It was supposed to be a party for Lehigh running back Dominick Bragalone, but as St. Francis (PA) kicker Eric Bofenkamp lined up for a 30 yard field goal try, it certainly didn’t feel like one.
Bragalone broke the school record for rushing yardage with his 137 yard, 3 TD performance, along the way also tying the school record for rushing touchdowns as well. Dominick got to 3,704 rushing yards with a four yard burst for a first down.
Down 21-19 and recovering possession of the football on downs with 1:53 to play, St. Francis (PA), behind the passing of quarterback Bear Fenimore and the receiving of Cyrus Holder and Terrell Johnson, kept hanging around until the very end, driving all the way to the Lehigh 20 yard line.
Until the Lehigh defensive blocked Bofenkamp’s kick.
The late-game heroics of the special teams unit cemented a solid defensive effort for Lehigh, who held the Red Flash to 300 total yards of offense and only 58 net yards rushing on the afternoon and converted a critical interception, where a tipped ball was expertly brought down by defensive back Donavon Harris to thrwart a late Red Flash drive.
For Lehigh it was a different sort of win than the type they had been accustomed to in the past few years – one set up by defense and special teams rather than a shootout.
“This the type of game that that I don’t know we could have won in the last couple of years,” Andy Coen said afterwards. “As gritty as the kids were today, it was great. I think this type of win is really going to help us going forward.”
On defense, Lehigh defensive back Divine Buckrham led the Mountain Hawks with 11 tackles, 10 of them solo tackles, while safety Riley O’Neil added 8 tackles, including two tackles for loss and safety Sam McCloskey added 7 tackles of his own, including a critical one on a kickoff return where he denied Nick Rinella a touchdown.
Lehigh 21, St. Francis (PA) 19
1Q 6:43 Fenimore 1 yard run (Bofenkamp XP) 7-0 SFU
2Q 10:14 Bragalone 52 yard run (Mish XP) 7-7
2Q 5:37 Bofenkamp 41 yard FG 10-7 SFU
2Q 1:05 Bragalone 2 yard run (Mish XP) 14-10 Lehigh
3Q 5:05 Bofenkamp 27 yard FG 14-13 Lehigh
3Q 2:02 Bragalone 11 yard run (Mish XP) 21-13 Lehigh
4Q 14:13 Bruni 0 yard fumble recovery (Fenimore pass failed) 21-19 Lehigh