Posted: November 18, 2006
EASTON, Pa. – Lehigh battled back from a 21-point second quarter deficit, but in the end, host Lafayette used a potent, balanced offensive attack to out-gun the Mountain Hawks by a 49-27 score in the 142nd meeting of college football’s most-played rivalry at Lafayette’s Fisher Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Leopards’ win gives each team a 6-5 overall record, a 5-1 Patriot League mark, and a share of the 2006 Patriot League crown.
"Give credit to Lafayette," said head coach Andy Coen afterwards. "They out played us today, it's as simple as that. I can't complain with the effort our kids gave out there today, though. This group of kids, particularly the seniors, will always be special to me and I want to personally thank them." He continued, "During this winning streak, we weren't turning the ball over, and today that wasn't the case. (Turnovers) are a part of the game and they (Lafayette) took advantage. We just could not get them off of the field there and were unable to recover."
By virtue of Lafayette’s win over Lehigh, the Leopards will represent the league in the Division I-AA playoffs next week.
Lehigh took the opening kick off and put together a near perfect drive that covered 87 yards in ten plays and ended on a two-yard touchdown run by Threatt to put the Mountain Hawks in front 7-0 with just 6:01 gone in the first quarter. Lafayette came right back and tied the game at seven however, with an eight-play 79-yard drive that was finished off by a 15-yard run by Maurice White at the 4:56 mark of the quarter. The Leopards then took the lead on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Maurer to Shaun Adair, making the score 14-7 with 1:42 left in the quarter. Lafayette got the ball right back when Lehigh fumbled deep in its own territory, setting the Leopards up in excellent field position as the clock ran out on the quarter.
The first play of the second quarter was an eight-yard touchdown run by Lafayette’s Jonathan Hurt, making the score 21-7 as Lehigh found itself in an early hole with 14:53 to go in the half. After another Lehigh turnover, this time an interception, Lafayette struck quickly yet again on another Maurer touchdown pass, this one coming from seven yards out to senior Joe Ort.
The Mountain Hawks would stop the bleeding with a sound, nine play, 91-yard scoring drive that took 4:08 off the clock. Lehigh’s scoring play came on a seven-yard pass from Threatt to senior Landon Maggs to trim the deficit to 14 points with 8:36 left in the half. The Mountain Hawks would then get the ball back on a fumbled Lafayette snap, and drove right down the field for yet another touchdown right before the half, making the score 28-21 at intermission. The final score of the first half came on a three-yard run by Threatt with just 15 seconds remaining.
Threatt threw for 181 yards in the half, with 105 of those going to senior Frank Trovato, as the junior completed 14 of 19 passes, throwing for one score and rushing for another two. The Mountain Hawks gained 226 yards as a team in the first half, with only 45 of those coming via the rush. Sophomore Josh Pastore led the Brown and White with 27 yards on the ground, as he was the lone Mountain Hawk in double figure rush yards.
Maurer threw for 158 yards and two scores in the opening half, while Hurt added 64 yards on the ground and one score. Ort caught four of Maurer’s passes for 57 yards and the one score.
After a three-and-out by Lafayette to open the third quarter, Lehigh marched 63 yards in eight plays and pulled to within a single point on a six-yard touchdown pass from Threatt to Trovato, but Jason Leo missed his first extra point of the season and the Mountain Hawks still were down 28-27. Lafayette would increase its lead to eight with a methodical 12-play, 80-yard drive that took 5:34 off of the clock and ended on a four-yard pass from Maurer to sophomore fullback Joe Russo making the score 35-27, which is how it would remain heading into the final 15 minutes of play.
Lafayette capped off a ten-play 74-yard drive when White scored his second touchdown of the day from two yards out making the score 42-27 with 10:10 remaining. The Leopards then put the game out of reach when Hurt scored his second rushing touchdown of the day – capping a nine play, 53 yard drive that pulled a critical 5:25 off the clock.
Lafayette quarterback Brad Maurer and running back Jonathan Hurt were named the game’s co-most valuable players. Maurer was 20-of-24 through the air for 243 yards and three touchdown passes. Hurt carried the ball 30 times for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In all, Lafayette amassed 466 yards of total offense in the win.
Lehigh’s Sedale Threatt was 20-of-32 passing – including two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for those two first half scores. The Lehigh rushing attack was limited to just 107 yards rushing on the day, including a team-high 48 yards from Marques Thompson.
Lafayette will find out its first round playoff opponent on Sunday afternoon.
The Mountain Hawks end their season with a share of their eighth Patriot League title – more than any other league school.
EXTRA POINTS … Saturday’s game was televised in high definition (HDTV) on WFMZ, Channel 69. It was the first event in the Lehigh Valley to ever be televised in HD … Lafayette installed approximately 2,000 temporary stands for the game, which brought the attendance to over 15,000 total fans (15,207) … Leo’s missed extra point in the third ended his streak of 33 consecutive made attempts … Trovato’s 100-yard receiving game was his second of the season (Princeton) … Lafayette has now won three straight games in the series – their longest winning streak since capturing three straight from 1953 to 1955 … Lehigh’s 6-5 overall record marks the program’s ninth consecutive winning season ... the 77 combined points by the two teams is the most since 1988.
Photography 2006 (c), Specialty Photographic.