Posted: November 8, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Colgate quarterback Greg Sullivan hit Pat Simonds on a seven yard touchdown pass with 2:28 to play to lift the 24th-ranked Raiders to a come-from-behind 34-33 win over Lehigh Saturday in front of 10,841 on Family Weekend at Goodman Stadium. Sophomore J.B. Clark threw for a career-high 338 yards and four touchdowns, to lead the Mountain Hawks, who trailed 21-6 midway through the second quarter, but rallied to take a 12 point lead halfway through the third quarter.
The loss drops Lehigh to 3-6 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League, while Colgate remains tied atop the league standings at 8-2, 4-0 in league games.
"We probably deseve a better fate than we've gotten," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said afterwards. "But it is what it is. I certainly don't feel like we're a 3-6 football team, but that's what our record says, so that's where we're at."
He continued, "This will be a tough one because it really knocks you out of contention (for the Patriot League Championship), but our guys are competitors and they have two football games left to play this season and I expect them to come out and play hard in those games."
The Raiders’ go-ahead touchdown was the third of the game for the Sullivan-Simonds combination, as Colgate overcame a strong Lehigh effort through the air, in which senior wide receivers Sekou Yansane and Mike Fitzgerald each eclipsed the 100 yard mark.
Lehigh received the opening kickoff, but a fumble on the Mountain Hawks third play from scrimmage set Colgate up at the Lehigh 19 yard line. Four plays later, Raiders quarterback Greg Sullivan scored on a two yard run to put the visitors up 7-0.
It took just under three minutes for the Mountain Hawks to answer however, as Lehigh drove 67 yards in eight plays, as Clark found senior tight end Troy Healion in the back of the end zone for a four yard touchdown, Healion’s second of the season. A missed extra point left the score at 7-6 Colgate halfway through the period.
The Raiders extended their lead late in the opening quarter when Sullivan connected with Pat Simonds on a 79-yard scoring strike, putting Colgate up 14-6 at the end of one quarter.
In the second quarter the teams exchanged turnovers early and Colgate extended its lead on a five yard touchdown run by Nate Eachus, which capped a six play, 65-yard drive.
The Mountain Hawks cut their deficit back to eight with just over six and a half minutes to play in the half. Clark tossed his second touchdown of the day, this one to Yansane on a post route, which made the score 21-13 Raiders. After the Lehigh defense forced a three-and-out, the Mountain Hawks put together a six play drive and pulled within one at halftime as senior Adam Watson powered into the end zone from six yards out.
Clark finished the half 16-of-21 through the air for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Yansane was effective in his return to the lineup with four grabs for 98 yards, while Watson was the top ground gainer with 25 yards on five carries.
Colgate went three-and-out on its first possession of the second half, and Lehigh responded with a six play, 53-yard drive as the Mountain Hawks took their first lead on Clark’s third touchdown of the day, a 23 yard pass to Fitzgerald.
An interception from sophomore John Kennedy gave the Mountain Hawks the ball back and five plays later Clark and Fitzgerald hooked up again on a 39-yard strike to extend the Lehigh lead to 33-21.
Simonds caught his second touchdown pass from Stein to bring the Raiders within five after three quarters.
The game winning score capped a 10-minute, 47-yard drive for the Colgate offense. Sullivan finished 15-of-23 for 218 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Simonds finished with seven receptions for 148 yards. The Lehigh defense held the nation’s third best rushing offense under its season average by more than 100 yards.
Lehigh had one final drive to try and win the game, but Yansane was ruled out of bounds on a fourth down catch along the far sideline. "They pretty much stuck to their gameplan all day," Clark said afterwards. "They were disguising their coverages all afternoon, with cover three and what-not, but we just have to convert those opportunities."
The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Saturday, November 15 when they host the Bucknell Bison. Kick-off is set for 12:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased in one of three ways: by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office, located in Grace Hall, or by logging onto Lehighsports.com.
EXTRA POINTS… Junior Al Pierce, a starter at inside linebacker saw action at running back, rushing three times for 16 yards and catching two passes for 40 yards. Pierce was an All-County running back in high school and also played the position in prep school … Yansane’s 100-yard receiving game is the fifth of his career… Clark is the first Lehigh quarterback to throw for over 300 yards since Sedale Threatt threw for 304 last season at Fordham… the paid attendance of 10,841 is the largest at Goodman Stadium this season.