Lehigh football lost to Holy Cross on Oct. 30. Their next match up is against Bucknell on Nov. 6. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh falters to Holy Cross as program continues losing streak


Lehigh football lost 31-12 to Holy Cross on Oct. 30 at Goodman Stadium.

Lehigh got off to a fast start, recovering a Holy Cross fumble on the opening kickoff. 

Beginning on the Holy Cross 14 yard-line, Lehigh was set up with great field position.  

Lehigh has struggled with red-zone offense all season, converting touchdowns on only 23.5 percent of red-zone trips.  

The Mountain Hawks were only able to advance seven yards and settled for a field goal to start the game.  

Lehigh’s defense held strong in the first quarter, preventing the Crusaders from scoring. With 52 yards passing and five first downs, Lehigh ended the quarter up 3-0.

Midway through the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Dante Perri was sacked by Holy Cross for a loss of 11 yards. This led to good field position for Holy Cross on the ensuing drive. The Crusaders capitalized for the team’s first touchdown, taking a 7-3 lead. 

Holy Cross was able to close out the second quarter with another touchdown, putting the team up 14-3. The first half ended with Lehigh gaining 76 yards and Holy Cross gaining 156 yards. 

Throughout the second quarter, Lehigh’s offensive struggles continued both in the passing game and the running game.

At the end of the quarter Lehigh struggled to string together more than one first down. A mental mistake on the last play of the half led to a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. 

“You have to keep trusting the process,” junior wide receiver Jalen Burbage said. “Go day in and day out and we got to trust what the coaches tell us.” 

Lehigh came out hot in the third quarter, narrowing the lead and scoring twice.

Lehigh’s best sequence of the day was a 10-play 44-yard drive that took up over 10 minutes of game action and resulted in a field goal. That score cut the lead to 14-6.

The defense had a strong quarter, not allowing any points while making plays all over the field.

Sophomore LaTreil Wimberly recorded an interception in the third quarter, but Lehigh was not able to capitalize. 

The following drive, Lehigh sophomore Liam McIntyre recorded his second sack of the game to force a punt for the Crusaders. 

Junior wide-receiver Tommy Lewis came bursting through the line and blocked the Holy Cross punt, giving Lehigh the ball at Holy Cross’s nine yard line. 

On the first play after the blocked punt, Burbage caught a pass from Dante Perri to score his first touchdown of the year and cut the lead to 14-12.

“I got that first touchdown and will try to keep getting more,” Burbage said. 

The game got away from Lehigh in the fourth quarter. Holy Cross scored 17 unanswered points in the quarter. 

“Keep playing hard and finish through all four quarters,” McIntyre said. “I think every week we come out, we play tough, we show what we are capable of and sometimes we don’t finish it for the full 60 minutes.” 

Holy Cross scored two touchdowns and converted a 50 yard field goal in the fourth quarter, putting them up 31-12.

At the end of the game Lehigh finished with 122 yards while Holy Cross finished with 233.

“We needed to finish. Finish plays, finish the series and certainly finish the game,” coach Tom Gilmore said. “I don’t think it’s due to a lack of effort and I don’t think it’s due to a lack of focus. I think our guys are playing really hard. We are still prone to making mistakes and it certainly catches up to us.” 

On Nov. 6, Lehigh will return to action against Bucknell University in Lewisburg.

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