Posted: October 6, 2007
BRONX, N.Y. – Fordham’s Earl Hudnell intercepted a Sedale Threatt pass and ran it back 40-yards for a touchdown with 1:55 remaining in the game as Fordham held off Lehigh by a 28-18 score at Jack Coffey Field on Saturday afternoon. The win, which is Fordham’s first over Lehigh since 1997, improves the Rams to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League, while the Mountain Hawks see their three-game win streak snapped and drop to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in league play.
“We just did not play a good football game today,” head coach Andy Coen said afterwards. “We didn’t execute well on offense and that ultimately comes down to me as the head coach of this football team. We’ll go back and review the tape tomorrow and see what needs to be fixed because there were simply too many mistakes out there today.”
Threatt added, “I didn’t perform well today. Coach can put it on himself, but ultimately the coaches put us in position to succeed and I didn’t do that today.”
The Mountain Hawks got on the board first when Jason Leo booted a season-long 45-yard field goal with 8:40 left on the first quarter clock. That kick capped a nine-play, 64-yard drive that took 3:48 off of the clock and was the only scoring in the first 15 minutes of play. Fordham took the lead on a nine-yard touchdown pass from John Skelton to Richard Rayborn at the 9:39 mark of the second quarter to make the score 7-3. It marked the first time since the second quarter of the season-opening Villanova game that the Mountain Hawks trailed in the first half of a game this season.
Lehigh’s offense struggled to get in gear and the Rams took advantage as Skelton hit Sylvester Clark on a 41-yard touchdown pass on a play in which the Mountain Hawks secondary looked confused. That score made it a 14-3 game which is how the teams ended the first half.
Lehigh was out gained 263 to 148 in the first 30 minutes, including a 189 to 50 advantage for Fordham in passing yards. Pastore led the Brown and White with 43 yards rushing, which came on nine carries, while Sedale Threatt was five-of-12 through the air for 50 yards. Mike Fitzgerald caught two of Threatt’s passes for a team-leading 27 yards.
Skelton finished the first half with 189 passing yards, which came on a 20-of-30 showing and included the two scores. Rayborn led the Rams with 66 receiving yards, while Jonte Coven gained 37 yards on eight rushes.
The Mountain Hawks came out of the locker room and their offense looked like a completely different unit as they marched 78 yards down the field and pulled to within four points on a six-yard touchdown pass from Threatt to Alex Wojdowski for the freshman’s first career score. That made it a 14-10 game with 12:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Midway through the third, Lehigh got down to the Ram eight-yard line thanks to a 48-yard strike from Threatt to Sekou Yansane up the left sideline that set the Mountain Hawks up with a first-and-goal and put Threatt over 4,000 career passing yards. The Fordham defense held tough however, forcing the Mountain Hawks into a field goal attempt. Lehigh then faked the kick, but holder Ben Ivester’s pass attempt was too tall for intended receiver Paul Bode and the Mountain Hawks still trailed by four with a little over four minutes remaining in the quarter.
The ball switched hands several times over the course of the next few minutes, including a Fordham fumbled punt that Laquan Gasaway recovered, setting the Mountain Hawks up in Ram territory. Lehigh gave the ball back to the home team however, when Threatt threw his second pick of the afternoon, but the Mountain Hawk “D” stood tall and forced Fordham into its sixth punt of the game.
Fordham upped its lead to 21-10 with 7:05 left on the clock in the fourth when Skelton hit Cody Kritzer on a seven-yard scoring play, putting the Mountain Hawks in an eleven-point hole. The big play of the drive came when Skelton hit Asa Lucas on a 33-yard pass play in which Lucas caught the ball and was hit, but kept his footing and scampered down to the Lehigh four-yard line, setting the Rams up with a first-and-goal.
Lehigh took over on downs with 5:16 to play, and, with no time outs remaining, the Mountain Hawks coolly mounted an eight-play, 79-yard drive that only took 1:03 off the clock. Lehigh scored on a seven-yard pass to Yansane, and then Threatt connected with Fitzgerald on the two-point conversion try, cutting the Fordham lead to 21-18.
Lehigh’s defense held Fordham to a three-and-out, setting up one last drive for the offense, trailing by three. However, Threatt’s pass was picked off and run back, essentially nullifying the Brown and White’s valiant comeback try.
Lehigh gained 438 yards of total offense on the afternoon, including 304 through the air by Threatt which came on 19 completions. Pastore led the Mountain Hawks with 43 yards rushing, but missed the second half with an injury. Threatt added 38 yards rushing, while Yansane gained 25 yards on one rush. Yansane also hauled in six receptions for a career-best 107 yards, while Fitzgerald ended with four catches for 64 yards.
Skelton finished the day 26-of-43 through the air for 280 yards and three scores, while Coven led the Rams with 66 rushing yards. Rayborn led the home team with seven catches for 73 yards, while Raymond Loney caught five passes for 23 yards.
Lehigh returns to action next weekend when the Mountain Hawks travel to New Haven, Connecticut to take on the undefeated Yale Bulldogs. Game time is set for 12:30 from the Yale Bowl and the contest will be televised live on WFMZ-TV as well as Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh and Lehighsports.com with Steve Degler, Mike Yadush ’93 and Mike Perlow on the call. The game will also be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 as well as Lehighsports.com with streaming video and audio powered by Yahoo! Sports. Matt Kerr, Jeff Tourial and Matt Markus will provide the audio commentary.
EXTRA POINTS … Monday’s Andy Coen Report will begin at the special time of 4:05 PM, instead of the normal 6:05 start due to the Major League Baseball Playoffs. Fans can catch the live call-in show on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 as well as Lehighsports.com … Lehigh’s 7-0 advantage on the scoreboard in the third quarter marked the first time since the Villanova game that the Mountain Hawks outscored an opponent in the third quarter this season … the loss was only Lehigh’s second-ever to Fordham … the Lehigh team left campus on Friday afternoon after conducting their normal walk-through, and stopped at Pal’s Cabin, the restaurant owned by the family of former Lehigh quarterback and Penske/Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame member Marty Horn ’86 … this season marks the 125th in Fordham football history … temperatures on Saturday were in the upper 80’s with a light breeze and abundant sunshine.