Lehigh, Colgate Close Regular Season with Key Road Victories

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Lehigh's Mike Colvin had four touchdown passes and a touchdown run in a 38-21 win at rival Lafayette.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Lehigh's Mike Colvin had four touchdown passes and a touchdown run in a 38-21 win at rival Lafayette.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Nov. 17, 2012

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After road victories on Saturday, No. 12/14 Lehigh and Colgate will now turn their attention to Sunday afternoon's selection show for the NCAA Division I Football Championship with the Mountain Hawks hoping to join the Patriot League champion Raiders with a spot in the field of 20.

Lehigh rebounded from last week's Patriot League title-game loss to Colgate by scoring the final four touchdowns of the game and holding archrival Lafayette scoreless after the first quarter in a 38-21 victory in Easton. It was the fifth straight win in the series for the Mountain Hawks, who finish the regular season at 10-1 to record their third straight year of 10 wins or more.

Colgate had already completed a perfect Patriot League record when it beat Lehigh 35-24 last week for the League title and automatic playoff berth, but the Raiders made it a full sweep of League opponents with a 41-39 win at Fordham on Saturday. Colgate goes into the postseason with a seven-game winning streak and has scored 35 points or more in nine straight games.

Holy Cross and Bucknell also finished their season with victories, as the Crusaders shut out Georgetown 24-0 and the Bison hung on for a 24-21 victory over Bryant. With Bucknell's victory, the Patriot League finishes the regular season with a winning non-League record at 18-17.

The NCAA Division I Football Championship selection show is at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Colgate will find out its opponent and destination for its first game, while Lehigh hopes to become the first Patriot League team since 2005 to make the field with an at-large berth.

Recaps, box scores and a synopsis from each game will be posted soon.

No. 12/14 Lehigh 38 at Lafayette 21
Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - No. 12/14 Lehigh (10-1, 4-1 Patriot League) trailed 21-10 at the end of the first quarter but rallied from there with the game's final four touchdowns to take down rival Lafayette (5-6, 2-3) for the fifth year in a row on Saturday at Fisher Stadium.

The Mountain Hawks post their third consecutive 10-win season, and now will hope for an at-large berth to the postseason on Sunday afternoon. Lehigh has been in the postseason field for the last two seasons.

Senior quarterback Mike Colvin earned game MVP honors for the Mountain Hawks with a sensational performance, completing 25-of-41 passes for 362 yards and four touchdowns and rushing 11 times for 82 yards and a score.

The first quarter was all Lafayette, as the Leopards scored on each of their three possessions. After an interception by Rick Lyster set up a short field, Andrew Shoop threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Mark Ross for a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Lehigh came back with a field goal, but Lafayette grabbed a 14-3 lead on Shoop's 18-yard strike to Jamel Smith with 4:01 left in the period. Lehigh responded on its next offensive play with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Colvin to Lee Kurfis before Lafayette took the 21-10 lead on a 27-yard pass from Zach Zweizig to Ross with 11 seconds remaining in the period.

Lehigh got closer before the half with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Colvin to Ryan Spadola that trimmed the gap to 21-17. The Mountain Hawks took the lead in the third quarter when Colvin threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Keith Sherman for a 24-21 advantage with 6:48 left in the period. Colvin ran in from 11 yards out less than five minutes later for a 31-21 lead, and Lehigh put the game away with a 10-play, 56-yard drive that spanned 5:35 and ended with Colvin's five-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Coyle for the 38-21 final.

Lehigh held a 548-346 edge in total offense, with Colvin accounting for 444 of those yards. Spadola caught eight passes for 87 yards and the touchdown, while Kurfis had three receptions for 137 yards and the score. Sam Loughery filled the stat sheet on defense with 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception, a half-sack and a blocked kick. Lehigh has its first five-game winning streak over Lafayette since claiming seven straight games from 1995-01.

Ross concluded an outstanding junior season with another big game, catching nine passes for 118 yards and the two touchdowns. Shoop completed 14-of-23 passes for 173 yards and two scores. Jamel Smith caught five passes for 58 yards and also had a 46-yard punt return. Kyle Sakowski led the Lafayette defense with 13 tackles and an interception, while Mike Boles had 10 tackles and a sack. Lafayette finishes with its third straight under .500 season as it dropped the last four games of the year.

Prior to Saturday's game it was announced that the 150th meeting between the schools on Nov. 22, 2014 will be played at Yankee Stadium. Lafayette holds a 76-67-5 lead in the all-time series, though Lehigh is ahead 17-10 in Patriot League games.

Colgate 41 at Fordham 39
Box Score

BRONX, N.Y. - Colgate (8-3, 5-0 PL) survived a wild fourth quarter and will enter the postseason on a seven-game winning streak after holding off Fordham (6-5) 41-39 on Saturday at Jack Coffey Field.

The Raiders, who clinched the Patriot League title and automatic playoff berth with a 35-24 win at Lehigh last week, will find out their opponent and destination for the NCAA Division I Football Championship when the selections are announced on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Colgate's dual threat attack was at it again, as Gavin McCarney carried 22 times for 178 yards and a touchdown and completed 12-of-20 passes for 212 yards and a score while Jordan McCord carried 21 times for 141 yards and three touchdowns. It was the sixth straight game where both players went over 100 yards on the ground, and McCord became the first Raider and Patriot Leaguer since Jordan Scott (2007) to rush for at least 100 yards in all 11 regular-season games. McCarney sets a Patriot League single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,309. McCord has 1,627 rushing yards for the year, and each player enters the playoffs with 22 rushing touchdowns.

