BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Mountain Hawks earned their first home win of the season on Saturday with a 35-22 victory over Princeton before a crowd of 6,344 on Kids Day at Goodman Stadium. Sophomore quarterback Michael Colvin threw for 128 yards and completed his first career touchdown pass to senior tight end Alex Wojdowski as the Mountain Hawks improved to 2-1 with the win.
Service Electric Post Game Show Sept. 18, 2010
“Obviously, it was really important to get a win today,” explained Lehigh head coach Andy Coen. “I was happy our kids hung in there. We were not all that efficient offensively in the first half, but I thought we settled down and moved the ball fairly well in the second half, maybe with the exception of one drive. The defense came up big to turn the ball over and the offense was able to finish the drives in the fourth quarter, which was huge. We’re always glad to see those things happen.”
The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak against Ivy League opponents and gave Lehigh its first home win over the Tigers since 2002. Senior running back Jay Campbell rushed for 84 yards and threw his second career touchdown pass, while Wojdowski finished with 79 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns on the day.
The Mountain Hawks took to the air to set up the first scoring drive of the game midway through the first quarter. Junior quarterback Chris Lum found Wojdowski with a 20-yard strike down the middle to set up a first down inside the Princeton one yard line. Lum took over from there with a quarterback sneak off left tackle to give Lehigh a 7-0 advantage early on.
The Lehigh defense came up with a huge stand late in the quarter after a Campbell fumble gave the Tigers the ball inside the Mountain Hawks’ 15. Princeton could only advance the ball seven yards, however, and had to settle for a Patrick Jacob field goal from 24 yards out to make it 7-3.
Lehigh’s defensive unit continued its aggressive play in the second quarter as junior Andrew Knapp forced a fumble on Princeton’s first play of the stanza. Senior Shane Ryan pounced on the loose ball at the Tigers’ 29 yard line, but the Lehigh offense could not move the ball any closer to the end zone and turned it over on downs after an incompletion on 4th-and-10.
The Tigers promptly moved the ball into Mountain Hawks’ territory, but gave it back to Lehigh once again after quarterback Tommy Wornham was stopped short on 4th-and-1 at the 22.
Wornham atoned for the play on Princeton’s next drive, finding wideout Trey Peacock down the seam for an 80-yard touchdown strike to make it 10-7. The pass play was the Tigers’ longest through the air since 2004.
Lehigh responded on the ensuing possession with Colvin under center for the injured Lum. The quarterback immediately hooked up with Wojdowski over the middle for a 28-yard gain to the Princeton 30, before finding junior Jake Drwal for 10 yards on the next play. Five plays later, Lehigh was back on top as freshman Sean Farrell scored his first collegiate touchdown with a one-yard plunge to make it 14-10 with five minutes to play before the half.
Princeton finished the half with another 24-yard field goal from Jacob to make it 14-13 Mountain Hawks at the break. Wornham completed 18-of-28 passes for 234 yards by halftime, including 149 to Peacock. Colvin completed 5-of-7 throws for 64 yards and Campbell finished the half with 37 yards on the ground.
The teams traded field goals out of the intermission and with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter, Lehigh maintained its one-point advantage at 17-16 on sophomore Jake Peery’s first field goal of the year, from 31 yards out.
“When they came back and took the lead briefly, I thought it was important that we took the lead right back and we were able to build on it from there,” Coen said. “Defensively, with the exception of the one big touchdown, we bent but didn’t break. We forced five field goals, which wound up being huge in the game. “
With Princeton taking over on the next possession, the Mountain Hawks’ defense once again rose to the occasion. Senior Jarard Cribbs stepped in front of a Wornham pass for his second interception of the season to set up the Lehigh offense at the Tigers’15 yard line.
The turnover produced another field goal as Peery split the uprights from 25 yards out to give Lehigh a 20-16 edge.
Again, the Tigers clawed back into the game as Wornham found Peacock for 41 yards down the left sideline to the Lehigh 40. Eight plays later, Jacob capped the drive with his fourth field goal of the day from 39 yards to cut Lehigh’s lead to 20-19. Princeton then attempted an onside kick to try and maintain the momentum, but the ball was touched before it traveled 10 yards and Lehigh took over on Princeton’s 37.
With a short field ahead of them, the Mountain Hawks went back on the attack and quickly produced another touchdown. On a designed halfback pass, Campbell floated an 18-yard throw into the arms of Wojdowski, who dove over the end zone pylon for his first touchdown of the year. Peery tacked on the extra point to put Lehigh ahead, 27-19, with two minutes gone in the fourth quarter.
Wornham did his best to answer on the Tigers’ next drive, but again the Lehigh defense held Princeton to three points as Jacob kicked his fifth field goal of the game to make it 27-22 with eight minutes to play.
The Tigers’ defense forced a three-and-out on Lehigh’s ensuing possession and got the ball back with a chance to take the lead late in the game. An errant throw by Wornham ended the possession, however, as Cribbs came up with his second pick of the day at midfield. With just six minutes remaining, Colvin and the Lehigh offense milked the clock with a nine-play drive that resulted in the quarterback’s first career touchdown pass, a 12-yard strike to Wojdowski. The tight end capped his stellar day with a reception on the two-point conversion, which gave Lehigh some breathing room on the scoreboard at 35-22.
Princeton out-gained Lehigh 528-327 on the day but the Mountain Hawk defense excelled at limiting the damage to touchdowns instead of field goals.
For Lehigh, Colvin finished 10-of-14 for 128 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He added 37 yards rushing on 16 carries, while Campbell led all ball carriers with 79 yards on 21 rushes. On the receiving end, Wojdowski caught four balls as did senior Craig Zurn who hauled in four passes for 47 yards.
Wornham set a new career high with 392 yards passing on 32 completions, including 192 yards to Peacock. Wideout Andrew Kerr also eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for the Tigers, hauling in 11 passes for 125 yards. Senior Al Pierce and junior Mike Groome led the Brown and White with 11 tackles apiece, while Steven Cody added a team-best 12 tackles for Princeton.
“I think Princeton’s a good football team,” Coen said. “They are going to win some games. I think this is a really nice, quality win for our guys, certainly not perfect by any stretch, but we did what we needed to do.”
The Mountain Hawks will return to action next Saturday at No. 8 New Hampshire with the opening kickoff scheduled for 12:00 p.m. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM as well as online at Lehighsports.com with pregame coverage beginning at 11 a.m.
EXTRA POINTS… Campbell’s touchdown pass was the second in his career, with the first coming last season against Holy Cross…Jake Peery's third-quarter field goal was the Mountain Hawks' first field goal of the season...Lehigh scored six touchdowns this season before registering its first field goal...the last time Lehigh allowed 500+ yards of offense was in 2007 against Holy Cross...Saturday’s game was Kids Day at Goodman Stadium, which featured activities such as inflatable games and rides as well as face painting… At halftime Lehigh welcomed back members of all eight of its Patriot League Championship winning football teams.