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Playoff hopes on line as Lehigh takes on Lafayette

Lehigh's football team returns home for the regular season finale Saturday as the Mountain Hawks host archrival Lafayette in the 139th meeting of college football’s most played rivalry.

The Mountain Hawks are 7-3 overall and 5-1 in Patriot League play. They must win on Saturday to keep their postseason playoff hopes alive. Lafayette, meanwhile, can post a winning season and thwart any potential Mountain Hawks playoff chance with a victory over Lehigh. The Leopards are 5-5 overall, 2-4 in the Patriot League.

No two teams in all of college football have met more times than Lehigh and Lafayette. The two rivals have squared off 138 times previously, dating back to 1884.

The Leopards lead the all-time series between these two schools, 72-61-5, but Lehigh has captured seven of the last eight meetings since 1995. The Moutain Hawks have won six of the seven times the two teams have met at Goodman Stadium.

Last week, Lehigh rolled to its biggest win of the season – a 45-9 victory at Bucknell. Meanwhile, the Leopards have won two straight league games, including a victory last Saturday at Holy Cross.

Lehigh’s offense is tops in the Patriot League in scoring against league opponents, averaging nearly 33 points per game. The Leopards' offense has put up an average of 383 yards per game against league opponents this season, second best in the Patriot League.

However, the Lehigh “D” is the second stingiest in the league, allowing an average of only 265 yards of total offense in six Patriot League contests.

Saturday’s game sold out weeks ago – the eighth consecutive time this clash has sold out in advance at Goodman Stadium. Fans need not worry, however. The showdown can be seen live on WFMZ-TV in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, as well as on Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh (in eastern PA only) regionally, and nationally on DirecTV and Dish Network.

Audio coverage can be found on Oldies 1470 and on the Lehigh Sports Web site. Kick-off is set for 12:37.

Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003

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