Posted: September 30, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Harvard erased a 17 point second quarter deficit and then held off a late Lehigh rally as the Crimson held on for a 35-33 win over the Mountain Hawks in front of 10,680 fans on Volunteer Day at Goodman Stadium. Lehigh junior quarterback Sedale Threatt threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, but Harvard scored 28 unanswered points in the second and third quarters to hand the Mountain Hawks their second straight loss and drop Lehigh to 1-3 on the season heading into Patriot League play, which begins next week.
"There are no words I can say to this team right now that will make them feel any better," said head coach Andy Coen following the game. "I still believe in this football team and I believe we can be very good. We need to come out after halftime with more intensity. Maybe we'll practice and then pull them off the field to simulate halftime."
The Lehigh offense wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Two and a half minutes into the opening quarter Threatt connected with senior wide receiver Pete Donchez along the left sideline for a 62-yard scoring strike to put the Mountain Hawks up 7-0.
Harvard would come right back down the field with a nine play 77-yard drive, with tailback Clifton Dawson scoring on a one yard run to tie the game midway through the opening quarter.
The two teams exchanged three-and-outs before senior Frank Trovato set Lehigh up to take the lead, returning Matt Schindel’s punt 49 yard to the Crimson five yard line. On fourth and one, Lehigh took the lead when senior fullback Greg Fay powered in from one yard out.
Early in the second quarter sophomore Jason Leo kicked a 20 yard field goal to put Lehigh up 17-7. The next time the Mountain Hawks touched the ball, they drove 70 yards in 10 plays, culminating in a one yard run from Threatt to extend Lehigh’s lead to 24-7. The key play on the drive was a 25 yard fade pass from Threatt to sophomore Sekou Yansane on a fourth and four.
Fourth down was also kind to the Crimson, who cut Lehigh’s lead to 10 on a 42 yard toss from Chris Pizzotti to Matt Luft with just over five minutes to play in the second quarter. Then right before the half, Harvard cut the lead to 24-21 as Chris Sanders connected with Corey Mazza on a 32 yard wide-receiver option pass.
Threatt finished the half 11-of-17 passing for 188 yards. Senior Marques Thompson added 25 yards on the ground and three receptions for 41 yards. Fellow senior Lee Thomas also caught three balls for 71 yards.
Dawson put the Crimson on top for the first time early in the third quarter with his second touchdown run of the game. He later added a third short touchdown run to make it 35-24 after three quarters. Dawson finished with 94 yards on 31 carries on the afternoon.
Lehigh tried to mount a comeback in the fourth as Leo kicked a 34 field goal early in the quarter. Then, with 4:04 to play, Threatt connected with Mike Fitzgerald on a 10 yard touchdown pass to put the Mountain Hawks within two, but Threatt’s two point conversion pass attempt fell incomplete.
Thompson finished as Lehigh’s leading ground gainer with 59 yards on 16 carries. Thomas led the receiving corps with six grabs for 122 yards.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the gridiron on Saturday, when Lehigh opens Patriot League play on the road at Georgetown. Kick-off is set for 1:00 pm from Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C. The game will be broadcast on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 as well as online at lehighsports.com with streaming powered by Yahoo! Sports.
EXTRA POINTS: Prior to the game, Lehigh’s football locker rooms at the A. Haigh Cundey Varsity House were dedicated for William B. Leckonby, Lehigh’s longtime head coach and athletic director… member’s of Leckonby teams from different eras were honored at a halftime ceremony … as part of Volunteer Day at Goodman Stadium, Lehigh’s volunteers, who dedicate hours of time and service to the university, were honored at halftime… Also honored at halftime, we’re Lehigh’s baseball and softball teams, both of which won Patriot League championships in the spring … The win was Harvard’s first against Lehigh since a 35-30 triumph in 1997.
Photographs, 2006 (c) Specialty Photographic