RJ Nitti ’17 and the Bison offense dominate in win over Lafayette

Liam Moore, Staff Writer

It was a matchup of David vs. Goliath in Easton, Pa. on Oct. 31. The Lafayette Leopard defense had the unruly task of keeping the Bison out of the end zone. The Bison offense that lined up on the field was a vengeful one, looking to make up for three straight losses with a resounding victory.

At the start, the Leopards looked like the more imposing squad. On their opening drive, the Lafayette quarterback led the team 75 yards down the field, capping off the drive with a touchdown pass to open up the scoring at 7-0. After the Orange and Blue were forced to punt on their first two drives, they handed the ball back to Lafayette. Again Lafayette struck, this time with an impressive 42-yard run, putting them up 14-0 early on.

It took until the second quarter for the Bison to wake up on offense, at which point the stampede began.  Seemingly within the blink of an eye, Lafayette’s chance at getting its first conference victory of the season vanished. First, Bison quarterback RJ Nitti ’17 capped off a thorough, time-consuming 63-yard drive with a short pass to Andrew Owers ’19. Owers has proven to be a very reliable receiver in his first year, and his value on the field was evident as the Bison got into their groove.

After kicking the ball back to Lafayette, safety Bryan Marine ’19 picked off the Leopards’ quarterback for one of his two interceptions on the day. Nitti made quick work of the defense after getting the ball back, connecting with Marcus Ademilola ’19 for a 56-yard touchdown. That tied the game up at 14-14. The Lafayette kicker would hit a field goal to leave the Bison down by three at the half.

Nitti had the ball in his hands again to start off the second half. He and the offensive attack marched down the field, taking over eight minutes off the clock before Nitti connected on his third touchdown pass of the day. The Bison did a great job spreading the ball around, with nine different players getting themselves on the box score. 

The ball was in Lafayette’s hands going into the fourth quarter. Bryan Marine ’19 happened to be in the passing lanes, and snagged his second interception, giving the Bison a chance to put the game away. A confusing turn of events gave the ball back to Lafayette in the red zone. Within two plays, the Bison were down again, 24-21.

With 12 minutes left, another disappointing loss looked like it was on the way. Nitti took control and found his main target, Will Carter ’17, for a fantastic 55-yard touchdown. Running back Matt DelMauro ’16 was very effective on the ground, and broke free for a long run on the next Bison possession, which helped Nitti finally cap off the comeback. With under two minutes left in the game, Nitti got himself into the end zone, for his fifth total touchdown of the day and a 35-24 lead.

The Bison (4-4, 1-2) hope to take the momentum from their first Patriot League victory of the season with them, as they travel to face Fordham on Nov. 7.



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