Posted: March 24, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Seven home dates highlight the 2009 Lehigh Football schedule, announced on Tuesday by Mountain Hawks head coach Andy Coen. Of Lehigh’s 11 total games, the Brown and White will take on a pair of scholarship schools, three members of the Ivy League and seven teams that posted winning records in 2008. “Once again we have put together a very challenging schedule that from start to finish is filled with talented teams,” explained Coen. “For the third consecutive season we will take on the defending Ivy League champions, as well as a very strong Villanova squad that reached the second round of the FCS Playoffs last season. In addition we will go up against what continues to be a difficult group of Patriot League schools.”
Lehigh will begin the season at the site of the majority of its games for the ’09 campaign, at Goodman Stadium where the Mountain Hawks will host the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils on Saturday, September 5. “Lehigh Football fans will have plenty of opportunities to see their Mountain Hawks this season,” explained Coen. “With seven home games, including the 145th meeting with Lafayette, Goodman Stadium will be a busy venue throughout the fall.”
CCSU is coming off a 7-4 2008 season, which included a 4-3 mark in the Northeast Conference. The Blue Devils averaged 30.0 points per game and won their final two games by a combined score of 85-14. Lehigh and Central Connecticut State have met only once before, when the Mountain Hawks posted a 58-10 victory in 2001.
On September 12 Lehigh makes the short trip to Villanova where the Mountain Hawks will take on a Wildcats squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2008 FCS National Playoffs. Villanova finished 10-3 a season ago, falling to James Madison in the final two minutes of their second round playoff matchup. “This promises to be another tough, physical game with Villanova,” Coen commented. “They are a very well-coached team that plays with a high level of intensity and will present quite a challenge to our football team.”
Following its bye week, Lehigh begins a stretch of four straight home games on September 26 when the Mountain Hawks welcome the Princeton Tigers to Goodman Stadium. The two teams have split the last four meetings, including a last second 10-7 win by the Tigers last year in New Jersey. On October 3 Lehigh will host the two time defending Ivy League champion Harvard Crimson. Harvard closed its season with eight straight wins a season ago, including a 10-0 victory over rival Yale to win the Ivy League title. The last time these teams met in Bethlehem, Lehigh came away with a dramatic 20-13 victory on the strength of a last minute fumble return for a touchdown.
Lehigh begins Patriot League play on October 10 when the Hoyas of Georgetown come to town. The Mountain Hawks have won eight straight versus the Hoyas, including a 33-13 victory this past season in the nation’s capital. One week later Lehigh closes out its non-league schedule when the Bulldogs of Yale come to Goodman Stadium. The two teams last met in 2007 in Connecticut, and last met in Bethlehem in 2005. “This will be a tough stretch of games, even with each being played at home,” Coen commented. “We always have very competitive games versus the Ivy League schools and Georgetown continues to get better and better each season, so we will have our hands full.”
A pair of road contests closes out the month of October as Lehigh heads to Bucknell on the 24th and to Colgate on the 31st. The Mountain Hawks have not lost to the Bison since 1997 and defeated them in Lewisburg by a 38-10 count in 2007. Lehigh and Colgate will meet on Halloween in Hamilton, New York in what promises to be a physical contest. Colgate is the defending league champion and escaped Goodman Stadium with a one-point victory this past November.
On November 7 Lehigh welcomes the Holy Cross Crusaders and its high powered offense to Goodman Stadium. The Mountain Hawks have not beaten Holy Cross at home since 2003 and will look to avenge last year’s setback in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Brown and White will close out its road schedule on November 14 with a visit to the Bronx to take on the Fordham Rams. Lehigh was upended by the Rams in New York in 2007, but exacted revenge last year, with a convincing 45-24 win at home.
The 145th meeting of college football’s most played rivalry comes to Bethlehem on November 21 when Lehigh and longtime rival Lafayette meet inside Goodman Stadium. The Mountain Hawks downed the Leopards in an emotionally charged game this past season 31-15 in Easton.
Season ticket renewals will be sent out in mid-May, while new season tickets will go on sale in early June.