Lehigh wins Georgetown Patriot League matchup with walk-off field goal

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Lehigh football extended its record to 3-0 in the Patriot League and 4-3 overall after a 27-24 win against Georgetown on Saturday, Oct. 26.

The Mountain Hawks jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after a field goal from senior kicker Austin Henning and a 32-yard touchdown run from freshman running back Zaythan Hill. After one successful field goal from the Hoyas in the first half, Lehigh entered halftime with a seven-point edge. 

Georgetown raised its intensity in the second half, scoring on the team’s first possession to push the score to 10-9. Two possessions later, Georgetown began to take control of the game. A 25-yard touchdown pass helped the Hoyas establish a 16-10 lead after three quarters. 

Lehigh quickly reasserted itself, finding its way to the end zone with a 1-yard run from freshman running back Nate Hope. Hope recorded a second touchdown shortly after, extending the Mountain Hawks’ lead to 24-16 with 2:55 left in the game.

But Georgetown’s 72 yard touchdown pass, coupled with a successful 2-point conversion attempt, tied the game at 24-24 with 1:23 remaining.

Senior quarterback Tyler Monaco drove down the field, earning good field position in the final seconds of the game, effectively setting up Henning for his game-winning field goal. 

While the back-and-forth matchup was suspenseful until the final seconds, Henning said the score was largely a result of the team’s ability to avoid getting flustered and executing properly. 

“Getting the ball back with a minute and 20 seconds left, I just focused on staying cool and calm,” Henning said. “Props to our offense for getting it down there that quickly. It was basically an extra point. The great snap from (junior long snapper) Jack Dean, a good hold by (junior quarterback) Addison Shoup, and the rest of the guys did a good job of blocking.”

Hope attributed much of the team’s success to the offensive line. He said the players in these positions carried out the plays exactly as they had been during the practices leading up to the game. 

Lehigh Mountain Hawks freshman running back Nate Hope gets tackled during the game against Georgetown on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, at Goodman Stadium. Lehigh beat Georgetown 27 to 24. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

“We knew we had to have a big push from the (offensive) line, and they did that the entire game,” Hope said. “We ran the play the whole practice this week, and we just made a big play.”

Coach Tom Gilmore said he was pleased with the win, but was especially proud of the team. He said the team’s most recent wins are a reflection of the commitment and grit each of his players put in at practice everyday. 

“Don’t leave a Lehigh game until after the final whistle,” Gilmore said. “Our guys found a way to win the last four games in a very dramatic fashion. We’re doing a lot of good things, and the improvement is there. If we can resolve a couple of minor things, we’re going to win more games this year.”

The Mountain Hawks will host the Holy Cross Crusaders in its fourth Patriot League showdown on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

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