Nearly all season long, Lehigh football has struggled to stop opposing offenses. But as league play began, the Mountain Hawks made a statement.
The Lehigh team began its Pacing Break with a 21-10 victory over Bucknell University Saturday in Lewisburg.
The Hawks allowed a season-low 233 yards and 10 points on defense to help push the team back to .500. It was Lehigh’s first win over Bucknell (3-2, 0-1 Patriot) since 2012.
Freshman Dominick Bragalone notched his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, running the ball 18 times for 107 yards. It was also the fourth time in six games where he surpassed 100 total yards.
Lehigh (3-3, 1-0 Patriot) made an obvious effort to run the ball more often than it had in earlier games in the season. The team finished with 49 total rushes, including 10 or more carries by three different players.
Other than Bragalone, junior quarterback Nick Shafnisky and sophomore running back Nana Amankwah-Ayeh were the other two guys with double digit carries. Amankwah-Ayeh got his first significant action of his Lehigh career with freshman running back Micco Brisker still sidelined with an injury.
Shafnisky tallied another pair of rushing touchdowns in the game to bring him to six on the season, already tying his 2014 season total. The third touchdown of the game was a pass from Shafnisky to sophomore tight end Drew Paulsen, his first touchdown of his Lehigh career.
Junior linebacker Pierce Ripanti and senior linebacker Noah Robb were the anchors of the Hawks’ stingy defense on the day. Ripanti finished with eight tackles and Robb finished with seven tackles and a sack.
Lehigh will have next week off, but will have another road game after the bye week. The Hawks will face Patriot League powerhouse Fordham University on Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.