Leopards Drop 147th Meeting at Lehigh
Nov. 19, 2011
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -
Lehigh jumped out to a 17-0 lead at halftime and never slowed, pulling away to a 37-13 win over Lafayette in the 147th meeting of College Football's Most-Played Rivalry.
Turnovers haunted the Leopards all afternoon, as Lafayette gave the ball away four times on three fumbles and an interception.
No. 6 Lehigh took the early lead in the first quarter. Known primarily for the passing game, Lehigh scored using the running game when Keith Sherman ran off tackle and carried the ball in from 52 yards out. The drive covered six plays over 2:52, ending in the team's longest running play of the season. Sherman led the Mountain Hawks with 92 yards on 10 carries on the day.
With 10 minutes left in the first half, Lehigh had a short field after Lafayette had to punt from its own end zone. The Mountain Hawks took over on the Lafayette 40-yard line. Chris Lum threw it to Jake Drwal for a 17-yard completion to put Lehigh at the 12. The Lafayette defense forced a 30-yard field goal by Tim Divers who gave Lehigh a 10-0 lead with 9:13.
With four minutes left in the first half, Lum found Zach Hayden for two straight passes. The first was a 14-yard connection and the second was for three yards, a touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
After a six-yard punt, Lafayette took over at the Lehigh 31-yard line, picked up one first down, but could not convert to a score. The Leopards attempted a 41-yard field goal that Austin O'Brien pulled wide left. Lafayette was held to 87 yards of offense while Lehigh cranked out 239.
Lehigh's second-half opening drive culminated with a 16-yard touchdown by Matt Fitz. Lehigh led 24-0. The Leopards turned it over on their next drive when Fred Mihal stripped Mark Ross. Colin Newton returned it 46 yards for a touchdown. Newton was ejected for his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the game.
The Leopards turned it over again. A 50-yard pass from Lum to Ryan Spadola set up a four-yard TD run by Lum on a QB draw. Lehigh led 37-0. For his efforts, Lum was named the game's MVP, as the signal caller accounted for two scores and 279 passing yards. Spadola totaled 116 yards on five catches.
The Leopards turned it over again, but Lafayette and Darius Safford returned the favor, picking off Lum's pass and returned it 23 yards.
Senior QB Ryan O'Neil and sophomore tight end Brandon Hall put the Leopards on the board. Lafayette used 12 plays to cover 71 yards over 4:43 before a 16-yard TD pass to Hall made it 37-7. O'Neil threw for 92 yards with 12 completions on 20 attempts.
With 3:28 to play, Lafayette added a late score on a 1-yard rush from Alan Elder making the score 37-13.
Lafayette closes the 2011 season with a 4-7 overall record and a 1-4 mark in Patriot League play.
Lafayette came out in throwback uniforms, wearing white helmets with gray numbers and gunmetal grey pants to go with the Leopards' standard white road uniforms.
The teams combined for 251 yards of penalties including 15 for 176 from Lehigh.