The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Football loses opener 38-3 to James Madison

Bucknell football traveled to Harrisonburg, Va. on Saturday to kick off their season at James Madison University. The Bison lost 38-3 but kept the 13th highest scoring offense in the United States in check for the majority of the game.

The defensive effort from Bucknell was much cleaner than the box score may show. Ethan Robinson ’25 snagged an interception on the first possession of the game, lighting up the Bison sideline, and the Bison allowed 94 yards total on six punt returns by the Dukes, an average of 15.6 yards a return. 

Ralph Rucker ’26 started as quarterback for the Orange and Blue in his first game played since 2021. Rucker completed 13 of 19 pass attempts for 140 yards while also taking one sack on the day.

“This past weekend taking the field, I was overwhelmed with anxiousness and excitement!” Rucker said. “We as a team knew we were facing a talented opponent, but we also knew that if we executed our game plan, we could not only play at a high level but we could outplay them.”

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Rushawn Baker ’25 was the leading rusher for Bucknell in the afternoon, tacking on 11 carries for 43 yards, about four yards a carry on average. Damian Harris ’24 was the team’s leading receiver with three catches for 61 yards.

The lone points from the Bison came from a 49-yard boot as time expired before the half from Matt Schearer ’26, one yard shy of tying his career-long made kick. 

The next matchup for Bison football is this Saturday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. at home against VMI.

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