The Bulldogs’ homecoming was no party Saturday afternoon in the Yale Bowl.
Yale gave up 35 points in the first half, and quarterback Eric Williams ’16 was intercepted three times during the game as Colgate (2–3, 0–0 Patriot) drove to a 47–24 victory. According to Raider head coach Dick Biddle, Colgate’s rushing attack was key to its victory.
“It all goes back to that we were able to run the ball,” Biddle said.
The first quarter included a flurry of scoring, and both teams traded touchdowns. Yale took an initial lead with a 4-yard pass from Williams to wide receiver Cameron Sandquist ’14, but Raider quarterback Gavin McCarney ran for a touchdown of his own to tie the game at seven.
With the game tied at 14 all, Yale took a 17–14 lead with kicker Philippe Panico’s ’13 36-yard field goal, but at this point, Colgate took control.
By the time the first half finished, the Raiders had scored three more touchdowns to attain a 35–17 advantage. In the first half, McCarney rushed for three scores and threw for two more.
The Blue and White have had a tendency to start slowly this season. The team has given up 70 points combined in the first half of its last two games, compared to 22 in the second half. Yale head coach Tony Reno said there were two sides to this statistic.
“We’re making a lot of halftime adjustments,” Reno said. “The flip side is … you’ve got to do it in the first half too.”
On Saturday, again, the Elis came out of the break swinging.
Yale forced the first Colgate punt of the day on the Raiders’ opening drive of the second half. Colgate’s punt was shanked out of bounds, giving Yale a short field with only 27 yards to go to the Raider goal line.
Williams converted with a touchdown pass to running back Tyler Varga ’16 to bring the score to 35–24. Yale got the ball back on the ensuing play when defensive back Kurt Stottlemyer ’14 recovered the Bulldogs’ kickoff at the Raider 8-yard line.
Four plays later Panico’s 26-yard field goal attemptwent wide right and Yale came away with no points despite the short field. Stymied by penalties, Yale would not score again in the game.
“We had three [penalties],” Reno said. “Three that killed drives. You can’t do that and win football games.”
Running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 did not play on Saturday after suffering a right shoulder injury in last week’s loss at Cornell. Varga, who was the featured running back in Cargill’s stead, ran for 125 yards and impressed even the Raider defense.
“When [Varga] gets going north and south, he’s a big strong guy,” senior defensive lineman Chris Horner said. “It took more than one of us to bring him down.”Williams added another 114 yards on the ground for the Bulldogs and completed 21 of 40 passes for 171 yards.
On the Raiders’ end, McCarney rushed for a total of 85 yards and four scores and threw 275 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, Raider running back Jordan McCord rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Yale begins Ivy home play next weekend against Dartmouth. Kickoff is Saturday at noon.