Lehigh Tops Fordham in a Thriller to Remain Undefeated

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Jordan McCord has opened the season with five straight 100-yard rushing games.
Jordan McCord has opened the season with five straight 100-yard rushing games.

Sept. 29, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- No. 11/15 Lehigh extended its FCS-best regular-season winning streak to 14 and its Patriot League streak to 15 on Saturday, but it did not come easy as Jake Peery kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired to send the Mountain Hawks to a 34-31 win at home against Fordham.

In addition to the Patriot League action, Colgate provided a highlight for the day as Gavin McCarney had four rushing and two passing touchdowns to lead the Raiders to a 37-24 victory at Yale.

Lafayette suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a 31-28 final to Robert Morris. The Leopards tied the score at 28-28 in the fourth quarter after trailing 28-7 at the half, but saw Robert Morris kick the game-winning field goal with 19 seconds left to earn the win.

While Colgate defeated an Ivy League opponent, three other teams lost as the season series between the conferences is now tied 6-6 for the year. Bucknell could not find the end zone on a late drive and dropped a 15-10 final to Cornell, while Georgetown went down to Brown 37-10 and Holy Cross fell 52-3 at Harvard in a game played on Friday night.

Full recaps and box scores from all of Saturday's action are included below, along with a synopsis of each contest and any video highlights or interviews from the schools.

FINAL: at No. 11/15 Lehigh 34, Fordham 31
Box Score

BETHLEHEM, Pa.- Jake Peery hit a 22-yard field goal on the final play of the game to lift No. 11/15 Lehigh to a 34-31 win over Fordham, extending the Mountain Hawks' FCS-best regular-season winning streak to 14 games on Saturday at Goodman Stadium.

Lehigh improved to 5-0 for the season, winning for the third straight game by less than seven points. The win also gave Lehigh a 15-game streak against Patriot League opponents, four shy of the League record. Fordham fell to 3-2 in a game it led 14-0 early in the first quarter but had to rally to tie in the fourth quarter. The game did not count towards the Patriot League standings for either team with the Rams ineligible for the Patriot League title this season.

The Rams came out with a hurry-up offense, and caught Lehigh off its heels to start the game. Fordham went right down the field for a 12-play, 68-yard that ended with a three-yard touchdown run by Ryan Higgins for a 7-0 lead just over three minutes into the game. After forcing a Lehigh punt, Fordham used some trickery as Brian Wetzel took a reverse and tossed a 19-yard touchdown to Nick Talbert for a 14-0 advantage with 7:24 still left in the first quarter.

Lehigh recovered on both offense and defense to answer with the game's next 24 points. Keith Sherman scored on a 16-yard touchdown run with 3:50 left in the first quarter, and Michael Colvin followed with a three-yard scoring run with 12 seconds to go in the period to even the score at 14-14. Lehigh's surge continued into the second quarter, with Peery connecting on a 23-yard field goal and Colvin tossing a five-yard touchdown pass to Lee Kurfis for a 24-14 lead with 3:11 left in the second quarter. Fordham had an answer this time, scoring in two plays and 28 seconds to get within 24-21 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Higgins to Carlton Koonce.

Zach Barket gave Lehigh a 10-point cushion again when his one-yard touchdown run made it 31-21 early in the third quarter. Fordham cut it to 31-24 later in the period, then tied the score at 31-31 with 11:42 to play in the game on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Higgins to Greg Wilson. Each team advanced past the opposition's 40 later in the period, but both were forced to punt it away. Fordham was forced to punt from its seven yard line late in the game, and Marcus Dormevil returned it 21 yards for Lehigh to give the Mountain Hawks a drive start at the Fordham 39 with 1:39 to play in the game. Colvin threw a 14-yard pass to Ryan Spadola to get the ball to the 22, and then tossed a 13-yard strike to Josh Parris on a 3rd-and-6 play to set the ball at the five yard line for Peery to drill the game-winning field goal as time expired.

Lehigh racked up 515 yards of total offense in the game, with Colvin accounting for 402 of that total. The senior quarterback completed 24-of-40 passes for a career-high 341 yards and the touchdown and ran for 61 yards and a score. Lehigh ran for 174 yards overall, with Barket totaling 48 and Sherman rushing for 41. Spadola caught eight passes for 85 yards, going over 200 receptions in his career in the process. Billy Boyko led the Lehigh defense with 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, while Tim Newton had two of the team's four sacks. Dormevil set a pair of scores with big punt returns, and totaled 63 yards on three returns in the game.

