Holy Cross, Fordham, Lehigh Post Wins in Patriot League Football Saturday

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Michael Colvin had four passing and one rushing touchdown in a 35-14 win over Columbia on Saturday.
Michael Colvin had four passing and one rushing touchdown in a 35-14 win over Columbia on Saturday.

Oct. 6, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Two more Patriot League games went down to the wire while No. 10/11 Lehigh extended the nation's longest regular-season win streak to 15 to highlight Saturday's football action.

Holy Cross had yet to win a game in 2012, but the Crusaders are now 1-0 in the Patriot League after holding off Bucknell 13-6 at Fitton Field. The other League contest was also decided by a touchdown, as Fordham answered Georgetown throughout the second half and pulled out a 38-31 win over the Hoyas at Jack Coffey Field in a game that did not count towards the standings for either team. Each of the four Patriot League games played this season has been decided by a touchdown or less.

No. 10/11 Lehigh had won three straight games by three points or less, but the Mountain Hawks would have no need for drama on Saturday as they beat Columbia 35-14 at Goodman Stadium. Michael Colvin completed 29-of-38 passes for 296 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for a score to lead the way as Lehigh improved to 6-0 and extended the nation's longest regular-season winning streak to 15 games.

The Patriot League is now 7-7 in its season series with the Ivy League, as Lafayette also fell to Princeton 35-14 on Saturday.

Colgate was off on Saturday, but returns next week to for its Patriot League opener at home against Holy Cross. Lehigh is at Georgetown in another League contest on Saturday, while Lafayette travels to Yale, Bucknell is at No. 23 Harvard and Fordham takes on an FBS opponent when it visits Cincinnati.

Recaps and box scores from all of Saturday's games are included below, along with a synopsis of each contest.

at Holy Cross 13, Bucknell 6
Box Score

WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross made its first win of the season an important one, as the Crusaders scored the first 13 points and held on in the fourth quarter for a 13-6 win over Bucknell on Saturday at Fitton Field.

Holy Cross improves to 1-4 overall, and opens Patriot League play with a win for the seventh time in the last eight years. Bucknell dropped its fourth straight game to fall to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the Patriot League.

The teams played a scoreless first quarter, and the only scoring of the first half came when John Macomber hit an 18-yard field goal for the Crusaders with 6:02 to play in the second quarter. Holy Cross got its offense going immediately in the second half, with an 11-play, 65-yard opening drive that ended in Matt Bellomo's one-yard touchdown run for a 10-0 lead. Holy Cross added a field goal to the lead later in the period, but Bucknell got back into it in the fourth quarter as a pair of interceptions set up field goals to trim the gap to 13-6. The Bison advanced into Holy Cross territory with a chance to tie in the final minutes, but an interception by Logan Silver at the 13 yard line with 1:47 left sealed the Patriot League win for the Crusaders.

It was a defensive struggle, as the Crusaders held a 242-191 edge in total yardage. Steven Elder completed 19-of-35 passes for 205 yards in his first career start, while Mike Fess hauled in six receptions for 60 yards. Macomber made both of his field goal attempts and also averaged 37.4 yards on eight punts, dropping five of those inside the 20. Scotty O'Donoghue led the defense with six tackles and had a blocked punt to set up Holy Cross' third-quarter field goal. Matthew Boyd and Roman San Doval each had five tackles and a sack.

Bucknell picked up just 10 first downs in the game. The Bison had 46 rushing yards as a team, and quarterbacks Trey Lauletta and Brandon Wesley each completed less than 50 percent of their passes with an interception apiece. Jake Flaherty had a solid game with six receptions for 78 yards, while Ryan Gutowski averaged 37.1 yards on nine punts. Evan Byers had nine tackles and Matthew Steinbeck registered eight, with each player also recording an interception. Samuel Oyekoya had a pair of sacks. The Bison have lost three consecutive games by a touchdown or less.

Holy Cross has won seven of the last eight meetings with Bucknell, including the last four in Worcester.

For post-game comments from O'Donoghue and Holy Cross Head Coach Tom Gilmore, go here

at Fordham 38, Georgetown 31
Box Score

BRONX, N.Y. - In a back-and-forth game, Fordham made the key plays in the fourth quarter on offense and defense to prevail 38-31 over Georgetown on Saturday at Jack Coffey Field.

The Rams improve to 4-2 on the season with their fourth straight game decided by seven points or less, and third win in that span. Georgetown drops to 3-3, and is 2-2 in games decided within a touchdown. The game did not count towards the Patriot League standings with the Rams ineligible for the League title.

The trading of scores began in the first quarter. After Fordham opened the scoring with a 30-yard field goal by Patrick Murray, Georgetown got on the board with a four-yard touchdown run by Kevin Macari and Fordham answered with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Higgins to Greg Wilson for a 10-7 lead at the end of the period. Georgetown evened the score at 10-10 before Murray hit from 43 and 44 yards out later in the second quarter to give the Rams a 16-10 advantage at the break.

