Oct. 20, 2012
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Bucknell's Jeremiah Young recorded his second career 100-yard rushing game and rushed for three touchdowns, but No. 7 Lehigh blocked three punts, and four kicks overall, as the Bison lost to the Mountain Hawks by a 42-19 score Saturday afternoon at sunny Goodman Stadium. Bucknell, which equaled its season high for points, was within 21-19 in the third quarter, but Lehigh scored the final 21 points in the contest.
After trailing 21-6 at halftime thanks to the Mountain Hawks' strong special teams play that led directly to a pair of first-half touchdowns, Bucknell came out strong in the third quarter, scoring on back-to-back possessions midway through the stanza with Young completing both with short touchdown runs.
The first of the two touchdowns by Young, who rushed for exactly 100 yards on 23 carries in the contest, completed a five-play, 47-yard drive that featured a 23-yard pass from Wesley to Young and a 17-yard completion from Wesley to Victor Walker.
Matthew Steinbeck, who had two interceptions in the game, then picked off a long pass by Michael Colvin on Lehigh's next drive, giving the Bison the ball near midfield. Brandon Wesley found fullback Travis Friend for a long 29-yard completion on the first play of the drive to get the Bison near the Red Zone. Three plays and 23 rushing yards later Young scored to make it 21-19.
Bucknell then forced a Lehigh punt on the next possession, but the Bison offense seemed to lose momentum and went three-and-out and then managed just 31 yards the rest of the way.
Lehigh scored three more touchdowns in the final 20 minutes of play to contribute to the final 23-point margin.
Bucknell (1-6, 0-3 Patriot League) outgained Lehigh (8-0, 2-0 PL), which has now won 17 consecutive regular season games, most of the day, but the Mountain Hawks held a 100-yard advantage in the fourth quarter to finish with 324 yards, compared to 281 for the Bison.
Wesley was 12-for-22 passing for 164 yards and was especially effective on Bucknell's three scoring drives, going 5-for-5 for 108 yards. However, he was sacked five times for a loss of 47 yards.
Bucknell set the tone for blocking kicks with a first-quarter punt block by Vinnie Pini, but Lehigh really took advantage of its special teams, blocking three punts and one extra point total. Two of the punt blocks led directly to touchdowns, while the blocked extra point forced Bucknell to go for two when down 21-12 in the third quarter and the Bison were not successful.
Laquan Lambert's block of a Ryan Gutowski punt in the first quarter got the game's scoring started. He picked it up and ran it more than 40 yards into the end zone. Lambert was officially credited with a 60-yard return since he was the blocker of the punt.
Bucknell wasted no time in responding as it put together one of its most efficient drives of the year. The Bison covered 69 yards on seven plays in just 3:26 and the drive ended with a two-yard touchdown run by Young. The extra point was blocked. The big play on the drive was a 30-yard pass from Wesley to Josh Brake on the first play. Wesley was 2-for-2 for 39 yards and a pair of rushes for 12 yards on the drive.
Lehigh went up 14-6 early in the second quarter when Michael Colvin connected from 22 yards out on the first of two touchdowns to Lee Kurfis. It completed a four-play, 41-yard drive.
Another blocked punt led to the Mountain Hawks' next score as Lehigh took possession at the 15-yard line. Two plays later Colvin found Kurfis for the second time and the Mountain Hawks went up 21-6. A Bison defender did get his hand on the Jake Peery extra point, but the kick still went through the uprights.
The first half concluded with Lehigh blocking another punt on the final play. Bucknell held a 149-106 edge in total offense despite the 21-6 deficit.
Despite giving up a season-high 42 points, Bucknell's defense had a solid day. Senior co-captain Beau Traber led the way with 10 tackles, while Steinbeck's two interceptions brought his season total to three. Lehigh rushed for just 26 yards in the contest.
The Bison dominated the time of possession battle, especially in the first half when they had the ball for more than 20 minutes. Bucknell finished with 33:18 time of possession.
Colvin finished the game 20-for-32 for 298 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was Kurfis, who caught eight passes for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He helped fill the void of All-American Ryan Spadola, who did not play in the game due to mono.
Bucknell attempted 11 punts in the game due to going only 1-for-13 on third down. Lehigh was 6-for-13 on third downs. Seven of the Bison's 15 first downs came on their three scoring drives.
Bucknell, which has been on the road for eight of its last 10 games dating back to 2011, will play three of its final four at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, starting with next Saturday's Homecoming game vs. Colgate at 1 p.m.