Offense falls flat in 17-9 homecoming loss against Georgetown

Bethany Blass, Assistant Sports Editor

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Quarterback R.J. Nitti ’17 completed 28 passes with a career-high of 338 yards during the Homecoming game against Georgetown Oct. 24. Will Carter ’17 made a career-high 12 catches. Bobby Kaslander ’16 had a 100-yard receiving performance, the second during his career, while C.J. Williams ’17 rushed for 103 yards. Despite their efforts, the Bison fell to Georgetown 17-9 to conclude homecoming weekend.

 

“Homecoming at Bucknell is a special time for me and for our team,” head coach Joe Susan said. “The support we receive from our alumni, parents, and friends is outstanding. The get-together in the tent after our game was evidence of this.”

 

The Bison were held to just a touchdown throughout the first quarter, while Georgetown managed to score ten points. The Orange and Blue were able to move 49 yards on just nine plays on the game’s opening drive. Nitti threw an interception, which led to Georgetown opponents scoring a 22-yard field goal. The Bison managed to move 75 yards on just 10 plays and score a touchdown, taking their only lead all game at 6-3. The drive began with passes to Andrew Podbielski ’18 for 23 yards, and to Carter for 24 yards. Georgetown regained the lead after completing a 40-yard touchdown pass. Midway through the second quarter, John Burdick ’18 made a field goal to bring the score to 10-9.

 

“The highlight of the homecoming game was my catch in the first quarter of the game that went for around 20 yards,” Podbielski said. “This was my longest catch of the season and was a very exciting moment for me. The game didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but it’s always nice to have your family at the game along with past players to see you get a big catch. Heading into the last four games we are hoping to win out and improve our play. We need to continue to play tough, play together as a team, and finish each and every play. We work hard every day at practice and we have the talent, we just need to put it together and finish strong. I believe we can win the last four conference games, and I know the team and the coaches agree.”

 

Ben Schumacher ’17 and Connor Golden ’18 guided the Bison in defensive efforts, with seven tackles and one sack each. Bryan Marine ’19 and Colin Jonov ’18 made interceptions to contribute to the Orange and Blue’s efforts. The score remained 10-9 until Georgetown converted on three third downs and concluded with a touchdown to bring the score to 17-9. The Bison had a chance to tie the score during the fourth quarter, but Nitti was sacked. With 1:57 left in play, the Bison took over at their 24-yard line. After a sack and two incomplete passes, the Orange and Blue were in a fourth-and-long scenario, and Nitti connected with Matthew Jegede ’16 for a 59-yard completion. Reaching the 15-yard line, the Bison had a few opportunities in the end zone but were unable to convert and ended up turning the ball over.

 

“I would have loved to pull the game out on our last drive,” Susan said. “We had a lot of opportunities to put points on the board. The margin of error in this league is so thin that you must be right when you have the chance. We need to be more precise in our passing game. This starts with protection, moves to accuracy of our throws and ends with being more consistent in catching the ball. We have to do a better job as a staff in teaching and demanding the fundamentals of tackling, and our players must apply these during the game this weekend.”

 

The Bison will travel to Lafayette in another conference game. The Oct. 31 contest will be the first of three away games for the Bison out of the four remaining games in the season, all of which are conference competitions.

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