95-yard Pick-Six Stuns Leopards on Homecoming
Oct. 21, 2017
EASTON, Pa. - Bucknell's Colin Jonov returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown on the first play of overtime to lead the Bison past Lafayette 13-7 on Saturday at Fisher Stadium.
The Lafayette defense shut out the visitors' offense, holding Bucknell without an offensive touchdown while limiting the Bison to 208 yards of total offense. But, it was two interceptions for touchdowns that were the difference.
Bucknell (4-3, 1-1) had a chance to win the game in regulation. The visitors took the ball with 9:39 left in the fourth quarter and put together a 17-play drive that covered 69 yards over 8:20. The drive stalled at the Leopard 25-yard line and the Bison settled for a 42-yard field goal attempt by John Burdick.
The kick was well short and the teams exchanged punts after two short offensive possessions.
As the game headed to overtime, Bucknell won the toss and chose to go on defense.
On the first play from scrimmage, Jonov intercepted Lafayette quarterback Sean O'Malley at the five-yard line and weaved his way through a host of would-be tacklers to the Lafayette endzone to decide the game. O'Malley finished the game 16-of-30 for 90 yards.
It was a defensive affair from start to finish, and the only score of the first half came two minutes into the game when Bucknell's Drew Newcomb intercepted O'Malley and returned it 31 yards for a 7-0 advantage.
In the second quarter, the Leopards' defense came up with a potential game-changing play. A Demetrius Breedlove sack and accompanying Michael Root fumble recovery gave Lafayette the ball at the Bucknell 38-yard line. The Leopards' offense could not take advantage of its best field position of the day, going three-and-out before punting with eight minutes left in the half.
In the second half, Bucknell opened with the ball and the Lafayette defense continued its strong play, giving up one first down before forcing a punt. The offense took over with 12:40 to go in the third quarter.
Six straight running plays, including a 24-yard run by C.J. Amill and a 19-yard scamper by Selwyn Simpson set up Lafayette 1st-and-goal at the Bucknell seven. Two more Simpson runs sandwiched a three-yard completion from O'Malley to Rocco Palumbo. Simpson's second run for two yards tied the game at 7-7 with 7:50 left in the third.
It was his first career rushing touchdown and the first rushing TD for the Leopards in 2017, capping an eight-play, 60-yard drive over 4:50. The Leopards finished with 96 rushing yards, the most on the season led by 48 from Amill, 45 from Simpson and 20 by Palumbo.
Defensively, three-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week Brandon Bryant finished with 17 tackles, a week removed from a 19-tackle effort at Harvard. Bryant is averaging 13.6 per game to lead the conference. Trent Crossan made 10 stops from his safety position while intercepting the first pass of his career.
The game featured two of the top punters in the Patriot League. Michael Turk punted 10 times for the Leopards, averaging 41.4. yards per attempt while Bucknell's Alex Pechin punted eight times for 42.6 yards per punt.
Lafayette (2-6, 2-1) will have Oct. 28 off from game action, next traveling to Georgetown on Nov. 4.