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WEEK #11: Lehigh 14, Lafayette 12

Nov. 20, 1999

Bethlehem, Pa. - Playing the role of huge underdogs in its final game under 19-year Head Coach Bill Russo, Lafayette lost a dramatic contest to archrival Lehigh in the 135th meeting of college football's most played rivalry. Entering the game, no one gave the Leopards a chance, but they had several opportunities to win as they shut out the host Mountain Hawks in the second half.

Lafayette quarterback Harry Armstrong, making his fifth career start, finished second in the game MVP ballotting after recording career-highs of 33 attempts, 22 completions, and 181 yards. The sophomore completed two touchdown passes to junior split end Phil Yarberough.

Game MVP Ronald Jean rushed for 183 yards on 37 carries to lead the Mountain Hawks, whose touchdowns came on passes early in the first and second quarters.

Lafayette's Bill Stocker made his second start at tailback and had another solid day, rushing 21 times for 85 yards.

The Leopard defense came up huge, especially in the second half with turnovers forced deep in Lafayette territory on two drives. Seniors Matt Curcio and Ryan Hiles each had a game-high 10 tackles, while co-captain John Fistner had seven tackles and forced two fumbles.

The game concludes the 118th season of Lafayette football and the Leopard career of Coach Russo, who announced he was stepping down following this game on Tuesday. The winningest football coach in Lafayette history, Russo finishes with a record of 103-98-4 at Lafayette, while his career record stands at 118-113-4.