The Lehigh Mountain Hawks prepare their defensive line during the game at Goodman Stadium. The Mountain Hawks was defeated by Princeton 32-0. (Benjamin Wang/B&W Staff)

Lehigh’s offensive struggles continue in 32-0 loss to Princeton


Lehigh was defeated by Princeton 32-0 on Saturday, Sept. 18 at Murray H. Goodman Stadium.

Quarterback Cross Wilkinson threw for 55 yards and quarterback Dante Perri threw for 62 yards.

Princeton gained 516 yards throughout the game, while Lehigh only gained 92 yards of total offense.

“A lot of things got exposed today, and we need to find ways to get better,” Coach Tom Gilmore said.

Lehigh could not gain any momentum on the ground, their rushing attack netted negative 25 yards.

The Mountain Hawks only gained seven first downs during the game, compared to Princeton’s 26.

On the opening drive of the game, Princeton executed well, converting two third downs, leading to a Dylan Classi rushing touchdown.

Princeton was efficient on third down throughout the afternoon, going 8-17 on third down conversions.

After a three and out for Lehigh, Princeton’s quarterback Cole Smith threw a 34 yard touchdown to extend Princeton’s lead to 13-0. Princeton maintained that lead at the end of the first quarter.

During Lehigh’s second drive, Princeton’s Jeremiah Tyler got ejected for targeting after a tackle on Zaythan Hill. Every targeting penalty is reviewed; however, the system was broken and so the referees were unable to review the play and were forced to confirm the call on the field.

At the end of the first quarter Lehigh’s offense was able to string together positive plays until an unnecessary roughness penalty stalled the drive and Lehigh was forced to punt.

“There were a couple times today where we got to the other side of the 50, but we shot ourselves in the foot,” Gilmore said. “Two of the times we had penalties thwart those drives.”

At the end of the first quarter Lehigh had 39 total yards and three first downs, but failed to score.

The Mountain Hawks couldn’t muster any rushing attack, netting negative 3 total rush yards at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter Lehigh’s defense limited Princeton to three points.

Despite the strong defensive effort, Lehigh’s offense continued to struggle. The Mountain Hawks netted negative 1 total yards of offense in the second quarter. Lehigh was able to throw for 13 yards, but the rushing attack lost 14 yards.

Lehigh’s offensive struggles forced their defense to be on the field for over 35 minutes during the game.

At half time Princeton led 16-0.

On the opening possession of the second half Lehigh’s Cross Wilkinson was sacked by Uche Ndukwe, forcing a fumble which was recovered by Princeton’s Mathew Jester. This was the only turnover of the game for either team.

Lehigh’s defense stood tall in the beginning of the third quarter, forcing a turnover on downs after the fumble.

However, Princeton rebounded and had 175 total yards of offense in the third quarter, compared to Lehigh’s 21 yards of total offense.

Lehigh’s defense allowed 16 points in the third quarter, pushing Princeton’s lead to 32-0 with one quarter remaining.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter, and Lehigh fell to Princeton 32-0.

Lehigh’s defense struggled to control the passing attack from Princeton, Princeton threw for 412 yards.

Lehigh’s offensive line had a strong game against Princeton, only allowing three sacks throughout the game.

Despite the protection, the offense failed to gain momentum throughout the game. Lehigh only had six first downs compared to Princeton’s 22 first downs during the game.

Lehigh struggled on third down going 1-11, and failed to complete either of their fourth down conversions.

Lehigh’s offense has failed to score a touchdown in each of the first three games of the season.

“Win or lose, it doesn’t matter,” Gilmore said. “You always have to learn your lessons from the previous game and move on.”

The Mountain Hawks looks to bounce back in their first league game against Colgate on Sept. 25 in Hamilton New York.

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