Posted: October 31, 2009
HAMILTON, N.Y. – Lehigh raced out to a 10-0 first quarter lead on No. 24/25 Colgate on Saturday afternoon but the Mountain Hawks were unable to hold it and eventually fell to the Raiders 27-20 at Andy Kerr Stadium. Lehigh had the ball with 5:35 left in the game and drove to the Raiders’ 48-yard line but junior JB Clark’s fourth down pass attempt fell incomplete and Colgate ran the clock out from there. The Mountain Hawks suffer their first Patriot League loss of the season (2-1) while Colgate improves to 8-1 overall and 3-1 in the league.
“I thought the kids fought hard, they competed right to the end there. But we need to win one of these close games,” Mountain Hawks head coach Andy Coen said after the game. “I thought JB (Clark) did a nice job running the offense today. He knew we would ask him to tuck the ball and run with it a little more than usual and he handled that very well. We had a chance there at the end, it was a bang-bang play but we couldn’t pull it out.”
Clark finished the day with 151 yards passing and two touchdowns, while classmate Jay Campbell gained 55 yards on 14 carries. Clark also carried the ball 18 times for 54 yards, including a career-long 22 yarder. Three Mountain Hawks, including De’Vaughn Gordon, Jake Drwal and Anthony Fossati had two catches apiece, while seniors Troy Taylor and Jesse Sanchez led a spirited defensive effort with eight tackles each.
Colgate signal caller Greg Sullivan accounted for 198 yards through the air and 35 on the ground, while Jordan McCord rushed for 159 yards on 32 attempts. Pat Simonds hauled in five catches for 85 yards and Doug Rosnick caught four passes for 52 yards. The Raiders were led on defense by Greg Hadley’s nine stops.
Following a three-and-out on Colgate’s first possession Lehigh took over and proceeded to take an early lead on the strength of freshman Jake Peery’s 35-yard field goal with 11:04 remaining in the first quarter. On Colgate’s next possession Sanchez forced a fumble for the Mountain Hawks which David Brown recovered setting Lehigh up deep in Raiders’ territory. Clark found Craig Zurn six plays later on a 16-yard scoring strike and with 8:05 on the clock and the Mountain Hawks found themselves ahead 10-0.
Colgate got on the board for the first time when Sullivan hit John Schademan on a 46-yard strike to make it a 10-7 game with 5:32 to go in the opening quarter.
The score remained that way until Sullivan found Simonds from six-yards out to give Colgate its first lead of the day at 14-10 with 11:06 to go before halftime. That play capped a 14-play drive for the Raiders which covered 93 yards and spanned over 11 minutes. Sullivan and Simonds connected once again on Colgate’s next possession on a beautiful 46-yard touchdown pass as Simonds made a twisting catch to put the home team in front 21-10 with 8:26 left before intermission. “That was a great play there by Simonds,” Coen said. “Those two (Sullivan and Simonds) connecting for three touchdowns was huge.”
With five minutes left in the opening half Lehigh put together a strong drive in which Jay Campbell rushed for 14 yards down to the Colgate 31, setting the Mountain Hawks up with a first down. Following another rush by Campbell and one by Clark, junior Jaren Walker busted off a powerful run down to the Colgate ten, but the Mountain Hawks were whistled for a holding penalty and the drive eventually stalled sending the teams into the halftime break.
Lehigh gained 149 total yards in the first 30 minutes as Clark completed 6-of-13 passes for 87 yards and Campbell leading the rushing attack with 26 yards. Gordon and Fossati caught two passes each for the Brown and White, while sophomore Colin Newton led the defense with five stops.
Sullvan threw for 133 yards and three scores in the first half as the Raiders totaled 239 yards of offense. Jordan McCord led the rushing attack with 80 yards and Simonds hauled in a pair of passes for 52 yards. Hadley led the Colgate defensive effort with five tackles, including one sack.
After the ball traded hands early in the third, Lehigh got right back into the game when Clark hit freshman James Flynn on a gorgeous pass up the left sideline that the California native took to pay dirt for his first collegiate touchdown. Flynn started in the back field on the play and got behind a Colgate defensive back as Clark laid the ball into his arms with a great pass. The play covered 45 yards and brought the Mountain Hawks to within four at 21-17 with 4:45 to go in the third.
Lehigh got within a single point when Peery booted his second field goal of the day with 1:04 to go in the third. Peery’s field goal, which covered 25 yards, was set up by a nice punt return from junior Jarard Cribbs that covered 13 yards and gave the Mountain Hawks the ball at the Colgate 29.
Colgate answered with an 11-play scoring drive of its own as Sullivan connected with Simonds one more time on a 20-yard pass. The play came on fourth down after the Mountain Hawks defense stuffed Colgate for a one-yard loss on the previous play. The ensuing extra point was botched however and with 11:19 to go Lehigh was down 27-20.
Lehigh got the ball back with 5:35 remaining and moved the ball into Colgate territory before Clark’s fourth down pass was broken up.
The Mountain Hawks return to action on Saturday, November 7 when they play host to the Patriot League leading Holy Cross Crusaders at Goodman Stadium on Family Weekend. Kick-off is set for 12:37 and tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office, located in Grace Hall or by logging onto Lehighsports.com.
Mountain Hawks Football Post-Game Extra
EXTRA POINTS … Peery’s first quarter field goal was the first of his Lehigh career. It marked the second time this season a Mountain Hawks placekicker booted his first career FG after junior Tom Randazza accomplished the feat at Villanova … sophomore David Brown recovered a fumble in the opening quarter. It was his second recovery of the season … this weekend was Colgate’s Family Weekend …. five freshmen have scored points for the Mountain Hawks this season … Saturday’s weather in Hamilton consisted of high winds, plenty of clouds and near-constant rain … Lehigh did not record a sack on Saturday. It marked the first time this season the Mountain Hawks’ defense did not record a sack in a game.