Posted: September 26, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Sophomore quarterback Chris Lum led a valiant fourth-quarter comeback attempt, but it was not enough as Lehigh opened its four-game home stand with a 17-14 loss to Princeton Saturday in front of 8,168 on Kids Day at Goodman Stadium. The Mountain Hawks spotted the Tigers a 14-0 second quarter lead and a pair of interceptions from junior JB Clark led to ten Tiger points as Lehigh falls to 0-3. Princeton improves to 1-1 with the win.
Lehigh out-gained Princeton 332-163 and held the ball for over 36 minutes, but the Mountain Hawks turned the ball over twice and converted just one of four fourth downs on the afternoon.
"I think we out-played Princeton for the most part but in the end they made two big plays and that proved to be the difference," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said. "We had a chance to win there at the end. We had the ball with two minutes to go, driving down the field and just couldn't get it done. We've been in this position before and have come up short too many times."
Princeton received the opening kickoff, but was forced to punt. On Lehigh’s opening drive the Mountain Hawks moved into Tiger territory, but Clark was intercepted by Steve Cody, who raced 77 yards for a touchdown to put the visitors ahead.
Midway through the second quarter the Tigers extended their lead. After Lehigh was stopped on fourth down inside the Princeton 35-yard line, Tiger quarterback Tommy Wornham ran 68 yards around the right side to put Princeton up 14-0.
A strong return from junior John Kennedy on the ensuing kickoff set Lehigh up at the Princeton 44 yard line. Late in the half, the Mountain Hawks cut the deficit in half as Clark capped a five-minute drive with a seven yard touchdown pass to sophomore Jake Drwal as Lehigh went into the locker room down 14-7.
Clark finished the first half 11-of-16 for 85 yards passing, while junior Jay Campbell paced the ground game with 75 yards on 16 rushes. Drawl was Clark’s top receiving target, catching three passes for 30 yards.
The third quarter belonged to both defenses as neither team was able to muster much offense until late in the period. Clark’s second interception of the day set the Tigers up in Lehigh territory and after 11 plays, Ben Bologna kicked a 31 yard field goal to put Princeton up 17-7 after three quarters.
Lum replaced Clark early in the fourth quarter and led the Mountain Hawks down the field, but Lehigh again turned the ball over on downs on a mishandled handoff between Lum and sophomore Matt Fitz.
After forcing the Tigers to punt, Lehigh got the ball back and Lum moved the Mountain Hawks down the field 60 yards in just five plays and eventually moved Lehigh within a field goal when he pushed the pile for a five-yard touchdown run on a quarterback sneak.
Lehigh had one last chance with 2:28 to play, but after gaining one first down, Lum’s fourth-and-20 pass for sophomore De’Vaughn Gordon fell incomplete.
Lum finished with 135 yards on 11-of-18 passing in relief of Clark who was 12-of-22 for 89 yards. Drwal was Lehigh’s leading receiver with 58 yards on six catches, while Gordon added five grabs for 46 yards. Campbell led the rushing attack with a career-high 88 yards on 22 carries.
Senior co-captain Matt Cohen spearheaded the defensive effort with six tackles, including three tackles for loss, and two sacks.
Wornham threw for just 47 yards on 9-of-20 passing, but added 87 rushing yards on nine carries. Jordan Culbreath was limited to 28 yards on eight rushes. Cody led all players with 11 tackles and the interception, which accounted for Princeton’s first score.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the gridiron next Saturday when they host the Harvard Crimson. 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… Coaches from both teams took part in the fight against Duchenne Muscular Distrophy by wearing “Coach to Cure MD” armbands, all part of a charitable project from the American Football Coaches Association… three-year old Levi Hains served as an honorary captain for Lehigh… along with Saturday’s Kids Day activities, Lehigh University and St. Luke’s Hospital teamed up in support of the Reading Rocks! program, the culmination of a month-long drive to collect 5,000 books for disadvantaged children… Saturday’s game will be replayed Sunday at 10 a.m. on Service Electric 2 Sports and Thursday at 8 a.m. on Fox College Sports Atlantic.
Lehigh - Princeton Post-Game Extra