Lehigh downs Georgetown 33-13 on the road
Posted: November 1, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lehigh shook off a slow start and picked up its first road win of the 2008 season on Saturday with a 33-13 victory over Georgetown at Multi-Sport Field. Junior Brien Ruyak pulled down a career-high six receptions for 86 yards and one touchdown, while classmate Al Pierce returned an interception 37 yards for a score as Lehigh won its eighth straight game over the Hoyas and improved to 2-1 in the Patriot League. Georgetown, which did not score after the first quarter, falls to 1-7 overall and 0-4 in league contests.
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Lehigh out gained the Hoyas 199 to 160 through the air led by sophomore signal caller J.B. Clark, who completed 21-of-30 passes, including two touchdowns. Senior Matt McGowan gained 68 yards on the ground before leaving the game due to injury, while classmate Adam Watson rushed for a career-best 38 yards on seven carries. The Mountain Hawks held onto the ball for 31:39 and converted nine-of-15 third downs, and was a perfect three-of-three inside the red zone. Senior captain Brendan Van Ackeren registered a career-best 11 tackles for the Brown and White, while Heath Brickner and Tim Diamond both finished with eight stops.
"Absolutely, we’re happy. You can never argue with a 20-point win," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen explained. "We played a good second half, the defense really rallied, did a great job, scored a touchdown, came up big on a number of critical down and distances. We had some guys on offense step up. Adam Watson did a great job of stepping up for Matt (McGowan) and Jay Campbell did a great job in there. The offensive line did a nice job on that big drive towards the end and sealed it away for us. Lot of mistakes to fix as well, but we’re 2-1 in the league now and we have to go back, regroup and get ready for next week.”
Keoin Wade rushed for 69 yards for the home team, while Keerome Lawrence rushed for 57 and threw for 106. Kenny Mitchell led Georgetown with 62 yards, and was one of three receivers to catch three passes. Chris Rau led the Hoyas with 12 tackles and Nick Parrish made eight stops.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive the ball first, Lehigh marched down the field and scored a touchdown on its first possession when Clark hit senior Mike Fitzgerald from seven-yards out to give the Mountain Hawks a 7-0 lead with 10:27 remaining in the opening quarter. The drive, which covered 54 yards on ten plays, nearly came to an end when Lehigh fumbled the ball, but the Hoyas were whistled for being off sides and the Mountain Hawks retained possession.
Georgetown answered with a strong drive of its own that covered 60 yards in nine plays and tied the game at seven on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to Mitchell. The Hoyas got the ball back following an interception and took the lead on a two-yard run by Wade. The extra point was missed, making the score 13-7 with 2:43 left in the quarter.
The next Lehigh scoring drive featured a steady diet of McGowan and the senior captain capped it off with a ten-yard touchdown run which tied the game at 13. Lehigh missed its extra point attempt and the game remained tied with 8:34 to go in the first half. The Mountain Hawks took the lead back when Clark hit Ruyak on a pretty 28-yard pass in the back of the end zone for a 20-13 advantage which the Mountain Hawks took into halftime. The touchdown was the first of Ruyak’s career.
McGowan gained 68 yards in the opening half, averaging over five yards per carry, while as a team Lehigh totaled 216 yards of offense. Clark finished 13-of-20 for 123 yards and two scores, with Fitzgerald his favorite target, hauling in four passes for 25 yards and the one score. Brian Jackson, Troy Taylor and Van Ackeren all had four tackles for the Brown and White in the first 30 minutes. Lehigh possessed the ball for nearly 18 of those minutes and was six-of-nine on third down conversions.
Georgetown totaled 120 yards in the first half, led by Wade’s 35 rush yards and Lawrence’s 71 total yards. Mitchell caught two passes for 22 yards and one touchdown, while Rau registered a game-high seven tackles and picked off one pass.
On Georgetown’s first play of the second half, Pierce stepped in front of a Hoya pass and returned the interception 37 yards to pay dirt for a 26-13 Mountain Hawks lead at the 14:43 mark of the third quarter. “My first thought was to get into the end zone,” Pierce explained. “I had an opportunity a few weeks ago with the same type of deal and got caught from behind so I just wanted to get into the end zone and try and change the momentum of the game.”
Lehigh upped its lead to 32-13 on senior fullback Adam Watson’s one-yard dive over the pile, on a drive that covered 77 yards in 11 plays. Sophomore Tom Randazza added the extra point to make it a 20-point game with just less than 13 minutes remaining. The extra point was Randazza’s first of his career in the Brown and White and sent Lehigh on its way to its second league victory of the season.
Lehigh is back in action on November 8 when the Mountain Hawks return home for the first time since October 11 to take on the Colgate Raiders at Goodman Stadium. Kick-off is set for 12:30 and tickets can be purchased in one of three ways: by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh Athletics Ticket Office, located in Grace Hall, or by logging onto Lehighsports.com.
EXTRA POINTS … Saturday’s game was one of only two this season that was not televised (Villanova) … temperatures in the nation’s capital were in the mid-70’s with clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine … the Mountain Hawks had plenty of support on Saturday, with the South Side Boosters making the trip to Multi-Sport Field along with the Lehigh Cheerleaders and a condensed version of the Marching 97 … Watson now has two career touchdowns versus Georgetown. He scored his first six points last year against the Hoyas.