HAMILTON, N.Y. – One week after defeating Patriot League rival Lehigh for the first time since 1997, the Bucknell football team posted a 28-7 victory against conference foe Colgate Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium. It marked the Bison’s first win over the Raiders since 2006 and their first victory in Hamilton since 1999.
Bucknell (4-4, 2-2 PL) won for the third straight week to register its first in-season three-game winning streak since 2004 as it dominated the second half. The Bison forced two second-half turnovers that led directly to points, possessed the ball for more than 22 minutes in the final two quarters and did not allow Colgate to score after halftime.
Colgate (3-6, 2-1 PL), which entered the day tied for first place in the Patriot League standings, came into the game averaging nearly 400 yards per game and was held to 194 by the Bison defense. Additionally, the Raiders scored their second-fewest points this year. All-Patriot League quarterback Gavin McCarney was held to six yards rushing and he completed 16 of 24 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown.
Bucknell quarterback Brandon Wesley was an efficient 15 of 19 passes for 176 yards. Nine of those passes were caught by Bobby Kaslander who registered his first career 100-yard day (119). It marked the most receptions by a Bison since Shaun Pasternak in 2008. CJ Williams added 115 yards on the ground for his fourth 100-yard outing of the season.
Bucknell took a 10-7 lead into halftime and opened the second half with a nine-play, 44-yard drive. Derek Maurer missed what would have been a career-long 41-yard field goal attempt. The Bison defense got the ball right back as it forced a fumble and recovered the ball inside Colgate territory on the first play of the Raiders’ ensuing drive. Bucknell drove inside the 10-yard line and Maurer connected on a 23-yard field goal to put the Bison up 13-7.
Thanks to the back-to-back drives separated by just one offensive play by Colgate, Bucknell had the ball for nearly 10 minutes to begin the third quarter, and 12:03 overall in the period.
Bucknell’s lead pushed to 21-7 as the Bison put together an eight-play, 80-yard drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters. Three straight passes from Wesley to Kaslander, all for first downs, began the drive and a two-yard scamper by Matt DelMauro completed the drive with a touchdown. Wesley followed with a two-point conversion run to make it 21-7. The touchdown was set up when a Colgate defensive back was flagged for interference on a third-and-goal from the 15-yard line fade pass to Josh Brake.
On Colgate’s first play of its next drive Lee Marvel intercepted the first pass of his career. Three plays later Williams dove across the goal line from three yards out as the Bison lead ballooned to 28-7 with 11:52 remaining. Williams now has a team-high seven rushing touchdowns this season.
Bucknell took an early 3-0 lead on its first drive of the game. The Bison put together a 13-play, 71-yard drive that consumed 6:30. Wesley was 4-for-5 for 52 yards, including a 25-yard strike to Josh Lebo, on the drive. After getting stopped near the 10-yard line, Maurer connected on a 28-yard field goal.
The Bison defense limited the Raiders to eight plays and 15 yards on their next two drives, allowing the offense to tack on more points and make it 10-0.
Bucknell’s scoring drive featured DelMauro, who rushed five times for 41 yards and caught one pass for seven yards. He accounted for all but two yards on the drive that concluded with a fake handoff by Wesley, who ran around the right side to the corner of the end zone to push the advantage to 10 points. It was the 11th career rushing touchdown for Wesley.
Colgate had just 43 yards of total offense on its first three drives, but accumulated 107 on its final two of the first half. The Raiders put together a six-play, 65-yard drive that ended in a 35-yard touchdown pass from Gavin McCarney to Kevin McConnell. The drive was prolonged by a personal foul call on a third-and-10 incomplete pass that moved the ball over midfield.
After Bucknell went three-and-out on its next drive, Colgate went into a two-minute drill offense and moved the ball inside the 25-yard line, but time expired before the Raiders could spike the ball to stop the clock and the Bison took a 10-7 lead into the locker room.
Thanks to a second straight efficient outing, Wesley has now completed 31 of 40 passes for 389 yards over the last two weeks.
The Bison are now +7 in turnovers during their three-game winning streak, including a 2-0 edge Saturday.
Bucknell will look to extend its winning streak to four games next Saturday, Nov. 9, when it faces nationally ranked Fordham at 1 p.m. on the road.