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Lehigh 21, Fordham 14, final

Lehigh does what they need to do by beating Fordham. A game which featured a defensive struggle, with field position and special teams playing a key role.

A thrilling (or nerve-wracking) fourth quarter was featured. Fordham completing a long pass to Lehigh's 5 yard line, and Brannan "Game Ball" Thomas snagging the interception out of the end zone.

Then the Lehigh offense chewed up 4 minutes off the clock, with WR Lee Thomas making a key grab; and TB Eric "Game Ball" Rath powering the 96-yard drive. Rath punched it in, making the score 21-7.

I thought that the game was over at that point. However, the big-play ability of Fordham QB Derric Daniels struck again, when he completed another 35-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 21-14.

Then, my nightmare continued, after Fordham recovered an onsides kick, and on the next play from scrimmage, DB Duane Smith got flagged for roughing the passer, setting up the Rams the Lehigh 34 with a little under 1:30 to play. Time to reach for the aspirin.

However, on a huge 4th down and one, Duane Smith stuffed Fordham RB James Prydatko, sealing the victory. Not the way I would draw it up, but I will take it! It was a game of trench warfare, hard hitting, and special teams. It's probably was a good game to get ready for what is coming next week from Lafayette. (Think that game is a "must-win"?)

The rest of the goings-on around I-AA now give a much clearer view of the postseason situation. With Lafayette winning and Colgate losing, the 140th edition of "The Game" will now be for more than a year's worth of bragging rights - it will also be for the Patriot League title and a I-AA playoff berth.

Elsewhere in games of note which may affect Lehigh, Delaware held on to beat Richmond, and William & Mary (as I predicted) held on to beat James Madison in the A-10. That loss, coupled with Furman's and Georgia Southern's wins, may have punctured the hope of any A-10 team being one of the top 4 seeds of the playoffs. However, it may have punched William & Mary's ticket for being the A-10 champion. Should Lehigh win, and some crazy stuff happen, Lehigh could still conceivably be to top seed in the East as well.

Tune in tomorrow for more on the I-AA playoff situation.. and just in case you needed any more hype for next weekend - I'll try to start the hype machine in earnest.


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