Fordham gained the first separation of the day in the third quarter, with a 44-yard touchdown run by Carlton Koonce making it 23-10 with 11:59 to go in the period. But Georgetown answered with consecutive touchdowns, as Stephen Skon threw a two-yard strike to Macari and a five-yard pass to Nick Campanella that put the Hoyas ahead 24-23 with 5:03 left in the period. Fordham went back ahead when Higgins threw a 25-yard touchdown to Blake Wayne and the subsequent two-point conversion made it 31-24 with 1:25 to go in the period, but Georgetown evened the score at 31-31 in the first minute of the fourth quarter on a seven-yard Campanella touchdown run. Fordham had the final answer, with Koonce scoring on a one-yard touchdown run with 9:00 to go for the 38-31 lead. Georgetown had a first-and-goal at the Fordham 2 on its next possession, but the Rams stuffed four consecutive running plays for a goal line stand. The Hoyas had one more chance with less than a minute to play before Brendan Melanophy intercepted Skon to seal the win for the Rams.

Higgins completed 29-of-38 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for his second straight 300-yard passing game. Koonce just missed his fifth 100-yard game of the year with 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Brian Wetzel had eight receptions for 123 yards. Murray was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and also punted eight times for a 47.8 average. Michael Martin led the defense with a career-high 18 tackles and a fumble recovery. The Rams had four sacks, seven tackles for loss and three forced turnovers in the game.

Georgetown ran for 196 yards and had two touchdowns on the ground. Three Hoyas were over 50 rushing yards, led by Dalen Claytor with 76. Skon completed 18-of-34 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns, with Macari hauling in five receptions for 70 yards and the score and also rushing for the touchdown. Robert McCabe, the nation's leading tackler, topped his average of 13.6 by recording 15 stops and three tackles for loss in the game. Dustin Wharton had 11 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, while Jordan Richardson totaled eight tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. The Hoyas had 15 tackles for loss as a team in the game.

Fordham has never lost at home against Georgetown in Patriot League play, and is 12-0 against the Hoyas in the Bronx since 1976.

at No. 10/11 Lehigh 35, Columbia 14
Box Score

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - No. 10/11 Lehigh continued to roll by taking an early lead and pulling away in the second half for a 35-14 win over Columbia on Saturday at Goodman Stadium.

The Mountain Hawks improve to 6-0 for the season, and extend the nation's longest regular-season winning streak to 15 games. Lehigh has won its last nine games at Goodman Stadium. The Mountain Hawks also finish a perfect 5-0 in non-League action, becoming the first Patriot League team since Colgate in 2009 to go undefeated in non-League play. Lehigh last accomplished the feat in 2001, when it went undefeated in the regular season.

Lehigh jumped out to a 14-0 lead less than nine minutes into the game, with Michael Colvin throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Spadola and a 12-yard strike to Jamel Haggins for the early advantage. Columbia got on the board with an interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter, but Colvin ran in from five yards out in the last minute of the half to give Lehigh a 21-7 lead at the break.

The Mountain Hawks added to the advantage in the third quarter when Colvin threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Haggins for a 28-7 lead. Columbia would get the touchdown back late in the period, but Lehigh capped the 35-14 win with Colvin's 24-yard touchdown pass to Sergio Fernandez-Soto with 4:25 to play in the game.

Colvin was outstanding for the second straight week, completing 29-of-38 passes for 296 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 38 yards and the score. Fernandez-Soto had career highs of eight receptions and 120 yards with the score, while Haggins hauled in five receptions for 84 yards and the pair of touchdowns. Sam Loughery and Isaiah Campbell each had six tackles and a sack, while Tom Bianchi had five tackles with a sack. Lehigh held a 415-245 advantage in total offense, and beat Columbia in the first meeting between the schools since 1999.

Princeton 35 at Lafayette 14
Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette held Princeton scoreless until late in the first half, but the Tigers poured it on from there for a 35-14 win over the Leopards on Saturday at Fisher Stadium.

The Leopards fell to 3-2 on the season, and have dropped two in a row after a 3-0 start.

Princeton took an 8-0 halftime lead on a touchdown with less than a minute to play in the second quarter, then tallied the first three scores of the third period to build a 28-0 advantage. Lafayette got on the board with a 65-yard touchdown run by Ross Scheuerman just seconds into the fourth quarter, and also scored the final touchdown of the game on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Zach Zweizig to Mark Ross.

Scheuerman carried 11 times for 125 yards and the score, caught five passes for 38 yards and finished with 194 all-purpose yards in the game. Ross caught five balls for 103 yards and the score, while Zweizig completed 17-of-28 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. Mike Boles led the Lafayette defense with 12 tackles, while Jared Roberts had 10 tackles and three pass breakups and Colton Kirkpatrick registered 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Lafayette gave up 262 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns to the Tigers.

Lafayette lost its sixth straight meeting with the Tigers, and is just 4-38-3 all-time versus Princeton. The Leopards will complete their slate against the Ivy League next week with a visit to Yale.