BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh returns to Goodman Stadium for three of his last four games, starting with two-time defending Patriot League champion Holy Cross on Saturday the Halloweekend, presented by Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop.
The Mountain Hawks came out of their week off with their best offensive performance of the Tom gilmore era as Lehigh racked up 577 yards and built a 28-14 lead in the fourth quarter before Fordham scored the final 21 points of the game to hand the Mountain Hawks a heart-wrenching loss. Junior Zaythan Hill rushed for a career-high 159 yards and three touchdowns, while the sophomore quarterback Dante Perri threw for 317 and a touchdown and did not return the ball.
Lehigh’s defense maintained the Patriot League’s top-ranked offense at 14 points and 262 yards on three quarters before Fordham hit back in the fourth.
Holy Cross is 5-2 this season and has rebounded from its last loss with back-to-back home league wins against Georgetown and Colgate.
Lehigh’s offense had its best performance of the Tom gilmore at Fordham as the Mountain Hawks racked up 577 yards while scoring their first four touchdowns of the season. The Mountain Hawks enjoyed a balanced attack, rushing for 260 yards and passing 317. Lehigh’s total of 577 yards was Lehigh’s highest since the Mountain Hawks racked up 550 in a 45-17 win. vs. Bucknell on Nov 3, 2018. All four touchdowns have been Lehigh is the best in a game since scoring four in a 30-27 overtime win at Fordham in 2019.
The location of Fordham University’s main campus is known as Rose Hill, but the powers that be may want to consider renaming the campus after the junior running back. Zaythan Hill. Last week Hill had a career day with 159 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries. It was Hill’s second career 100-yard running game. The other also came at Fordham, a 124-yard effort that included a 94-yard touchdown run, a Patriot League record. Hill now has 283 rushing yards and four career TDs in two career games at Fordham.
Lehigh’s game at Fordham featured the rare trifecta of a 300-yard passer (Dante Perri), 100 yard rusher (Zaythan Hill) and two 100-yard receivers (Eric Johnson and Roemello miner). It was the first time the Mountain Hawks had reached these three benchmarks since September 30, 2017 at Wagner. That night Brad Mayes threw for 306, Dom Bragalone rushed for 102 and Troy Pelletier (143) and Jorge Portoreal (132) eclipsed the mark of the century for receiving yards. That night, five turnovers doomed Lehigh in a Wagner 37-20 win.
The two-time defending Patriot League champions Holy Cross enters Saturday’s game 5-2 on aggregate. The Crusaders are 2-0 in the Patriot League with back-to-back home league wins over Georgetown and Colgate in the past two weeks. Holy Cross also holds victories over UConn, Yale and Monmouth, while its two losses came at the hands of Merrimack and Harvard. Last week, the Crusaders beat Colgate 42-10 at Polar Park, Worcester’s minor league baseball stadium. Peter Oliver ran for 153 yards and a touchdown to lead the Crusaders’ effort. Sophomore Matthew Sluka is a double-threat quarterback, who added 114 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns and separate passing attempts with Marco Siderman. Holy Cross leads the Patriot League in rushing, averaging over 210 yards per game. The Crusaders also lead the league in scoring defense, running defense and all-out defense. Jacob Dobbs is the top tackle with 81 saves plus 10.5 loss tackles and six sacks. Liam Anderson added 50 tackles, plus 8.5 TFL, four sacks and three interceptions.
Lehigh and Holy Cross reunite for the 37th time with Lehigh holding a 19-16-1 lead in the series. These teams first met in 1924 and did not meet again until 1986. Sainte-Croix has won the last three meetings. These teams meet at Goodman Stadium for the third consecutive season.
Saturday’s game kicks off just after 12 p.m. at Goodman Stadium. Tickets can be purchased on LehighTickets.com or by calling 610-7LU-GAME during regular business hours.
Lehigh will play his final road game of the regular season next Saturday when the Mountain Hawks travel to Bucknell. The Mountain Hawks will be looking to end a two-game losing streak against the Bison. Match time is set for 1 p.m. from Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium in Lewisburg, PA.
|Dated:||October 30, 2021|
|Opponent:||Crusaders of the Holy Cross|
|To start up:||12:05|
|Lehigh’s record:||0-7 overall, 0-2 Patriot League|
|The Sainte-Croix record:||5-2 overall, 2-0 Patriot League|
|Series:||Lehigh leads 19-16-1|
|Video:||ESPN + (PatriotLeague.TV) with Matt Kerr and Lance Haynes ’94|
|Radio:||Fox Sports Radio 1230/1320 AM and 94.7 FM Allentown starting at noon with Tom Fallon and Matt Markus.|
|Key Statistics:||• Lehigh’s 577 yards of total offense at Fordham were the highest since racking up 550 in a 45-17 win over Bucknell on November 3, 2018.
• 41% of Lehigh’s total offensive production this season came last week at Fordham (577 from 1,398 yards)
• Eight of Lehigh’s 11 Patriot League games played under Tom gilmore were decided by seven points or less.
• After battling the Patriot League’s top-ranked offense at Fordham last week, the Mountain Hawks now face the league’s No.1 defense.