Lafayette makes the short trip across I-80 in search of its first conference win. The Leopards battle Bucknell on Saturday in a 12:05 p.m. kickoff that can be seen on the Lafayette Sports Network on RCN-4, WBPH-60 and MASN
and on GoLeopards.com.
The Lafayette defense stood tall against Georgetown, shutting out the Hoyas the entire second half. Lafayette held Georgetown to 168 total yards (95 on the ground and 73 through the air). Georgetown used short fields (50 yards and 34 yards) to score both of its touchdowns in the second quarter.
Freshman DE Malik Hamm
continued to make his presence known up front for the Leopards. Against Georgetown, he led the team with nine tackles and finished with 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He has started four games this season, including the last three.
D On the Field:
The Leopard defense continues to perform despite spending a lot of time on the field. In the first four games, Lafayette opponents, held time of possession differentials of 7, 17, 4 and 15 minutes, while in the last two games Lafayette has had a four-minute advantage in each game.
Kordenbrock Taking the FG's:
Sophomore Jeffrey Kordenbrock
accounted for both of Lafayette's scores against Georgetown with a pair of 40-yard field goals. It was the first two-field-goal game of his career. He has taken over the field-goal/PAT duties the last two games.
Hamm and Rice:
Freshman DE Malik Hamm
has been named to the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award Watch List. The award, named after the Hall of Fame wide receiver, has been presented to the top FCS freshman since 2011. Hamm earned his first collegiate start at Delaware, registering five tackles with three tackles for a loss and a sack. When he sacked the Delaware QB, he stripped the ball, recovered the fumble and ran it back for 22 yards. Hamm came off the bench to record seven tackles (two for loss) vs. Monmouth, and in a start at No. 24 Colgate he had seven tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss. He is currently fourth on the team with 31 stops.
Career High For O'Malley:
Against Georgetown, sophomore QB Sean O'Malley
attempted a career-high 49 passes (completing 25). His previous career high was 48 vs. Colgate in 2017. He leads the Patriot League in completions per game (19.0) and passing yards per game (195.0).
On the Line:
The offensive line under assistant coach Gordon Sammis leads the Patriot League in sacks allowed (1.67 per game) and tackles for loss allowed (5.7 per game). The group is headed by senior captain Kevin Zataveski
from his center position.
Junior WR Nick Pearson
leads in the Patriot League in receiving yards (465) and receiving yards per game (77.5) and ranks second in receptions per game (4.8). He is coming off a Georgetown game in which made 10 catches for 140 yards, (both career highs). Against Monmouth in week three he had five catches for 106 yards. His previous career best game was a nine-catch effort for 107 yards vs. Georgetown in 2017.
He also has shown his ability to run, scoring on a five-yard run vs. Monmouth. In the 2017 season finale at Lehigh, Pearson carried the ball six times for 95 yards.
With 10 completions at No. 24 Colgate, soph. QB Sean O'Malley
moved into ninth place at Lafayette for career completions. Currently with 379, O'Malley looks to supplant Shawn McHale '97 (386 | 1994-96).
In terms of career passing yards, O'Malley's 250-yard day against Holy Cross moved him into 10th place all-time at Lafayette, ahead of Ed Baker '70 (2,921 yards | 1967-69).
Three TD's For Amill:
Senior RB CJ Amill scored three touchdowns to lead Lafayette to its first win of the season, 31-24 over Central Connecticut State on Sept. 29. Amill's decisive score, a 23-yard run, came with 33 seconds left to clinch the victory. The last-minute win occurred 364 days after the Leopards' most recent last-minute win on Sept. 30, 2017 when Jeffrey Kordenbrock
booted a 43-yard field goal as time expired to beat Holy Cross 10-7.
Amill scored on a run of 11 yards just before halftime before punching in his game-winning score. It was his first touchdown of the day that drew the most attention, as he ripped off a 57-yard punt return for touchdown 10 minutes into the game. It was the Leopards first punt return for touchdown since Sept. 1, 2007, when Shaun Adair returned a kick 78 yards vs. Marist.
The Youngstown, Ohio native earned both Patriot League Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career following the CCSU game.
Lafayette is ranked 21st nationally and first in the Patriot League for kick-off returns, averaging 23.9 yards per try. J.J. Younger
averages 26.3 yards per return to lead the Patriot League (19th in the nation), while CJ Amill checks in at 20.7 yards per return and was an All-Patriot League First-Team selection at return specialist in 2017 when he racked up 558 kick return yards (the eighth most in a season in Lafayette history).
Taking Time Out:
The members of the Leopards' freshman class used their fall break time off on Monday to help serve meals at Safe Harbor in Easton.
Bucknell is 1-6 overall and 1-1 in Patriot League play after beating Holy Cross 19-16 to open conference action on Sept. 29. The Bison have losses to William and Mary, Sacred Heart, Penn, Villanova, Colgate and most recently Monmouth, 39-16 in week seven.
Bucknell returns 15 starters (8 offensive, 7 defensive) and 42 letterwinners from a 2017 squad that was 5-6 overall and finished sixth in the Patriot League standings.
Soph. Logan Bitikofer has taken the bulk of the snaps since the third week of the season, completing 84-of-160 for 783 yards with four touchdowns and seven interceptions. Freshman RB Jared Cooper (4.1 yards per carry) is a dual threat, catching 20 passes for 242 yards out of the backfield.
Defensively, Bryan Marine is a player to watch. He's one of four with 50 or more tackles and leads the team with three interceptions. He's also deep on punt and kickoff return.
The Bison are coached by Joe Susan (Delaware '78) who is in his ninth season wearing the orange and blue.