Posted: October 23, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – Junior quarterback Mark Borda set a career high in passing yards for the third week in a row with 385 and he also tossed five touchdown passes, which tied his career high, in leading No. 16 Lehigh to a 40-17 victory over Bucknell at Goodman Stadium on Saturday afternoon in front of 11,218.
The 385 yards by Borda marked the first time a Lehigh quarterback threw for over 300 yards in a game since Kyle Keating threw for 344 yards versus Georgetown
on October 25, 2003 in Washington, D.C.
With the win Lehigh improves to 6-1 on the season and 2-0 in Patriot League play, while Bucknell falls to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in league action.
Following one series apiece for Lehigh and Bucknell, the Mountain Hawks took the ball on their second possession and drove 83 yards for a touchdown that ended with a fade route from junior quarterback Mark Borda to senior Adam Kovacs that covered 36 yards, putting the home team in front 6-0, as the extra point was missed, with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter. That would be the end of the scoring for the first quarter as Lehigh took its 6-0 lead into the second.
On the first play of the second quarter, Borda dropped back and lofted a perfect 23-yard pass over the shoulder of junior full back Greg Fay, which the Tennessee native took to pay dirt for a 13-0 Mountain Hawk lead with 14:55 remaining in the quarter. The play capped a ten-play four minute drive for the Brown and White and ended with Borda’s 14th touchdown throw of the season.
Just as the offenses seemed to be getting in gear, Lehigh fumbled the ball away four times in the second quarter and the Bison coughed it up one time as well.
Unable to capitalize on the first three turnovers, Bucknell finally took advantage as it seized possession of the ball deep in Lehigh territory and elected to kick a 33-yard field goal, which was good, making the score 13-3 in favor of the Mountain Hawks late in the half.
Rather than be content with the lead and sit on the ball, Lehigh went on the assault through the air once again as Borda threw a gorgeous 29-yard post pass to Kovacs in the corner of the end zone to cap the two-minute drive and put the Mountain Hawks in front 20-3 at the half.
Borda was spectacular in the first half, as he connected on 18 of 21 passes for 268 yards and three scores, although he did have two of the Mountain Hawk’s four fumbles. The Lehigh defense, ranked 11th in the nation coming into today’s action, more than lived up to its billing, as it limited the Bison to 58 total yards in the first 30 minutes and just two first downs, compared to Lehigh’s 309 yards and 15 first downs.
Borda was back at it again in the third quarter as he hit junior Gerran Walker on a 72-yard fly pattern at the 5:20 mark and the Mountain Hawks were in front 27-3 on the strength of Borda’s fourth touchdown. Bucknell scored its first touchdown of the game as John Jackson came in to relieve starting quarterback Daris Wilson and responded with a nine-yard toss to Kenny Davis for a Bison score to make it a 27-10 game with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Borda then got senior tight end Adam Bergen in the scoring column as Lehigh converted on a fourth and goal situation on a one-yard toss to Bergen in the back of the end zone to put Lehigh up 34-10 with 10:18 remaining in the contest. Lehigh then got the ball back on the strength of an interception by sophomore Brannan Thomas, who electrified the crowd with a return inside the Bucknell 15-yard line to set up a two-yard touchdown run by Eric Rath which put the Mountain Hawks ahead 40-10 with just under nine minutes left in the game.
Bucknell would keep the game respectable by scoring one last touchdown late, but it was too little, as Lehigh captured its second league victory in 2004.
Lehigh’s defense held Bucknell to 253 yards on the day, while the Mountain Hawk offense churned out 495 yards of its own, 95 on the ground and 400 through the air.
Lehigh returns to action next week when the Mountain Hawks welcome nationally ranked Colgate to Goodman Stadium for a key Patriot League clash. Kick-off is set for 1:07 pm.
Photos copyright (c) 2004 Lehigh Athletics/Chris Christian