Villanova RB Justin Covington ran 18 times for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 51 yard power run in the second quarter, as the Wildcats cruised to a 47-3 win over Lehigh at Murray Goodman Stadium.
The Wildcats got on the board twice in the first quarter with a field goals of 35 and 49 yards by Cole Bunce, and Covington would punctuate a 7 play 61 yard drive with a 13 yard run to give Villanova their first touchdown.
As the game progressed, Villanova put on a clinic as to why they should be considered a serious contender for the FCS Championship, completely overwhelming Lehigh’s offense, limiting them to 139 total yards and a net -12 yards rushing on 20 plays. On offense, they gashed the Mountain Hawk defense for 509 yards.
Lehigh’s only score was set up at the end of the first half after LB Mike DeNucci nabbed an interception which set up a 34 yard FG by Dylan Van Dusen, making the score 20-3 at halftime.
But Villanova’s defense would shut out the Mountain Hawks the rest of the way, for good measure forcing a grand total of 6 turnovers, including two interceptions by DB Christian Benford of Lehigh QB Cross Wilkinson.
Villanova QB Daniel Smith would end with 13-21 passing for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns. Two of those would go to local product WR Dez Boykin, who ended with 3 catches for 90 yards. One was a 15 yard pass that was dropped in the end zone perfectly by Smith, while the second was a 61 yard bomb where the Whitehall, PA native broke free from Lehigh’s pass coverage.
Villanova notched 4 sacks for 36 yards, while DL Peter Fallon led the Wildcats with 2 tackles for loss. Pete Haffner would lead Lehigh with 11 tackles, while Mikhari Sibblis would get Lehigh’s only individual sack on the afternoon.
Lehigh travels to Richmond next week to take on another CAA opponent. the Spiders, while the Wildcats host Bucknell at home.
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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