HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Bucknell football team fell to Colgate, 40-3, Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium.
The Raiders (5-4, 3-1 Patriot League) used an explosive second quarter to down the Bison (4-4, 1-2 Patriot League), snapping their two-game winning streak in the process.
At the end of the first quarter, Colgate held a slim 6-3 edge. The Raiders opened the scoring on their first drive of the game when James Holland finished off a seven-play, 75-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. During that drive, Holland rushed for 38 yards on four carries while Grant Breneman completed a 38-yard pass to Thomas Ives. Joe Lauro blocked the point-after attempt to keep it a 6-0 game.
The Bison got on the board with 3:42 on the clock in the first quarter. After a short punt, Bucknell took over on the 50-yard line. On back-to-back plays, John Chiarolanzio completed a pass of at least 10 yards, first finding Omar Garcia for a 13-yard gain and then connecting with Andrew Podbielski for an 11-yard gain. While the Bison advanced as far as Colgate’s eight-yard line, they ultimately were forced to settle for a 28-yard John Burdick field goal.
The Raiders broke open the game in the second quarter, scoring four unanswered touchdowns to build a 33-3 halftime lead. At the 13:45 mark, Ives hauled in a 12-yard pass from Breneman to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive that began with 3:42 left to play in the first quarter.
On the first play of Bucknell’s next drive, Nick Ioanilli made a leaping play to pick off a pass at the Bison 40. Colgate took advantage of having a short field, with Breneman scrambling out of the pocket and finding Ives in the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard score three plays later.
The Raiders extended their lead to 26-3 at the 6:01 mark after Breneman dove just inside the right pylon to score a six-yard touchdown. His quarterback keeper completed an eight-play, 61-yard drive.
With 1:44 left to play in the half, the Bison took over on their own 43 after a short punt. But Ioanilli intercepted his second pass of the game to give Colgate the ball at the Bucknell 41. The Raiders again capitalized, with Breneman finding Nick Diaco for a five-yard score after a pass interference penalty took them from the 20-yard line to the five.
In the first half, Colgate outgained Bucknell, 293-63, and held a 15-4 advantage in first downs. The tables turned in the second half, with the Bison holding edges in yards (169-93) and first downs (10-4).
Bucknell’s best opportunity to cut into Colgate’s lead came at the 6:17 mark of the third quarter after Mark Pyles deflected a Breneman pass and Abdullah Anderson made an athletic play to come up with the ball on Colgate’s 12-yard line. Matt Muh connected with Marquis Carter on the first play, and Tyler Castillo pushed him out of bounds one yard shy of the end zone. A play later, John Steffen recovered a fumble on the Raider seven-yard line to keep the Bison from getting on the board again.
Alex Mathews completed the game’s scoring with 1:41 remaining in regulation with a three-yard touchdown run.
After Mathew’s score, Bucknell advanced to Colgate’s five-yard line, with Muh orchestrating a 13-play, 65-yard drive. During that drive, he completed three passes of at least 10 yards to three different receivers—Mike Balzofiore (12), Podbielski (15) and Justin Bethea (14)—and also rushed for a career-long 17 yard gain. But, in the final second, Muh’s pass to Balzofiore fell incomplete in the end zone.
Muh entered the game in the second half and threw for 133 yards on 11 for 23 passing. Chiarolanzio completed five of 10 passes for 37 yards during the first half.
Bethea (48) and Balzofiore (41) led the Bison in receiving yards, both setting a new career high in the process. Chad Freshnock ran for a team-high 38 rushing yards.
For Colgate, Breneman completed 13 of 18 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns. He added 76 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Holland ran for 104 yards while Ives posted 72 receiving yards. Four Raiders made at least five tackles, with six recording a tackle for a loss and three posting a sack.
The Bison return to action on Saturday, Nov. 4 when they host Lehigh on Homecoming at noon.
Anderson’s interception was the first of his career. He became the seventh Bison to pick off a pass in 2017, bringing Bucknell's season total to nine, which is tied for second in the Patriot League.
Lauro’s extra-point block was the first of his career. Anderson also blocked an extra point; it was the fourth blocked kick of his career (the first three were field goals). Bucknell last blocked multiple kicks in the same game on Nov. 19, 2016 when Anderson blocked a pair of field goals in a 36-22 loss to Fordham.
Balzofiore caught a 29-yard pass late in the third quarter. It was his first career reception and the longest by a Bison during the game.
Bucknell last allowed 40 points in a game on Oct. 29, 2016, a 49-28 loss at then No. 9 Charleston Southern.
With the result, the Raiders extended their winning streak over the Bison to four games. They will ride a three-game winning streak into their 2017 bye week.
Colgate went 6-for-6 on its red-zone chances, scoring six touchdowns. Bucknell went 1-for-4 in the red zone, with the Raiders holding the Bison on a 4th and 8 and recovering a fumble inside their 10-yard line.