The Lehigh Mountain Hawks line up for a snap against the Lafayette Leopards at Goodman Stadium. The Patriot League announced it has canceled all fall sports due to the pandemic. (Sam Henry/B&W Staff)

Game preview: The 154th meeting of The Rivalry


Game Info: The Lehigh football team (2-8, 1-4 Patriot) will travel to Easton, Pennsylvania, to take on the Lafayette Leopards (3-7, 2-3 Patriot) at Fisher Stadium. The game will be the 154th time the two foes meet. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.

Lehigh’s previous game: After getting its first win in eight weeks versus Bucknell on Nov. 3, Lehigh once again fell short in a loss versus Colgate on Nov. 10. The undefeated Patriot League champions defeated the Mountain Hawks in their home stadium 48-6. Though Lehigh was able to break through a potent Raider defense that has shut out five teams this season and allowed only 29 points through nine games, Lehigh could not overcome Colgate’s offensive power. Senior quarterback Brad Mayes completed 8-of-31 passes and threw for 126 yards. Mayes’ only score of the game was an impressive 30-yard TD pass to freshman wide receiver Raymond Falcone. The Mountain Hawk offense was held to only 48 rushing yards, while the defense allowed 282 yards on the ground and 177 more in the air.

Last Lehigh vs. Lafayette matchup: Last year, the Rivalry game was held at Goodman Stadium and the Mountain Hawks defeated Lafayette 38-31 to win the Patriot League Championship. The win marked Lehigh’s third straight Rivalry victory and 12th ever Patriot League Championship. The Mountain Hawks came back late in the fourth quarter, in which they trailed by three but scored 10 to end the game. Mayes was named Most Valuable Player, completing 26 of 35 passes and throwing for 397 yards. Then-junior running back Dom Bragalone breached the 100-yard rushing mark, his seventh straight game with over 100 yards. Lafayette leads the all-time series 78-70-5, but Lehigh has taken eight of the last 10 meetings, including three straight.

Implications of the game: Though the results of the 154th meeting of The Rivalry are meaningless in terms of a shot at a Patriot League title or a playoff run, bragging rights are certainly enough to fuel either team’s fire. For Lehigh’s senior class, a win would mean an undefeated record versus the Leopards.

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