The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Football dominates on both sides of pigskin in win against Colgate

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Sophomore left tackle Ryder Langsdale defends the blind side of sophomore QB Ah-Shaun Davis. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

For the first time in over a month, the Lafayette football team (3-6 overall, 2-2 Patriot League) hit the road, taking on Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. The Maroon and White left the Empire State on Saturday with a 21-16 win over the Raiders.

“It was great to get the win,” Offensive Coordinator T.J. DiMuzio said. “I’m really happy for the kids, they played really hard. We challenged them to bring out their own energy to Colgate and they did that.”

The Lafayette defense started the game strong, as senior linebacker Marco Olivas forced a turnover on the Raiders’ first play from scrimmage. The Leopard’s offense quickly took advantage, as just two plays later freshman running back Jamar Curtis ran 24 yards for a touchdown.

“It starts with the defense … They got a good turnover early which gave us great field position,” DiMuzio said.

The next time the Leopards got the ball, they had to settle for a field goal attempt, which was blocked. Special teams continue to be an issue for the Leopards. With the blocked kick on Saturday, junior kicker and punter Jakob Trestik, who already had five of his punts blocked over the course of the 2022 campaign, fell to 1-4 on the season in field goal attempts.

When it was Colgate’s turn to march down the field, the Raiders scored on a six-yard touchdown pass at the start of the second quarter.

Lafayette responded quickly, however, with the offense using a well-balanced attack and several chunk plays to move all the way down to Colgate’s 23-yard line. From there, DiMuzio dialed up a reverse play which saw Curtis take the snap from sophomore quarterback Ah-Shaun Davis and then flip it back to freshman wide receiver Elijah Steward. Steward then turned on the jets for a 23-yard touchdown run, the first of his career.

Lafayette’s defense once again shut down the Raiders. But when Curtis muffed his second punt of the season, Colgate took over on Lafayette’s six yard line. Thanks to a big third down stop from junior linebacker Preston Forney, the defense held them to a field goal, bringing the score to 14-10.

On the next Colgate drive, Lafayette’s defense came up big once again, forcing a fumble and setting the Leopards up on the 50-yard line with six minutes left in the half. Davis capped off a six-play offensive drive with a 10-yard, back shoulder pass to senior wide receiver Carl Smith for a touchdown. Lafayette went into halftime ahead 21-10.

“I think, with the exception of two games, we have gotten better every week. That has always been the goal – to get better individually and as an offense every single week, and I think that we continue to make strides,” DiMuzio said. “Part of that is me getting better and then the kids getting better, everyone just getting more comfortable with each other.”

Both teams’ defenses dominated for most of the second half. The Leopards’ defense only broke once when it gave up a 38-yard touchdown pass at the end of the quarter. They managed to keep the Raiders from scoring on the subsequent two-point conversion, keeping the score at 21-16 as the teams headed into the fourth quarter.

Lafayette made what ended up being the decisive final stop when Olivas and fellow senior defensive lineman Jyaire Stevens sacked Colgate sophomore quarterback Michael Brescia.

Lafayette’s offense got the ball with five minutes remaining and never gave it up, due in large part to senior running back Jaden Sutton’s rushes and Davis’ decision making.

“I think [Davis] did a nice job controlling the game. Especially towards the end, running the clock down and just being a manager of the other 10 guys on the team,” DiMuzio said. “He was making good decisions with the football, and I thought he did really well.”

The Leopards left Hamilton victorious largely because of their defense, which generated two turnovers and three tackles for loss. For leading the Leopards in tackles, Stevens was awarded Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week.

The Leopards will be on the road once again tomorrow as they travel to the Bronx to take on the nationally-ranked Fordham Rams. Fordham has had much success on offense but has also come into its own on defense, making the team more well-rounded than when the Leopards fell to them last season in a heartbreaking 42-41 loss.

“I think [Fordham] really do a good job on defense, they do some different things with their fronts that make some of the run game difficult. They have guys who can cover in man and cover in zone,” DiMuzio said. “It will be a good challenge, our guys will be ready for it. It’s always fun to play a ranked team, going out and giving them their best.”

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About the Contributor
Charlie Berman, Sports Editor
VAP, TRELL, KEHD (cheast, stew, help)

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