Junior quarterback Kyle Keating threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns as the Mountain Hawks rebounded from last week’s tough loss to Colgate with a convincing 45-9 win over Bucknell before 4,032 at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.
All in all, Keating connected with nine different receivers in the victory. The Mountain Hawks (7-3 overall, 5-1 Patriot League) keep their I-AA playoff hopes alive with win. Bucknell drops to 5-6 overall and 3-3 against Patriot League opponents on the season.
After Ryan Korn kicked a 31-yard field goal to give the Bison an early lead, Lehigh quickly responded. Keating connected on a 52-yard touchdown strike to Gerran Walker, capping a 76-yard drive that took only two plays and 40 seconds off the clock. The 52-yard pass marked a new career long for Keating.
On the ensuing possession for Bucknell, Lehigh’s Kaloma Cardwell picked off a Daris Wilson pass – his first career interception – setting up excellent field position for the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh drove 35 yards for a touchdown, scoring when Keating connected with Aaron Argenta from five yards out to give the Brown & White a 14-3 lead.
Lehigh was forced to punt early in the second quarter, but a Keating punt was downed at the three-yard line, pinning the Bison deep in their own territory. Less than a minute later, Lehigh senior corner back Lawrence Williams picked off a pass – for the fourth consecutive week – setting the Mountain Hawks up once again with good field position.
Lehigh quickly capitalized, as fullback Greg Fay scored on fourth down from the two-yard line to make the score 21-3, and the score remained that way through the end of the first half.
In the third quarter, Lehigh further cushioned its lead when Matt Douglas connected on a 38-yard field goal to make the score 24-3. On Lehigh's next possession, Keating connected on a 49-yard pass to George Evans to set up a 39-yard strike to Adam Kovacs for another touchdown. That drive took only 58 seconds off the clock. Keating finished the day 20-of-32 through the air.
The Mountain Hawks picked up another score four minutes into the fourth quarter, when Fay rushed for his second touchdown of the afternoon. Moments later, Tom McGeoy picked up a fumble and brought the ball down to the four-yard line, setting up a rushing score from Pierre Bowers.
The Bison got a late touchdown with just 19 seconds remaining in the game on a Blamah Sarnor four-yard scamper.
For the afternoon, Lehigh racked up 490 yards of total offense, the biggest offensive output by the Mountain Hawks in a single game this season, and the most since Lehigh amassed 604 yards of total offense in a Patriot League victory over Georgetown in September of 2002.
Lehigh returns to Goodman Stadium to host Lafayette Saturday in the 139th meeting of college football’s most played rivalry. Kick-off is set for 12:37 pm. For the eighth consecutive year at Lehigh, the game has sold out in advance, but the contest will be broadcast live on WFMZ-TV in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, and nationwide on DirecTV channel 627. Audio coverage can be heard live worldwide on Lehigh’s web site at www.lehighsports.com.