Posted: October 17, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Yale’s Paul Rice raced 40 yards on a fake punt for the only score of the game as the Bulldogs dealt Lehigh its first shutout loss in 23 years, 7-0 Saturday on Homecoming at Goodman Stadium. Both defenses were dominant on the afternoon as neither team gained more than 200 yards of total offense. Lehigh quarterbacks Chris Lum and JB Clark combined to go just 8-of-28 for 60 yards as the Mountain Hawks fall to 1-5 on the season.
"Our defense played their hearts out today," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said afterwards. "I can't say enough about the effort that group gave today. No matter where Yale got the ball our defense made life tough on them. Unfortunately our offense was never able to get in gear. We have a large number of young guys playing in key spots and we continue to make too many mistakes. It's frustrating to know we shut them (Yale) out defensively but still lost the game."
Both offenses struggle to get going in the first quarter, as each team had six possessions but could not score. Each defense created a turnover including an interception by sophomore Devin Greene, but the game remained scoreless through one quarter.
The second quarter saw much of the same with the defenses dominating. Lehigh had a scoring opportunity late in the first half when Lum escaped a sack and scrambled 43 yards into Bulldog territory, but Tom Randazza’s 33 yard field goal was blocked by Tom McCarthy and the teams headed into the half knotted at zero.
Lehigh out-gained Yale 134-34 in the first 30 minutes and had six first downs to the Bulldogs two. Lum was 4-of-17 passing for 26 yards and was the Mountain Hawks’ top ground gainer with 53 yards on three rushes.
Yale produced the game’s first points on its first possession of the second half. Following Lehigh’s second turnover of the day, the Bulldogs went 50 yards in six plays and took the lead when Rice raced 40 yards down the far sideline on a fake punt.
Lehigh’s defense stood tough, turning aside the Bulldogs on two fourth downs and then picking off two Brook Hart passes in the fourth quarter, but the offense was unable to capitalize on the opportunities.
Junior John Kennedy gave Lehigh one more chance when he blocked Tom Mante’s 45 yard field goal, giving Lehigh the ball back with just over two minutes remaining. On the Mountain Hawks next offensive play, Lehigh tried to run the hook and ladder but De’Vaughn Gordon’s lateral attempt for Jaren Walker was mishandled and recovered by Sean Williams to ice the game for the Bulldogs.
For the game, the Mountain Hawks out-gained the Bulldogs 197-189, while Yale had an 11-9 advantage in first downs and a nearly 14 minute edge in time of possession. Clark replaced Lum at halftime and was 4-of-11 for 34 yards and an interception. Freshman Michael Colvin was Lehigh’s top ground-gainer with 64 yards on 12 rushes. Sophomore Jake Drwal was the Mountain Hawks leading receiver, grabbing three receptions for 37 yards.
Greene led Lehigh’s defensive effort with 13 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and an interception. "We need to continue to come out fired up and play with emotion," junior Jarard Cribbs said in the post game press conference as he looked towards Lehigh's remaining schedule. "It's certainly frustrating to lose, but I'm not frustrated at any one thing, I'm just frustrated we lost. In order to win games you need to play a complete game in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams and today we didn't play all three phases."
For Yale, Brook Hart finished just 12-of-31 for 86 yards and three interceptions, while Rodney Reynolds ran 11 times for 45 yards. John Sheffield caught seven passes for 55 yards for the Bulldogs who improved to 3-2 with the win.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Saturday October 24 when they travel to Bucknell. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. from Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 as well as online at Lehighsports.com.
EXTRA POINTS… The grass playing surface at Goodman Stadium was covered by tarpaulins from Friday afternoon until 10:30 Saturday morning… after early morning rains the game was played under clear skies with temperatures in the upper 30’s… Kennedy and fellow junior cornerback Jarard Cribbs each picked off Hart passes in the fourth quarter… the last time Lehigh was shutout was September 7, 1986 when the then-Engineers fell 41-0 at Navy… Saturday’s game will re-air Sunday at 11 a.m. on Service Electric 2 Sports and Thursday at 8 a.m. on Fox College Sports Atlantic.
Lehigh - Yale Post-Game Extra