Lehigh football can’t slow down Princeton offense, fall 52-26

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Princeton University football has not been kind to its Lehigh Valley opponents this year.

One week after blasting Lafayette College, 40-7, Princeton overpowered Lehigh on its way to a 52-26 win Saturday in New Jersey.

A combination of Princeton’s unique offensive attack and Lehigh’s four second-half turnovers doomed the Hawks in their second matchup against an Ivy League opponent this year.

“We made too many penalties and turnovers, and every time we did something good, something bad happened,” coach Andy Coen said in his post-game interview. “Last week we overcame all that stuff, we were good on the mental toughness side of things, but the kids didn’t bring it today the way we needed to.”

Lehigh did have a few bright spots in its otherwise weak offensive outing. Freshman running back Dom Bragalone returned from a rib contusion that kept him out of the second half of last week, rushing for a career-high 129 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore wide receiver Troy Pelletier also continued to show promise in his second year, catching a career-high 15 passes for 158 yards. He added a 7-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Ultimately, the Mountain Hawks were over-matched on defense, missing tackles and allowing 50 points for the second time this season.

Lehigh hung around in the first half, even holding a 13-10 lead in the middle of the second quarter. However, the Tigers scored 21 unanswered points and didn’t allow Lehigh back in the game.

Down 31-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter, Lehigh gained a bit of momentum when senior defensive back Olivier Rigaud forced and recovered a fumble, taking it back 72 yards for a touchdown. But as Coen alluded to, as soon as Lehigh did something positive, something negative countered it, as the extra point was blocked.

Princeton would score three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter on its way to doubling Lehigh’s score.

Lehigh will get another chance at an Ivy League opponent next Saturday, Oct. 3 against Yale University at home.

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