Sept. 28, 2013
CENTER VALLEY - Lehigh's amazing ability to overcome deficits came into play against a top-10 foe on Saturday as the No. 17/21 Mountain Hawks scored the final 21 points of the game and erased a 16-point deficit for a 34-27 win at home against No. 7/10 New Hampshire.
The Mountain Hawks improved to 4-0 on the season, and are still one of two unbeaten teams in the Patriot League after No. 16/16 Fordham moved to 5-0 by also closing with the game's final 21 points in its 38-20 victory at St. Francis (Pa.).
Lehigh and Fordham will meet on Saturday at Noon in the Bronx, with the contest carried nationally on CBS Sports Network. The pair is among a handful of teams in the FCS with an unbeaten mark and at least four victories.
Quarterbacks Brandon Bialkowski (Lehigh) and Mike Nebrich (Fordham) were brilliant once again in their victories, but they weren't the only Patriot League signal-callers to put up outstanding games on Saturday. Holy Cross freshman Peter Pujals accounted for 415 yards of offense and four total touchdowns to lead his team to a 31-28 win at Dartmouth, with John Macomber kicking the winning field goal for the Crusaders (2-3) with 51 seconds to play.
Bucknell and Georgetown each fell at home on Saturday, with the Bison (1-2) dropping a 16-0 final to Sacred Heart and the Hoyas (1-4) bowing out to Princeton by a 50-22 score.
In addition to the Lehigh-Fordham contest, next week's action includes another Patriot League opener as Bucknell visits Lafayette. Colgate heads to Cornell and Holy Cross hosts Harvard to complete the schedule, while Georgetown has a bye.
Recaps, box scores and a synopsis of each of Saturday's contests will be added soon.
at No. 17/21 Lehigh 34, No. 7/10 New Hampshire 27
*Lehigh scored the final 21 points of the game to come back for the 34-27 win.
*The Mountain Hawks trailed 19-3 in the first half, and have now come back from 20, 19 and 16-point deficits in victories this season.
*Lehigh tied the score at 27-27 on a pair of one-yard touchdown runs by Sean Farrell in the third quarter.
*The second was set up by a 72-yard pass from Brandon Bialkowski to Sergio Fernandez-Soto.
*The Mountain Hawks scored the winning touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Bialkowski to Derek Knott with 12:19 to play.
*New Hampshire drove to the Lehigh 11 in the final minute, but the Mountain Hawks forced a turnover on downs to preserve the win.
*Bialkowski completed 31-of-59 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns, and has gone over 300 yards in all four of Lehigh's games this season.
*Lee Kurfis had 11 receptions for 117 yards, his fifth-consecutive 100-yard game dating back to last season.
*Fernandez-Soto made seven receptions for 123 yards.
*Brandon Leaks played a key role in helping Lehigh's field position with six kickoff returns for 143 yards.
*The Mountain Hawks outgained New Hampshire 465-441 and held the ball for nearly 33 minutes.
*Lehigh converted 13-of-20 third downs and both of its fourth-down attempts in the game.
*Tyler Ward and Cody Kondas each led the defense with nine tackles, while three different players had a sack.
*The Mountain Hawks start the season at 4-0 for the second year in a row.
*Lehigh won its 12th straight non-League regular-season game, and 12th in a row decided by seven points or less.
*Both streaks started after a 48-41 overtime loss to UNH at home in 2011.
*Lehigh snapped a nine-game losing streak to UNH, beating the Wildcats for the first time since 1982.
*It is just the second win for a Patriot League team against UNH, and first since Colgate in the League's inaugural season in 1986.
*Lehigh earned the Patriot League's second win over a top-10 team this season, joining Fordham's victory against No. 8 Villanova on Sept. 7
No. 16/16 Fordham 38
at St. Francis (Pa.) 20
*Fordham scored the final 21 points to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit and knock off St. Francis (Pa.) 38-20.
*The Rams improve to 5-0, continuing their best start to a season since opening 6-0 in 1988.
*Mike Nebrich threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Tebucky Jones on the first play of the fourth quarter to put Fordham up for good.
*The Rams added an eight-yard touchdown run by Carlton Koonce and four-yard pass from Nebrich to Brian Wetzel to pull away later in the period.
*Nebrich went 31-of-41 for 253 yards and three touchdowns without an interception, and also ran for 39 yards.
*Koonce ran for 126 yards and a score and caught six passes for 21 yards.
*Jones had nine receptions for 118 yards and a score, while Wetzel and Dan Light each had 40 receiving yards and a touchdown.
*The Rams had a pair of big plays on special teams, with a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown by Jorge Solano to open the game and an 84-yard punt return by Wetzel to set up the final score.
*Fordham held a 416-382 edge in total yardage, though the Rams did give up more than 300 yards on the ground.
*The Rams had seven tackles for loss and three sacks on defense.
*Fordham has scored at least 27 points in all five of its games this season.
Holy Cross 31 at Dartmouth 28
*John Macomber kicked the game-winning 23-yard field goal with 51 seconds left to send Holy Cross to a 31-28 win at Dartmouth.
*The Crusaders trailed 14-0 early and did not take their first lead until Macomber's winning kick.
*Holy Cross tied the score at 14-14, 21-21 and finally 28-28 on a 58-yard touchdown run by Peter Pujals early in the fourth quarter.
*Dartmouth fumbled the kickoff following Macomber's field goal as Holy Cross held on for the win.
*Pujals completed 25-of-37 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns without an interception and ran for 125 yards and a score.
*Mike Fess caught nine passes for 138 yards, while Kalif Raymond had seven receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.
*Roman SanDoval led the defense with 12 tackles, while Matt Bhaya had 10 stops.
*Holy Cross held a 525-496 edge in total offense.
*The Crusaders took a 37-36-4 lead in the all-time series with Dartmouth.
Sacred Heart 16 at Bucknell 0
*Bucknell turned the ball over six times in its 16-0 loss to Sacred Heart.
*The Bison played without four-year starting quarterback Brandon Wesley, starting right guard Nevin Hagman, All-Patriot League defensive end Sean Sellers and running back Matt DelMauro, who were held out due to injury.
*Bucknell's defense forced 11 punts in the game, with Matthew Steinbeck tallying 11 tackles and Evan Byers making 10.
*Sacred Heart scored on a long touchdown pass and field goal in the second quarter, and added a late touchdown.
*Bucknell saw its three-game home winning streak come to an end.
Princeton 50 at Georgetown 22
*Georgetown lost its third straight game in the 50-22 final against Princeton.
*Georgetown had an early 12-8 lead and was down 29-15 at halftime before Princeton broke the game open in the second half.
*Nick Campanella rushed for a season-high 88 yards and also scored two touchdowns for Georgetown.
*Richard Shankle had a career-high 11 tackles with a sack, while Patrick Boyle, Nick Alfieri and Alec May each had 10.
*Georgetown completed its non-League schedule, and will open Patriot League play on Oct. 12 following its bye.