Posted: November 12, 2005
BRONX, N.Y. – Lehigh kept its Patriot League title aspirations on track with a resounding 40-3 win over host Fordham on a picture-perfect autumn afternoon at Fordham’s Jack Coffey Field. Lehigh sophomore quarterback Sedale Threatt threw three touchdown passes and ran for another for the 13th ranked Mountain Hawks, who improve to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in Patriot League play. The Rams fall to 2-8 overall and 2-4 in the league following the setback.
Lehigh’s win, along with Lafayette’s victory at Holy Cross and Colgate’s home win over Bucknell, keeps Lehigh, Lafayette, and Colgate tied atop the Patriot League standings entering the final week of play.
“I am real pleased with how focused we came out today,” said Lehigh head coach Pete Lembo following the win. “I didn’t have any doubt that we’d come out focused on this game and this game only.”
In the opening quarter, Lehigh struck first. After the Mountain Hawks’ defense forced Fordham to go three-and-out, the Lehigh offense came on the field and went right to work. The Mountain Hawks drove 91 yards on nine plays, scoring on a 14-yard touchdown strike from sophomore quarterback Sedale Threatt to senior running back Eric Rath. The extra point gave the visitors a 7-0 lead with 9:34 to play in the first. Threatt was 4-for-4 through the air on the drive, completing passes to three different targets.
Fordham responded, and the Rams scored after driving 48-yards and converting on a 44-yard field goal from Ben Dato with 4:31 remaining in the quarter, cutting the Lehigh lead to 7-3.
The Mountain Hawks got the ball back, and engineered yet another lengthy drive resulting in seven points. This time, Threatt ran the ball in on a four-yard sprint for the touchdown. That run capped an 11-play, 84-yard drive. Just four seconds into the second quarter, Lehigh held a 14-3 lead. Threatt, through two drives, was 7-of-8 for 77 yards through the air, while also carrying four times for 32 yards.
Later in the second, the Mountain Hawks looked to add to their lead. After a short strike to Kevin Zebluim, Threatt aired it out on a first-and-ten, finding senior Winfred Porter on a well-placed 42-yard strike through the air. Two plays later, Threatt found junior running back Marques Thompson on a 29-yard pass play for a Lehigh touchdown. The Justin Musiek extra point gave Lehigh a 21-3 advantage with 8:24 remaining in the second.
The Mountain Hawks added to their lead with 2:57 in the quarter, as Rath scored on a two-yard run. The Muisek extra point attempt sailed wide, but Lehigh took a 27-3 lead into halftime.
Defensively, the Mountain Hawks limited the Rams to just 48 yards of offense in the first half, and Lehigh came away with four sacks. Meanwhile, the Lehigh offense racked up a balanced 347 yards – 130 on the ground and 217 through the air.
Threatt three for two first half touchdowns, and ran for another.
The only score of the third quarter came early, as Threatt found tight end Landon Maggs on a three-yard touchdown strike. That score came on an eight play, 71-yard drive, and the extra point gave Lehigh a 34-3 lead with 11:28 still on the clock.
With ten minutes remaining in the fourth, junior Mike Probst replaced Threatt under center. Threatt finished the afternoon with 258 yards passing and another 81 on the ground. He accounted for four scores in the win.
The Mountain Hawks closed the game in style, as junior Paul Fabre forced a fumble and freshman Paul Bode picked it up and raced 60 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the contest.
In all, the Lehigh defense held the Rams to just 128 yards of total offense. The Mountain Hawks registered a season high eight sacks in the win, including three from senior Josh Cooney.
“We knew that [the Rams] have a couple of big receivers and we wanted to help our defensive backs by getting pressure on their quarterback early in the game,” Cooney explained.
“I was very satisfied with our defensive performance,” Lembo said following the win. “That was our best and most consistent defensive performance of the season.”
Lehigh had ten different receivers catch passes on the day, as the Lehigh quarterbacks threw for 302 yards through the air. Meanwhile, the ground game accounted for 215 yards. In all, the 517 yards of total offense marked a season high for Lehigh.
Lehigh wraps up the regular season on November 19, as the Mountain Hawks host rival Lafayette in the 141st meeting of college football’s most-played rivalry. Kick-off is set for 12:37 pm from Goodman Stadium, and the game has long been sold out. That contest will be televised on WFMZ-TV, FSN Pittsburgh, FCS Atlantic, and lehighsports.com. Audio coverage can be heard on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM, as well as on the Lehigh web site beginning at 11:00 am.
EXTRA POINTS … Saturday’s game marked Lehigh’s second competition on FieldTurf, the widely popular synthetic playing surface this season. The Mountain Hawks topped Bucknell on its artificial field by a 42-10 score in Lewisburg last month … Threatt’s second quarter touchdown strike to Thompson marked the first score of the year for Marques … Lehigh senior wide receiver Gerran Walker threw his first collegiate pass on a trick play – a 36 yard completion to Adam Kovacs. Walker has been used on several reverse plays this season … The Mountain Hawks have now scored 40 or more points in six of ten games this season ... With the win, Lehigh has won eight or more games in eight straight seasons – a first in the storied history of the program … Following Saturday’s win, the team visited Pal’s Cabin, a famed restaurant in West Orange, N.J. that is run by the Horn family, including Hall of Fame quarterback Marty Horn ’86.