It wasn’t the season any Lehigh fan envisioned, a tumultuous 2-8 season that featured a lot of frustration and discord.
So you might have forgiven Lehigh fans a little bit of cynicism when they came to Easton this afternoon about their prospects for a win against their bitter Rivals Lafayette.
Instead, on the very first offensive game, a sack by DE Julian Lynn of Lafayette QB Sean O’Malley caused the ball to pop free, floating right into the hands of DE Davis Maxie, who rumbled 57 yards to allow the Mountain Hawks to surge to a 7-0 lead.
It got even better for Lehigh.
Taking advantage of Lafayette miscues, Lehigh’s offense would grind out the yards against Lafayette’s tough defensive front with Lehigh/Lafayette MVP Dominick Bragalone. The South Williamsport, PA native ground out 107 tough yards and scored 3 touchdowns in the 34-3 romp.
The story involved turnovers and special teams. Along with the Maxie runback for a score, Lehigh would constantly make Lafayette pay for their mistakes.
A high snap on a punt attempt was recovered at the Lafayette 1 yard line, setting up Bragalone’s first score, and a fumble on a punt return, recovered by CB Marquis Wilson, set up Bragalone’s second.
Bragalone’s third touchdown came off of a grinding 11 play, 68 yard drive in the 4th quarter where the Lafayette defense made Dominick earn every single yard.
Bragalone’s performance allowed him to finish as Lehigh’s all-time point scoring leader with 312, with 45 career rushing touchdowns and 4,336 rushing yards – both Lehigh records.
Additionally, with the victory head coach Andy Coen tied legendary head coach Bill Leckonby as the all-time wins leader at Lehigh as well.
In a season with more downs than ups, this season-ending win was one that finally left Lehigh Nation heading home with smiles.
Chuck has been writing about Lehigh football since the dawn of the internet, or perhaps it only seems like it. He’s executive editor of the College Sports Journal and has also written a book, The Rivalry: How Two Schools Started the Most Played College Football Series.
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