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Looking back on Rivalry 100

Three Lehigh football alums—guard Russ Lyons ‘66, tight end and kicker Joe Walton ‘65 and quarterback Les Kish ‘66—look back on the 1964 Rivalry game itself, the frustrating season that preceded it, and what it meant to them to play in the 100th edition of one of the greatest rivalries in college football.

The 1964 football season wasn’t a great one for either Lehigh or Lafayette.

The longtime rivals both endured humbling campaigns that year, with the Leopards going winless through their first seven games and the Engineers (as Lehigh’s teams were then called) managing only a single win.

But as the teams prepared for their annual November grudge match at Lafayette’s Fisher Field—a game that would be the historic 100th in the most-played rivalry in college football—they both knew that there was one great way to salvage to season: Scoring a win in The Rivalry.

Given the team’s miserable campaigns, however, it almost seems fitting that neither squad could even gain that bit of satisfaction. In a hard-fought and typically dramatic encounter, Lehigh and Lafayette battled to a 6-6 tie.

It’s a result that continues to haunt Lehigh’s players even to this today.

In recent interviews with Lehigh visual storyteller Stephanie Veto, three Lehigh football alums who played in that 1964 game—guard Russ Lyons ‘66, tight end and kicker Joe Walton ‘65 and quarterback Les Kish ‘66—looked back on the game itself, the frustrating season that preceded it, and what it meant to them to play in the 100th edition of one of the greatest rivalries in college football.

Story by Tim Hyland

Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014

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