CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- It was a winning day and a winning weekend for Patriot League football, as Lehigh and Georgetown began the year with victories on Saturday to give the League a 3-2 mark on the opening weekend of the 2012 campaign.
The No. 11/16 Mountain Hawks took down Monmouth 27-17 behind three touchdowns (two pass/one rush) from senior quarterback Michael Colvin and a defensive score to seal the win on the final play of the game. Lehigh opens the season with a win for the third year in a row.
Georgetown started its season with a win over Davidson for the third straight year, as the Hoyas came out with a 35-14 victory on the road Saturday. Nick Campanella ran for 127 yards and three scores.
Colgate fell in its contest on Saturday, as the Raiders led early but could not keep up as Albany came away with a 40-23 win at home.
Also this weekend, Fordham beat Lock Haven 55-0 and Holy Cross fell at home against No. 12/14 New Hampshire 38-17 on Thursday. To read the recaps from those contests, go here
The non-League slate continues next Saturday with each team in action except for Holy Cross. Lafayette opens its season at William & Mary, while Bucknell plays its first game of 2012 at Marist.
Full recaps and box scores from Saturday's games are included below, along with a synopsis of each contest.
BETHLEHEM, Pa.- No. 11/16 Lehigh (1-0) picked up where it left off a year ago, as the Mountain Hawks raced to a 21-7 halftime lead and held on for a 27-17 win over Monmouth (0-1) on Saturday at Goodman Stadium. It was Lehigh's 10th consecutive regular-season victory.
Senior Michael Colvin is taking over the reigns at quarterback, and he acquitted himself well in his first half as the starter. Colvin ran for a five-yard touchdown and hit Derek Knott for a 19-yard score to give Lehigh a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. After a Monmouth touchdown, Colvin connected with Lee Kurfis on a 25-yard score with less than a minute to go in the half to give Lehigh a 21-7 lead at the break.
Monmouth put up a good fight, scoring 10 points in the third quarter to trim Lehigh's lead to 21-17. Lehigh's defense came up huge in the fourth quarter to hold on for the win. Billy Boyko forced a fumble on a 4th-and-1 play at the Lehigh 7 with just over seven minutes to play, and John Mahoney came up with an interception with 48 seconds left after Monmouth had marched to the Lehigh 35. The Hawks got the ball back one more time, but a final attempt at a desperation play resulted in a fumble that Lehigh's Jerard Gordon returned six yards for a score as time expired.
Colvin completed 17-of-32 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, and also ran for 56 yards and a score. Ryan Spadola started his season in fine fashion with nine receptions for 111 yards, while Zach Barket led the ground game with 61 yards. Gabe Johnson led the defense with nine tackles and a fumble recovery, while Sam Loughery had eight tackles and a sack.
Lehigh started the season with a win for the third year in a row, beating Monmouth to open the year for the second straight time. Lehigh won its home opener for the first time since 2008.
Watch Lehigh Head Coach Andy Coen's post-game interview here.
DAVIDSON, N.C.- Nick Campanella ran for three scores and caught another to lead Georgetown (1-0) to a convincing 35-14 win at Davidson (0-1) in the season opener for both teams on Saturday at Richardson Stadium.
The Hoyas gave up the first touchdown of the game, but took over from there. Aaron Aiken threw a 48-yard touchdown to Kevin Macari to even the score at 7-7 in the first quarter, and Campanella scampered for a 53-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 lead that Georgetown carried into the half. Campanella scored on a two-yard run and hauled in a nine-yard touchdown reception from Aiken as Georgetown built its lead to 28-7 in the third quarter, and the junior running back finished the scoring with a 45-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter as Georgetown opened its season with a win over Davidson for the third straight year.
There were plenty of individual stars on a dominant night for the Hoyas. Campanella carried 12 times for 127 yards and the three touchdowns and also had the receiving score. Aiken threw for 128 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 109 yards. The Hoya defense was especially outstanding, limiting Davidson to -18 rushing yards as Georgetown held a 408-208 edge in total offense. Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Robert McCabe lived up to his billing with 17 tackles and three tackles for loss, while Alec May had two of the team's five sacks.
The Hoyas have opened with a win in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-99, prior to joining the Patriot League.
ALBANY, N.Y.- Defending Northeast Conference champion Albany (1-0) was too much for visiting Colgate (0-1) as the Great Danes pulled away in the second half for a 40-23 win over the Raiders on Saturday at University Field.
Colgate got off to a fast start, with an Andrew Burgess field goal in the first quarter and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy DeCicco to Kevin O'Connell for a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter. But the Great Danes scored the final 16 points of the period to take a halftime lead, and added to it with the first touchdown of the third period. Jordan McCord ran for a 15-yard touchdown to trim Colgate's deficit to 23-17 late in the third quarter, but Albany scored the next 10 points to build its lead. The Raiders struck again with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Gavin McCarney to C.J. Stempeck in the fourth quarter, but Albany tallied the final score of the day for the 40-23 final.
McCord ran for 136 yards and the score, while McCarney completed 16-of-33 passes for 257 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Daniel Cason was his top target with seven receptions for 144 yards. Jonathan Mputu led the defense with 10 tackles, while Patrick Friel recorded eight tackles and a sack. Colgate had won its season opener in each of the last two years.