Posted: October 30, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – Julian Austin intercepted a pass from Colgate quarterback Chris Brown with six seconds remaining in regulation as No. 12 Lehigh held on for a dramatic 21-14 victory over the No. 18 Raiders at Goodman Stadium on Saturday afternoon in front of 13,929 on Family Day.
The Mountain Hawk defense was the story on the day, holding preseason All-American running back Jamaal Branch nearly 100 yards under his season average.
With the win, the Mountain Hawks move to 7-1 on the season, and are now tied for first place in the Patriot League with a 3-0 record.
Colgate falls to 5-3 in 2004 and sit at 2-1 in league action.
Lehigh got the first score of the game when Borda hit sophomore running back Marques Thompson on a five-yard pass with four minutes remaining in the first quarter to put the Mountain Hawks in front 7-0. The quarter ended with the same score, but Colgate had possession and was driving.
As the second quarter began the Raiders found the end zone to even the score at seven when quarterback Chris Brown found DeWayne Long for a 13-yard score with 14:54 remaining in the half. Lehigh would answer back however, as Borda lofted a ten-yard pass to Thompson in the back of the end zone to put the Brown and White in front 14-7 with 9:46 remaining in the half.
Colgate went to its workhorse to once again even the score, as Branch powered his way in from one-yard out to tie the contest at 14. Lehigh had the ball late, but missed on a field goal attempt and so the teams retired for halftime tied at 14.
Borda was very effective in the first 30 minutes, completing 10 of 13 passes for 109 yards and two scores, while Brown was equally as good, throwing 14 completions for 159 yards and the one touchdown. Branch, who came into the game averaging 124 yards per contest, was held in check in the first half, with just 22 yards. Lehigh gained 236 yards to the Raiders 184 with 127 of those yards coming on the ground. Neither team attempted a punt in the half and there were just two penalties called, one on each team.
The third quarter featured a steady diet of smash mouth football, however neither team was able to find the end zone for the majority of the period. Senior punter Kyle Keating boomed his second kick of the day inside the Raider ten, pinning Colgate deep in its own territory. The Mountain Hawk defense then took over stopping Colgate on the first two downs and then by forcing Brown into a difficult third and long situation, which ended on an interception by senior defensive back Karrie Ford inside the Colgate 40-yard line.
Lehigh then went on the offensive attack with Borda running and throwing his way deep into Colgate territory. Junior running back Eric Rath gained three yards on a crucial fourth and inches play and then ended the drive on a two-yard plunge into the end zone to put the Mountain Hawks up 21-14 with just over three minutes left in the quarter and took that lead into the final 15 minutes.
The final period was filled with emotion and pure will, however neither team could seem to get into an offensive rhythm. Lehigh held possession for the majority of the quarter, but was unable to find the end zone. The teams continually switched possession of the ball with Colgate having the last chance to score in the final minute, before Austin’s interception sealed the victory.
Borda finished with 134 yards passing in addition to 91 yards rushing, while Rath had 94 yards on the ground. Brown finished with 259 yards passing, throwing 12 passes to DeWayne Long for 126 yards and the one score.
Lehigh will return to action next Saturday when the Mountain Hawks travel to the nation’s capital to take on Georgetown in another Patriot League showdown. Game time is set for 12:30 from Harbin Field.
Photo copyright (c) 2004, Lehigh Athletics/Chris Christian.