Colgate got on the board first with a one-yard McCord touchdown run, but Fordham answered with a 26-yard touchdown run by Carlton Koonce and six-yard pass from Ryan Higgins to Brian Wetzel for a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Rams added a field goal, but Colgate cut the gap to 16-14 at the half on a five-yard touchdown run by Jimmy DeCicco.

The Raiders re-gained the lead two minutes into the third quarter on a 62-yard touchdown pass from McCarney to Ryne Morrison. The back-and-forth fourth quarter started with the Raiders leading 21-19. Colgate took a 28-19 lead on an eight-yard score by McCord with 8:44 left, and Fordham answered with a six-yard touchdown run by Koonce to get within 28-26 with 6:05 to go. McCarney's 14-yard touchdown run put the Raiders ahead 35-26 with 4:36 to play, but again Koonce answered with a 37-yard touchdown run to get within 35-33 with 2:53 left. Colgate recovered the ensuing onsides kick, and seemed to put the game away when McCord scored from three yards out with 2:00 to play. But the Raiders missed the extra point, keeping Fordham within a score at 41-33. The Rams quickly drove down the field and scored to make it 41-39 on a 19-yard pass from Higgins to Wetzel with 43 seconds to go. However, Colgate's defense came through to stop Blake Wayne's rush on the two-point attempt and the Raiders held on for the two-point victory.

Colgate's offense put up another outstanding effort, gaining 547 yards overall with 335 on the ground. McCarney and McCord did most of the damage, while Morrison caught four passes for 95 yards and the score. Tyler Butler led the Colgate defense with 14 tackles, while Vince Myers had a pair of sacks. Colgate beat Fordham for the fifth year in a row and ninth in the last 10 seasons.

Fordham had a host of outstanding offensive performances from a game where it racked up 608 total yards and had 32 first downs. Koonce carried 33 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns and had 270 all-purpose yards in the game. He sets a Fordham single-season record with 1,596 rushing yards for the season. Higgins completed 33-of-55 passes for 386 yards and two touchdowns, while Wetzel caught 14 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. The 14 receptions were just one off the Patriot League single-game record. Patrick Murray made a pair of field goals, and finishes just one off the FCS record with 25 field goals for the season. Ian Williams and Michael Martin led the defense with 11 tackles apiece, with Williams also picking off a pass and Martin forcing two fumbles.

Holy Cross 24 at Georgetown 0
Box Score

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Holy Cross (2-9, 2-3 PL) ended a frustrating season on a high note with a 24-0 blanking of Georgetown (5-6, 2-3 PL) on Saturday at Multi-Sport Field.

The Crusaders took a 7-0 lead on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Laughlin to Gerald Mistretta in the first quarter, and carried that advantage into the half. Holy Cross built its lead to 17-0 in the third quarter with a two-yard touchdown run by Mistretta and a field goal, and capped the scoring as Steven Elder threw a 20-yard touchdown to Mistretta in the fourth quarter.

Mistretta caught five passes for 78 yards and two scores and also had the rushing touchdown, while Mike Fess hauled in 10 receptions for 60 yards. Laughlin and Elder combined to go 19-of-25 for 164 yards and two touchdowns, while a group of players led the rushing attack to 181 yards. The Crusader defense had an outstanding day, holding Georgetown to just 196 yards of total offense. Erik Wachter had 15 tackles and one of the team's five sacks to lead the way. The Crusaders posted their first shutout since defeating Georgetown 55-0 on Sept. 22, 2007.

While there were few highlights on Saturday for the Hoyas, senior linebacker Robert McCabe put the cap on a strong candidacy for the Buck Buchanan Award by recording 15 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss. He finishes the year with 159 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. McCabe had 19 consecutive games with double-digit tackles to finish his career. He finishes his career with 407 tackles, becoming the first Hoya to break 400 career tackles and the first Patriot Leaguer to do it since 1997.

at Bucknell 24, Bryant 21
Box Score

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell (3-8) won its season finale for the fifth time in the past seven years by downing Bryant (4-7) by a 24-21 score on Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

With the win, Patriot League teams finish with a combined 18-17 mark in non-League games in 2012. It also gives the Patriot League a 5-3 advantage in its season series with the Northeast Conference.

The teams went to the half tied at 14-14, as Bucknell took leads of 7-0 and 14-7 only to see Bryant answer. Tyler Smith had a three-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for the Bison, while Brandon Wesley threw a 16-yard touchdown to Nick Gatto in the second quarter. The Bison took the lead for good in the third quarter on a Sean Cobelli field goal, then grabbed their biggest advantage of the day at 24-14 on a 10-yard pass from Wesley to Smith with 10:54 to play in the game. Bryant got back within 24-21 on a touchdown three minutes later, but Bucknell came up with a stop on downs deep in its own territory and held the ball for the final 5:13 to earn the victory.

Smith ran for 76 yards and a touchdown and also had the receiving touchdown, while Wesley completed 18-of-26 passes for 200 yards and two scores. Victor Walker caught seven passes for 97 yards in the game. Jordan Dudas had a team-high 10 tackles, while Evan Byers concluded an outstanding year with nine tackles, three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.