Mountain Hawks Drop Family Weekend Tilt To Visiting Princeton
09/25/2021 | 1:00 PM
Fox Sports 1230/1320 AM and 94.7 FM
BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – The Lehigh defense stiffened after giving up two early goals, but the offense struggled to get going when the Mountain Haws beat Princeton 32-0 on a warm, humid afternoon at Goodman Stadium 7,050 points ago fell. The Lehigh Princeton game was part of Family Weekend presented by PSECU.
Princeton, playing in its first game since November 2019, won 516 yards of attack, including 412 through the air, while the Tigers limited Lehigh to just 92 yards that day.
Cole Smith completed 30 of 41 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns. Jacob Birmelin and Andrei Iosivas combined 12 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers.
A week after rushing 158 yards in Richmond, Lehigh was held down to -25 yards, mostly in part on three tiger sacks.
The Mountain Hawks passed for 117 yards, with Dante Perri coming on in the sophomore in the second half, completing 12 of 17 for 62 yards. Junior Cross Wilkinson went 8 of 14 for 55 yards. Eleven different receivers caught passes for the Mountain Hawks, led by sophomore Eric Johnson who overtook four for 33 yards.
Defensively, linebackers Liam McIntyre and Nate Norris each had eight tackles, while Junior Safety TyGee Leach added seven. The Mountain Hawks posted three sacks, with juniors Mikhari Sibblis and Stephon Bland and second year old Trevor Harris all contributing.
Princeton had an advantage of 26-7 on first downs and a 35:05-24:55 cross in possession.
“I don’t feel so good about what happened today, but as competitors we have a lot of things to do better,” said Lehigh head coach Tom Gilmore. “From a coach and player’s point of view. We have to find ways to move the ball on the offensive. Disappointingly, we gave up some big defensive moves today that are a bit untypical for us. A lot of things were revealed today. We just have to find ways to get better. I thought we would get better from game one to game two. Of course every opponent is different, but we really struggled to move the ball today. That was the obvious. Even though we could see some good things at times we don’t string anything together. “
The Tigers scored a goal on their first two drives and took a 13-0 lead 6:38 in the first quarter. Collin Eaddy opened the scoring with a 13-yard run and then Smith hit Iosivas for a 34-yard touchdown.
Lehigh’s second drive of the game looked promising when the Mountain Hawks switched to Princeton 35, but two penalties and a sack thwarted the chance to score.
The Mountain Hawks defense stiffened in the second quarter, stopping Princeton on downs at the 20-yard line, then forcing a 3-and-out. On Princeton’s third drive of the neighborhood, the Lehigh defense came with another 3-and-out and sophomore Devari Robinson blocked a punt from Will Powers and Lehigh took over in Tiger territory but failed to capitalize.
“I really liked a lot of the things we did defensively,” said Gilmore. “We had some injuries last week and the depth we had with those injuries back then forced us to use a brand new scheme in defense. So there were some big adjustments this week. And I thought by and large.” , we did a good job with the new concept. The problem was that there were some things, especially in the first half, where we were a little out of alignment. “
Princeton closed the half with a 12-play, 61-yard drive, but Lehigh stiffened in the red zone, forcing a Jeffrey Sexton field goal that gave the Tigers a 16-0 lead at halftime.
“In the red, I thought we did a much better job,” said Gilmore. “There were two drives where we stopped Princeton without losing points and two were forced to field goals in the red zone. I thought it was a really good job and I played some great games in those situations, definitely A glimpse of hope.”
Gallery: (09/18/2021) Football vs. Princeton, 09/18/21
Smith beat Birmelin with a 42-yard scoring pass in the third quarter and beat Iosivas for 52 to extend the Tiger lead to 29-0 in the third quarter. Sexton topped the goal with a 20-yard field goal late in the period.
The Mountain Hawks Open Patriot League is playing next Saturday when they visit Colgate. Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Andy Kerr Stadium in Hamilton, NY. The game will be broadcast on ESPN + with audio coverage on Fox Sports Radio 1230 and 1320 and 94.7 FM Allentown and LVFoxSports.com.
ADDITIONAL POINTS … The win for Princeton was the first win at Goodman Stadium since 2009 … Lehigh had won the last three games in Bethlehem and has now won five of the last eight in the series … The Mountain Hawks are now 56-30-1 against Ivy League schools since the founding of the Patriot League in 1986 … Daniel Simpson in his sophomore year averaged 40.9 yards with eight punts … Bland and Harris both made their first careers on the defensive line … lost 11 in a row in 1943/44.
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