Posted: November 4, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh improved to 4-0 in the Patriot League with a 23-15 win over Colgate in front of 11,874 fans on Family Weekend at Goodman Stadium. Junior quarterback Sedale Threatt rushed for 75 of the Mountain Hawks’ 203 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns as Lehigh improved to 5-4 this season. Colgate falls to 3-6 overall and 2-2 in the league with the setback.
"Obviously, it was a great home win against a big rival," said head coach Andy Coen afterwards. "It was a key game. The goal going into this week was to make sure we took care of this one so we can continue to control our own fate as we try to win a championship. The kids came out and played very well. The execution was pretty good in the first half, but I think there was a lapse a little in the second half. You’ve got to look at it critically and there are certain areas we need to approve upon, but it was a tremendous effort by the kids.”
After the Mountain Hawks defense forced a Colgate punt on the game’s opening possession, Lehigh marched 80 yard in 13 plays. Threatt ran the ball in on an option play from two yards out to put the Brown and White up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
The team’s then exchanged turnovers with Colgate recovering a Lehigh fumble and then Mountain Hawks senior nose guard Eric Rakus intercepting Raiders quarterback Alex Relph. Lehigh drove down the field, but a missed FG left the score 7-0 early in the second quarter.
Late in the second quarter Lehigh extended its lead on Threatt’s second two yard touchdown run of the day. The drive covered 80 yards in 11 plays and featured several tough runs from senior Marques Thompson. Right before halftime, Colgate drove 60 yard and six plays and got on the scoreboard on a 20 yard Mike Buck field goal as time expired.
Threatt finished the first half 6-of-8 passing for 121 yards and added 32 yards rushing on seven carries. Thompson added 59 yards on 11 first half carries. Sophomore Troy Healion was Lehigh’s leading receiver with two grabs for 49 yards.
For the half, Lehigh out-gained Colgate 215-150 and had 11 first downs to eight for the Raiders.
In the third quarter, Lehigh forced its second turnover of the day when junior Aaron Gillard intercepted Raiders quarterback Mike Saraceno. The Mountain Hawks moved down the field on a 38 yard pass from Threatt to sophomore Sekou Yansane before sophomore Jason Leo booted a 40 yard field goal to make it 17-3.
Leo added his second field goal of the game, from 26 yards out, to increase the lead to 17 points early in the fourth quarter. Colgate answered right back though, on a 30 yard scoring pass from Saraceno to Kenny Parker. Lehigh blocked the extra point and led 20-9 with ten minutes to play. Lehigh answered right back though, as Leo nailed his third field goal, this one from 33 yards to make it 23-9.
The Raiders refused to go away, as Colgate answered Leo’s field goal with a 10 play drive resulting in a three-yard Saraceno touchdown pass to David Morgan. Mike Buck’s extra point attempt hit the upright and Lehigh led 23-15 with just under six minutes to play.
Colgate would not see the ball again though, as Lehigh used its offensive line to kill the final six minutes. Matt McGowan converted a fourth and one with under two minutes to play to allow the Mountain Hawks to run out the clock.
Thompson was Lehigh’s leading ground gainer with 87 yards on 18 carries. Threatt added a 10-of-17 passing day for 185 yards and no interceptions for the Brown and White. Yansane finished as Lehigh’s top receiver with three catches for 56 yards.
The Lehigh defense held the Patriot League’s leading rusher Jordan Scott to just 81 yards on 22 rushes. Saraceno was 11-of-18 for 142 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the second half.
"It feels great (to be in first place)," Rakus said in the postgame press conference. "But we know that this game today was no more important than last week, and no more important than next week. We have to treat each game as if it's a championship game because we know what's at stake."
The Mountain Hawks return to the gridiron next Saturday afternoon when they welcome the Fordham Rams to Goodman Stadium. Kick off is set for 12:37 and tickets can be purchased in one of three ways: in person at the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office located in Grace Hall, by calling 610-7LU-GAME during normal business hours or by logging onto lehighsports.com at anytime.
EXTRA POINTS… Lehigh’s five-time defending EIWA Champion wrestling team was honored at halftime… Saturday’s attendance of 11,874 is a season high at Goodman Stadium… Leo’s three field goals were the most for Lehigh since Justin Musiek kicked three versus the Raiders on October 29, 2005… Lehigh has won three straight overall over Colgate and has won four of the last five over the Raiders at Goodman Stadium.
Photographs 2006 (c), Specialty Photgraphic.