without all league QB Peter Pujals for the second straight week, stormed out to an early 17-0 before the Bison rallied. Geoff Wade (2-7 37 yards) started the game at QB for Holy Cross but was replaced by Blaise Bell (11-23 81 yards 1 TD) in the first half. Bucknell also turned to backup QB Matt Muh. The junior made his second straight start for the injured R.J. Nitti. Muh’s job was made easier by RB Joey DeFloria’s (28 carries 149 yards) 3rd 100 yard rushing game of the year. Fellow Bison star WR Will Carter also had a big day in the victory. The senior broke the school record for receptions and receiving yards.

The Crusaders scored first by using a little razzle-dazzle following Jake Wieczorek’s 53 yard punt return to the Bison 24 yard line. All everything Crusader playmaker Brandon Flaherty executed the flanker pass to perfection when he found Wieczorek (3 rec 61 yards 2 TDs) for a 24 yard TD. Holy Cross extended their lead to 14-0 a few possessions later on Wieczorek’s second TD reception of the day. This time Blaise Bell connected with senior WR on a short TD pass to finish off a time consuming 12 play 44 yard drive. Zane Wasp booted a short 23 yard FG a few minutes later to extend the Holy Cross lead to 17-0 with 8:34 left in the second quarter. Bucknell answered with an impressive 10 play 81 yard that took over 5 minutes off the clock to get on the score board. Joey DeFloria capped it off by plowing into the end zone from a yard out. The Crusaders however weren’t done putting up points in the first half. Zane Wasp knocked through his second short (32 yards) FG of the day to send the Crusaders to the locker room with a 20-7 lead.

The second half would be dominated by the Bucknell defense. The Bison forced 4 straight Holy Cross 3 and outs to start the half and held the Crusaders to 72 totals over the course of the final 30 minutes. Bucknell’s offense didn’t get things going until their final possession of the third quarter. That’s when the Bison put together an impressive 5 play 80 yards drive that ended with Chad Freshnock’s 3 yard TD run to close the deficit to 20-14 with a little under 2 minutes left in 3rd quarter. Freshnock’s second TD of the game gave Bucknell their first lead with 6:37 left in the final quarter. Holy Cross would mount their best drive of the second half on their ensuing possession but it would all be for not. Zane Wasp missed the potential game winning 42 yard FG wide right with 3:39 left. Holy Cross had one last chance but were stopped on downs.

Up Next: The Bison will look to make it 2-0 in Patriot League play when they welcome Colgate to Christy Mathewson Stadium. Bucknell’s last win over Colgate in Lewisburg came in 2006. Holy Cross will host Harvard for their final non-conference game of the year.

Power Rankings

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




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