Junior wide receiver Jorge Portorreal sidesteps Villanova players on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at Villanova Stadium. Despite Lehigh's loss, Portorreal had a game high of 91 yards. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Mountain Hawks struggle to clinch first victory

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The Mountain Hawks fell to No.24 Villanova 38-10 on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Villanova Stadium. Lehigh has yet to record a win for this season.

After a scoreless first quarter from both sides, Lehigh took an early lead with a 32-yard field goal from senior kicker Austin Henning.

Villanova responded with a field goal and two touchdowns, and Lehigh went into the half trailing by 14 points.

There was hope for the Mountain Hawks in the third quarter as senior quarterback Tyler Monaco threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Jorge Portorreal to cut Villanova’s lead to just seven points.

However, the Wildcats scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter.

Again, the Mountain Hawks struggled to find a response and were unable to stop Villanova from scoring another touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Coach Tom Gilmore said in an interview on Fox Sports Radio that many of Lehigh’s mistakes resembled those made in its first loss against St. Francis last Saturday (14-13).

“The first half, I think we made some of the same errors we did the previous game,” Gilmore said on the Fox Sports Radio postgame show. “Our timing was off; we were trying to do things that we shouldn’t be doing. It was taking us out of sync offensively and same thing defensively. There are certain things we’re trying to do. If we just do it the way we’re coached to do it, we would have been in better shape.”

Portorreal finished with 91 receiving yards, and Monaco threw for 253 yards.

Junior linebacker Pete Haffner led the defense with 13 tackles. Senior linebacker Keith Woetzel and junior defensive back Divine Buckrham both had seven tackles.

Lehigh will travel to the West Coast to face UC Davis (1-1) this Saturday, Sept. 14, to continue the hunt for its first win. Lehigh and UC Davis have not played each other since 1977.

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