Posted: September 22, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh picked up its first home victory of 2007 with a convincing 37-6 win over VMI Saturday, on Kids Day at Goodman Stadium. The Mountain Hawks rolled up nearly 450 yards of total offense and rolled to a 31-0 halftime lead. Junior Nick Johnson caught a pair of long first half touchdown passes totaling 118 yards for the Mountain Hawks, who improve to 2-1 on the season, while VMI falls to 1-3.
“We talked all week about not coming out flat," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said afterwards. "In the second half we got a little conservative, but when we got back to doing the things we did in the first half we drove right down the field. He added, "Defensively we played lights out all game. I think our kids came out and did a great job of shutting down their offense early.”
The Mountain Hawks received the opening kickoff and raced down the field to take an early 7-0. Freshman John Kennedy took the opening kickoff and returned it 39 yards to set Lehigh up with great field position. Six plays later senior Sedale Threatt connected with junior tight end Troy Healion on a 13 yard touchdown pass, his second scoring reception of the season.
After stopping VMI on downs on its opening drive, the Lehigh offense went back to work, and the Mountain Hawks extended their lead on a 52 yard scoring strike from Threatt to Nick Johnson, which capped a four play, 65 yard drive and made it 14-0 Lehigh with just under six minutes to play in the opening quarter.
Early in the second quarter Lehigh went to the old bag of tricks to extend its lead to 21-0. Two plays after a missed VMI field goal, Threatt threw a backwards pass to senior wide receiver Pete Donchez, who fired downfield to a wide open Nick Johnson for a 66 yard touchdown pass.
Later in the quarter Lehigh went back to the ground game, as freshman Kwesi Kankam capped a ten play, 65-yard drive with a 13 yard touchdown run to make the score 28-0 Lehigh.
Lehigh added a 22 yard field goal from junior Jason Leo at the end of the half and took a 31-0 lead into the locker room. Threatt finished the first half 10-of-12 for 160 yards and two scores. His favorite target was junior Mike Fitzgerald, who snagged five passes for 67 yards. On the ground, Kankam led the way with 12 rushes for 67 yards.
Neither team was able to muster much offense in the third quarter, but Lehigh was able to add another score with just over ten minutes to play in the fourth. Threatt found Healion for the second time in the game, this time for a 30-yard touchdown, which made it 37-0 after a missed extra point.
The Mountain Hawks were 13 seconds away from their first shutout in five years, but the Keydets got on the scoreboard late with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Hughes to Rick Goodwin.
Threatt finished the game 14-of-19 for 231 yards and three touchdowns, while Johnson finished with 140 yards on just three grabs. Kankam was the leading ground gainer, with 66 yards on 18 carries.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday, September 29 when the Mountain Hawks welcome Harvard to Goodman Stadium on Community Day. Kickoff is set for 1:07, and tickets for the game are available by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by stopping into the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office located in Grace Hall, or by logging onto Lehighsports.com at anytime.
EXTRA POINTS … Saturday’s game marked the first-ever trip to Goodman Stadium for the Keydets … in addition to pre-game Kids Day activities, Major Matthew Lawrence, Assistant Professor of Military Science at Lehigh and U.S. Army Specialist Jeffrey Refner served as honorary captains as part of Military Appreciation Day… members of Lehigh’s 1957 team, the school’s first Lambert Cup Championship team, were honored at halftime… Lehigh leads the all time series versus VMI 6-3-1 and has won four straight in the series ... Johnson's 140 receiving yards were the most by a Mountain Hawk since Gerran Walker snared seven passes for 157 yards in a 54-26 victory over Monmouth on September 3, 2005.
Photography 2007 (c), Specialty Photographic.