In a twist, the 2018 edition of this regional rivalry featured a lot of defense on both sides – until a back-breaking 3rd quarter from the perpective of the Mountain Hawks.
Down 20-3, as Villanova’s defense stopped the Mountain Hawk offense drive after drive in the 3rd quarter, Wildcats QB Zach Bednarczyk was cooly converting drives, first an 11 play, 67 yard drive that ended with a 35 yard FG by PK Drew Kresge, then a perfect threaded needle by Bednarczyk to WR Jarrett McClenton to help give Villanova an insurmountable 31-3 lead.
The stats don’t totally reflect how good Lehigh’s defense played in this game. Senior LB Mark Walker had 11 tackles and the Mountain Hawks defense had 9 tackles for loss and gave up 22 first downs despite being on the field for more than 35 minutes. The game was in reach mostly thanks to them, who held pretty well until the back-breaking 3rd quarter.
Lehigh also had to navigate the loss of senior RB Dominick Bragalone to an apparent head injury midway through the second quarter. For the game Lehigh was only able to average 1.8 yards per carry on the ground for a grand total of 32 yards.
Bednarczyk ended up 215 yards passing, going 16-29 with 3 TD passes and 1 interception.
Lehigh will travel to Annapolis, Maryland next week to take on Navy, where the road doesn’t promise to get any easier.
Tune in later for a more comprehensive recap.