Like his counterpart, Higgins also put up a big day through the air for the Rams. He completed 28-of-41 passes for a season-high 373 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions and also ran for the score. Koonce, who came into the game fifth in the nation with more than 150 rushing yards per game, had his third-straight 100-yard effort with 105 yards on 30 carries while also catching four balls for 14 yards and the score. Three Fordham wideouts had monster games, with Wetzel catching seven balls for 112 yards, Tolbert hauling in seven for 107 and the touchdown and Wilson notching five receptions for 99 yards and the score. Wetzel and Tolbert were the first Fordham teammates since 2009 to both go over 100 yards receiving in the same game. The Rams racked up 460 yards of total offense. Michael Martin led the Fordham defense with 10 tackles, while Austin Hancock had nine tackles and an interception and Jake Rodriques totaled nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Lehigh has won every Patriot League game since beating Fordham late in the 2009 season. The Mountain Hawks defeated the Rams for the fifth straight season, and Fordham has still never won in 12 trips to Goodman Stadium.

FINAL: Colgate 47 at Yale 24
Box Score

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- Gavin McCarney accounted for six touchdowns and Jordan McCord went over 100 yards rushing for the fifth consecutive game as Colgate (2-3) rolled on offense in a 47-24 victory at Yale (1-2) on Saturday at the Yale Bowl.

McCarney completed 17-of-22 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, and ran for 85 yards and four touchdowns. McCord carried 24 times for 138 yards and a score as Colgate totaled 544 yards of total offense to conclude a tough non-League schedule with the 2-3 mark.

Colgate, and in particular McCarney, did most of the damage in the first half. The junior quarterback scored all five of the Raiders' touchdowns as they took a 35-17 lead into the break. McCarney answered a pair of Yale scores in the first quarter, tying the score at 7-7 on five-yard touchdown run and then evening the score the 14-14 on a 79-yard touchdown pass to Chris Looney.

McCarney's three second-quarter touchdowns gave the Raiders the commanding halftime lead. After Yale went ahead on a field goal, McCarney had a 13-yard touchdown run, 31-yard touchdown pass to CJ Stempeck and an eight-yard scoring rush for the 35-17 halftime lead.

Yale cut the gap to 35-24 in the third quarter, but the Raiders put the game away in the fourth quarter as McCarney ran in from 14 yards out for his fourth touchdown run of the day and McCord capped the 47-24 win with an eight-yard scoring rush.

Looney caught four passes for 138 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders. Patrick Friel led the defense with 10 tackles, while Kris Kent had six tackles and a sack and Andrew Nairin recorded a pair of sacks. Chris Horner, Austin Dier and Josh Ford all had interceptions for the Raiders.

Colgate will have its bye week before opening Patriot League play on Oct. 13 at home against Holy Cross.

FINAL: at Robert Morris 31, Lafayette 28
Box Score

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa.- Lafayette rallied from a 28-7 halftime deficit to tie the score, but Robert Morris came back with a 33-yard field goal with 19 seconds to go for a 31-28 win over the Leopards on Saturday at Joe Walton Stadium.

Lafayette was dealt its first loss of the season, falling to 3-1 on the year in its third road contest. Robert Morris picked up its first win of the year to improve to 1-3.

The Leopards struggled in the first half, as Robert Morris took a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 28-7 at the break. The bright spot came early in the second quarter on a 25-yard touchdown run by Ross Scheuerman that cut the gap to 14-7 before Robert Morris added two touchdowns for the 28-7 lead.

The second half was a different story as the Leopards came storming back. It started with a pair of touchdown passes from Andrew Shoop to Mark Ross, the first for 12 yards in the third quarter and the second a three-yard connection to cut the deficit to 28-21 on the first play of the fourth quarter. After forcing a punt, the Leopards went 74 yards in nine plays to tie the score at 28-28 on Shoop's 10-yard touchdown pass to Rodney Gould with 8:57 to play in the game. Lafayette was forced to punt on its next two possessions, and Robert Morris drove 67 yards in 2:10 to kick the game-winning field goal with 19 seconds to play. Lafayette had one final chance from the Robert Morris 46, but Shoop was sacked as the Leopards went down for the first time this year.

