The Lafayette football team (1-5, 0-1) started its season off slowly, losing its first three games by an average of four points. Making matters worse, three of the Leopards’ five losses have come in contests in which they’ve held double-digit leads. This Saturday, Lafayette finally got into the win column, beating Stony Brook College 28-21, on homecoming day for the Easton, Pa., school. The win over the lowly Seawolves ended a seven-game losing streak for the Leopards that dated back to last November, when they lost to the Holy Cross Crusaders. Lafayette’s problems have not been on the offensive side of the ball, as they have been able to successfully produce yards and points.
Leading the offensive production are the three primary running backs: leading rusher junior Jerome Rudolph, sophomore Alan Elder and freshman Patrick Mputu. Junior quarterback Ryan O’Neil, who has thrown for 1,281 yards and eight touchdowns, leads the passing attack along with his top two targets, Mark Layton and Kyle Hayes. Lafayette is still in the running for the Patriot League title despite its inconsistent start to the season, with five games remaining against conference foes Fordham, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross and archrival Lehigh. The Leopards’ next game is Oct. 23 against the Fordham Rams in the Bronx, N.Y.
Inconsistency has plagued the young Fordham Rams (2-5), as they find themselves yet again toward the bottom of the Patriot League standings. Historically, Fordham’s offensive line has been the team’s strength. Last year, the strong play of the Rams’ offensive line translated into a prolific offensive attack that amassed more than 1,200 rushing yards and more than 3,500 yards through the air. This year, however, is a different story, as the losses of all-Patriot League tackle Andrew Tyshovnytsky, senior guard Frank Rizzo and former starter Robby Reis have put the pressure on sophomore quarterback Blake Wayne to carry the load for Fordham. Wayne has responded nicely, leading the Patriot League in total offense (288 yards per game), throwing for the second-most passing yards per game (223.8), and rushing for the fourth-most yards per game (64.2). Still, Wayne’s admirable efforts have been unable to compensate for an inconsistent defense, which has allowed more than 20 points in all but one of Fordham’s six games. Georgetown travels to the Bronx for a Halloween showdown with Fordham on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Sacred Heart (1-6) lost on the road against Duquesne last Saturday by a score of 37-17. The loss was their sixth straight. Duquesne jumped off to a 21-3 early lead and never looked back. Despite Sacred Heart outgaining the Dukes in total yardage, the game was never close as three turnovers for Sacred Heart proved too costly to overcome. On a punt attempt in the second quarter, Sacred Heart punter Robert Shepard fumbled the snap and it was returned 38 yards for a touchdown. On the following kickoff, Sacred Heart fumbled the return, and once again the Dukes took advantage as their drive resulted in a touchdown. After Sacred Heart failed on a couple of fourth down conversion attempts the lead escalated to 37-10. Sacred Heart managed to cap the scoring by closing the deficit to 37-17 as they scored a touchdown with 2:39 left in the game. On Saturday, Sacred Heart returns home as they will play host to the Hoyas in what should be an exciting game during Sacred Heart’s Family Weekend.
The Colgate Raiders won their 600th game in program history with a 44-3 romp over Cornell. Colgate was dominant on both sides of the ball, as they gained 503 yards of total offense while holding Cornell to just 124. Junior running back Nate Eachus led the team offensively, as he ran 25 times for 291 yards and three touchdowns. Two of his scores were on runs of over 60 yards; his performance broke both the Colgate and Patriot League record for rushing yards. Senior quarterback Greg Sullivan also contributed by throwing for three touchdowns and running the ball eight times for 102 yards. Sullivan has run for 2,112 yards in his career, which makes him the Patriot League’s all-time rushing quarterback. Leading the defense, which sacked Cornell seven times, was senior linebacker Chris DiMassa, who recorded a career-high 12 tackles. The Raiders have won their last three games and are in first place in the Patriot League standings with a record of 4-2. They will play Holy Cross next Saturday at home.
Lehigh (4-2) geared up for conference play with an impressive comeback win over Harvard on Oct. 16. They came out of the locker room after halftime down 17-0 and came back to win 21-19. They currently sit fourth in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks start conference play on Oct. 23, facing the Patriot League’s second-ranked Bucknell Bison (1-5), whom they defeated last season 35-16. Lehigh is already off to a significantly better start than its 2009 season when the team had only one win in the first six games of its season. The Mountain Hawks ended last season 4-7 but 4-2 in conference play. The squad’s defense is the key to its success this season. After the 21-17 win over Fordham, junior linebacker Mike Groome was named the Patriot League’s defensive player of the week with 11 tackles in the game. Lehigh is scheduled to face the Hoyas at Georgetown on Nov. 13.
Holy Cross (3-4) took on two Ivy League opponents this past week, defeating Brown (2-2) 17-13, before falling to Dartmouth (3-2) 27-19. On Oct. 9, the Crusaders played host to the Bears in Worcester, battling back to earn their third victory of the season. Holy Cross was led by senior wide receiver Billy Edger, who scored two touchdowns in the contest. Defense proved to be the difference in the game, as the Crusaders shut out the Bears in the second half. But Holy Cross could not maintain momentum on Oct. 16, when they traveled to Hanover to play Dartmouth. The Big Green turned a 19-14 fourth quarter deficit into a 27-19 victory through their defense and special teams. Dartmouth kicker Foley Schmidt hit two field goals to begin the quarter and cornerback Pat Scorah finished the game with a 43-yard interception to end Holy Cross’s final offensive drive. Holy Cross will travel to New York this Saturday, Oct. 23, to play a league-leading Colgate squad (4-2).