HAMILTON, N.Y. – Junior Zach Barket rushed for a career-high 188 yards and scored four total touchdowns as No. 6/7 Lehigh held off a third-quarter Colgate rally to down the Raiders 45-25 Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium. Senior quarterback Chris Lum threw four touchdown passes, but fell short of his ninth straight 300-yard passing game as the Mountain Hawks win their sixth straight game to improve to 7-1 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League.
“Any time you can win a game up here it’s impressive,” said Lehigh head coach Andy Coen. “Our kids played well. Colgate played well on offense. They did a nice job keeping our guys off balance, but we made stops when we had to. Offensively we were pretty seamless in the second half. On our first four drives we scored three touchdowns and a field goal. Chris (Lum) did not have crazy numbers throwing the ball but you had to be impressed with the running game.
Coen concluded, “We were very efficient throwing the ball. Today was another day with close to 500 yards of total offense and 45 points so I’m very pleased with that.”
Barket’s 188 yards came on 21 carries. He scored two touchdowns on the ground and also caught two passes for 36 yards and two scores.
Lum completed 21-of-29 passes for 226 yards and threw one interception to go along with his four touchdown tosses. Junior Ryan Spadola led the receiving corps with six receptions for 59 yards, while junior tight end Jamel Haggins had a career day with five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.
As a team the Mountain Hawks racked up 494 yards of total offense, including 285 on the ground. Colgate gained 310 total yards, but the Lehigh defense held the league’s top rushing attack to just 123 yards. The Raiders’ Nate Eachus finished with 96 rushing yards and a touchdown and added a receiving score. Colgate falls to 4-5 overall and 0-3 in the league with the setback.
Lehigh won the toss and elected to receive, but after picking up a first down the Mountain Hawks drive sputtered inside Colgate’s 40 yard line. The Raiders came back on their first possession with a 14 play, 67 yard drive as Joe Uglietto booted a 30 yard field goal to five Colgate a 3-0 lead nine minutes into the contest.
On its second drive of the game, Lehigh’s offense answered with a touchdown to take the lead. A couple of rushes from Barket set Lehigh up inside Colgate territory, and Lum connected with Haggins on a 33-yard touchdown to put the Brown and White in front 7-3.
The score remained 7-3 after one quarter of play, but on the first play of the second quarter, Barket broke through the Raider line on a counter play on third-and-two and then raced down the far sideline for a 39-yard touchdown to extend Lehigh’s lead to 14-3. The 39-yard scamper was the longest of Barket’s career.
“Zach was playing well and had that injury against Princeton,” Coen explained. “We limited his play a bit in the last four games, but today was really the first time where we really said he’s the guy until he gets tired. He did a great job.”
Colgate answered Lehigh’s touchdown with a 12 play, 74-yard drive. Gavin McCarney found Chris Looney, who made a brilliant diving catch in the near corner of the end zone for an 18 yard touchdown. Uglietto missed the extra point, so Lehigh’s lead was cut to five points at 14-9.
After each team turned the ball over and Lehigh was stopped on downs, Colgate drove down the field and climbed within two points at 14-12 on a 42 yard Uglietto field goal.
Lehigh took the ball with three and a half minutes to play in the first half and marched 59 yards in six plays. Lum hit Barket on a middle screen for a 22 yard touchdown to give the Mountain Hawks a 21-12 lead going into halftime.
Lum finished the first half 12-of-15 passing for 138 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Five of his passes went to Haggins who gained 66 yards, while Spadola caught three for 21.
Barket gained a career-high 115 yards on nine carries in the first half.
After stopping the Raiders on their first possession of the third quarter, Lehigh put together a 13-play, 69-yard drive on its first possession. Barket capped the drive with his third touchdown of the day, a six-yard run, to put Lehigh up by 16 with 6:49 left in the quarter.
Colgate answered Lehigh’s score with a touchdown of its own. A pair of personal fouls against Lehigh moved the Raiders inside Lehigh’s 20-yard line. McCarney connected with Eachus for an eight yard touchdown. The failed two-point conversion left Lehigh’s lead at ten points with three minutes left in the third.
Sophomore Tim Divers got in the act late in the third quarter booting a 35-yard field goal to give the Mountain Hawks a 31-18 lead after three quarters.
The Raiders continued to hang around, climbing within six points one minute into the fourth quarter on a 20 yard touchdown run by Eachus.
Needing a long drive to milk clock, Lehigh answered with a 12-play, 66-yard drive. Lehigh converted a pair of third downs, and then a fourth-and-two with a four-yard run by junior Mike Colvin. On the next play, Lum hit Barket for a 14-yard touchdown, Barket’s fourth touchdown of the game. The Mountain Hawks went for two and Lum found Spadola for the successful conversion to give Lehigh a 39-25 advantage.
Colgate tried to respond as a pair of personal fouls against Lehigh put the Raiders in Mountain Hawk territory. The Raiders couldn’t capitalize as McCarney threw an incompletion on fourth down. On the ensuing drive, Matt Fitz set up Lehigh with a 48-yard run and then Lum found Jake Drwal for nine yards and his fourth touchdown pass of the day. The extra point was blocked and Lehigh’s lead stood at 20.
Lehigh’s inside linebackers paced the defensive effort as senior Mike Groome had a game high 14 tackles and junior Billy Boyko added 13 stops and the Mountain Hawks’ only sack.
“We made mistakes that hurt ourselves at times,” Coen said of the penalties that prolonged Raider drives. Lehigh was penalized six times for 84 yards on day. “That’s something we have to be on guard for, but we get to be at Goodman Stadium for the month of November.”
The Mountain Hawks will return to Goodman Stadium for their final three games of the regular season, beginning Saturday November 5 when Lehigh hosts Holy Cross on Family Day. Kickoff is set for just after 12:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh ticket office, located in Grace Hall or by logging on to Lehighsports.com.
EXTRA POINTS… Lehigh wore brown pants with their white road jerseys for the third time this year… The Mountain Hawks won at Andy Kerr Stadium for the first time since October 29, 2005… Barket becomes the first Mountain Hawk to score four touchdowns in a game since Eric Rath scored four in that 2005 win at Colgate… Lum now has 30 touchdown passes for the season, one off the Lehigh single season record… senior Jon Littlejohn intercepted his fourth pass of the season in the fourth quarter… while much of the northeast was hit with a nor’easter on Saturday, the Lehigh-Colgate game was played under overcast conditions, with temperatures in the upper 30s and no precipitation.