Shoop completed 25-of-38 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw a pair of interceptions. Ross had a huge night with 13 receptions for 151 yards and the two touchdowns, tying for the eighth-most receptions in a game in Patriot League history. Scheuerman had 75 yards and the score on the ground and 161 all-purpose yards. Kyni Scott led the Lafayette defense with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

Every Lafayette game this season has been decided by seven points or less, with the Leopards winning the previous three by 3, 7 and 6 before Saturday's three-point defeat.

FINAL: Cornell 15 at Bucknell 10
Box Score

LEWISBURG, Pa.- Bucknell held the nation's second-leading passer more than 130 yards below his average, but the Bison could not get enough offense and fell to Cornell 15-10 on Saturday at Christy-Mathewson Memorial Stadium.

The Bison fell to 1-3 with another great defensive effort. They have not allowed more than 20 points in any game this season. Cornell improved its record to 2-1 on the season.

Bucknell took the early lead, with Jeremiah Young rushing in from two yards out late in the first quarter for a 7-0 edge. Cornell took a 9-7 lead by the half, with a touchdown run and late field goal giving the Big Red the advantage. Cornell increased its advantage to 15-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the Bison cut it to 15-10 on Sean Cobelli's 29-yard field goal with 5:14 to play. Bucknell got the ball back at its 46 yard line, and had a 1st-and-10 at the Cornell 15 with a minute to play. The Bison would not get any further, as Brandon Wesley's pass for Victor Walker fell incomplete on 4th-and-9 and the Big Red took over and ran out the clock for the victory.

The Bison held a 151-62 edge in rushing yardage, led by a 63-yard run by Charles Thompson that set up Young's touchdown. Wesley completed 19-of-29 passes for 135 yards, with Walker hauling in eight receptions for 57 yards. The Bison limited Cornell quarterback Jeff Mathews, who came in averaging 414.5 yards per game through the air, to 278 yards passing without a touchdown. Evan Byers led the defense with 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks, while Ryan Morgan had eight stops and an interception.

Bucknell fell for the third straight time, and second in a row at home with both defeats coming by less than a touchdown. The Bison, who are 0-1 in the Patriot League, return to League action next week at Holy Cross.

FINAL: Brown 37 at Georgetown 10
Box Score

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Georgetown concluded its non-League slate with a 3-2 record as Brown (2-1) took the lead late in the first half and pulled away after intermission for a 37-10 win on Saturday at Multi-Purpose Field.

The Hoyas fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter, but evened the score with a Matt MacZura field goal followed by Stephen Skon's 23-yard touchdown pass to Zack Wilke early in the second quarter. Brown had a touchdown and field goal later in the period for a 20-10 lead at the half, and the Bears pulled away in the second half with a third-quarter touchdown and 10 points in the fourth.

Georgetown could not get its offense going, totaling just 159 yards in the game and only 12 on the ground. Skon completed 17-of-31 passes for 147 yards and the score, but also threw three interceptions. Wilke and Kevin Macari each had four receptions. Robert McCabe, the nation's leading tackler, came in just below his average with 13 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss. Nick Alfieri added 13 tackles with a forced and recovered fumble.

The Hoyas begin a finishing stretch of six straight games against Patriot League opponents when they visit Fordham next week.

FINAL: at Harvard 52, Holy Cross 3
Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- Harvard scored six consecutive touchdowns in the first half to blow the game open early and deal Holy Cross a 52-3 loss on Friday evening.

The Crusaders fall to 0-4, their longest season-opening losing skid since 2004. The Crimson won their 12th consecutive game, the longest active overall streak in the nation.

Holy Cross was within 7-3 on a field goal by John Macomber in the first quarter, but the Crimson scored two more touchdowns in the period and added 28 points in the second quarter to put the game out of reach.

Harvard held a 520-191 advantage in total offense. Ryan Laughlin threw for 105 yards for Holy Cross, and also led the team with 29 yards on the ground. Tom Mannix paced the defense with 11 tackles, a tackle for loss and two pass breakups.

Holy Cross opens Patriot League play next week at home against Bucknell.