Lafayette Holds on to Early Lead, Tops Lehigh in 158th Edition of The Rivalry

An early 14-0 lead was enough for the Leopards as they defeated Lehigh 14-11 in Easton.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

Christa Neu

Videography by

Stephanie Veto

Despite the past few seasons not going quite how Lehigh wanted, the Mountain Hawks have at least been able to end the season on a high note with a win over Lafayette.

This year, that wasn't the case.

Two touchdowns first-quarter touchdowns scored 57 seconds apart gave the Leopards (4-7, 3-3) all they needed Saturday afternoon at Fisher Stadium in Easton as they defeated Lehigh 14-11 in the 158th edition of The Rivalry.

Lafayette began the scoring on a 71-yard touchdown run by Jamar Curtis and quickly made it 14-0 when Billy Shaeffer picked off a Dante Perri pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown on Lehigh's next possession. Lehigh (2-4, 2-9) kept the Leopards off the scoreboard the rest of the game, but the Mountain Hawks' rally came up short.

Alex Snyder makes a catch

Lehigh tight end Alex Snyder makes a 10-yard reception against Lafayette Saturday at Fisher Stadium in Easton.

"Two big mistakes in the first quarter and that's all they needed," Lehigh head coach Tom Gilmore said. "Which is really frustrating because we moved the ball pretty well throughout the game, but we didn't finish drives. It was not finishing drives, giving up maybe a handful of plays on the defensive side of the ball and the most bizarre punting game we've seen."

The Mountain Hawks scored their first points of the game with just under five minutes left in the first half on a Dylan Van Dusen 27-yard field goal. A 13-yard touchdown pass from Perri to Eric Johnson early in the fourth quarter cut Lafayette's lead to six points as the Mountain Hawks failed to convert a two-point conversion attempt, but Lehigh didn't score again until Lafayette intentionally took a safety with 14 seconds remaining. 

With the win, the Leopards finish the year with a .500 record against Patriot League foes. Lafayette has now won three of the last four meetings with Lehigh and leads the all-time series between the two Lehigh Valley schools 81-72-5.

Click here for more coverage of the 158th edition of The Rivalry.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

Christa Neu

Videography by

Stephanie Veto

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