After giving up five touchdowns in five possessions in the first half, Lehigh was no match for No. 12 Fordham University’s high-powered offense.
Fordham racked up 378 yards in the first half and 587 total yards on its way to a 48-27 win. The team improved to 7-1 on the year as Lehigh fell to 1-6.
Fordham quickly drove down the field on its first drive of the game and scored with Chase Edmonds’ first of his five touchdowns in the game.
Fordham managed to score points on almost every drive of the game.
Lehigh did have a couple of bursts of momentum in the second quarter. After trailing 21-0 halfway through the second quarter, senior running back Rich Sodeke broke free for a 24-yard touchdown. Sodeke finished with 90 yards on 12 carries.
Despite giving up a touchdown just a couple of minutes later, Lehigh bounced back quickly. Senior wide receiver Josh Parris jumped up between three Fordham defenders and snatched the ball out of the air for a 32-yard touchdown. Parris totaled 83 yards on eight catches on the day, almost an identical output to last week.
These bursts of momentum were short-lived, as Lehigh’s defense was no match for the Rams’ offense, which quickly scored to go into the half with a three-touchdown lead.
Throughout the second half, Fordham’s offense continued to power down the field and rack up points.
Despite the loss, Lehigh’s sophomore quarterback Nick Shafnisky had a positive game, throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions. Shafnisky ran for 87 yards on 17 carries and the three passing touchdowns were tied for a season-high.
Fordham scored quickly to start the third quarter on Edmonds’ fifth touchdown of the game. Lehigh attempted to stay in the game with a three-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Tyler Coyle later in the third quarter.
Lehigh put together another drive shortly after that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Troy Pelletier. However, the team failed to complete the two-point conversion and were already down by too much to amount a comeback.
One overall positive for the Mountain Hawks was the return of sophomore running back Brandon Yosha, who had missed multiple games due to injury. Yosha finished with four carries for 16 yards.
Another positive was the lack of turnovers for Lehigh. Shafnisky went his second game in a row without throwing an interception. The team also did not lose a fumble, going the whole game without committing a turnover.
The Lehigh team, however, lacked with third and fourth down conversions. Of the 14 third downs that Fordham faced, they converted nine of them. On two of those misses, Fordham was able to convert on fourth down to continue its drives.
With the loss, Lehigh falls to 0-2 in the Patriot League, putting them tied for last place. The Hawks also have the worst overall record in the conference.
Lehigh will have another try for its first Patriot League win as the team travels to face Georgetown University next Saturday at 12 p.m.