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Lehigh Stampeded by Bison, 48-10

(Photo Credit: Bucknell Athletics)

16 years is a long time to wait for Bucknell to get a league victory over Lehigh.

And on Saturday, the Bison took out 15 years of frustrations on a Lehigh team which was on the back foot from the opening kickoff and never really got back on the right foot.

There's really no other way to describe it: it was a nightmare for the Brown and White.

Freshman RB C.J. Williams stampeded the Lehigh defense for 154 yards, and the Bison would rack up 309 total rushing yards, in a stunning 48-10 win over the Mountain Hawks.


Bucknell won on their homecoming for the first time since 2005, scoring on their first five possessions to get to a 27-0 lead and never really looking back.

"The turnover on the opening kickoff was great for our momentum," Williams said after the game. "We knew this was our game to win against Lehigh. We stepped up as a team from top to bottom."

Senior QB Brandon Wesley will remember this game a very long time, getting free on a bunch of broken plays for 40 yards rushing, while going 16/21 passing for 213 yards and 1 TD.

Running a newly-unveiled pistol formation, the new offense moved the ball extremely effectively against the Lehigh offense.

When Wesley did throw, his favorite target was freshman WR Will Carter, who torched the Lehigh secondary for 130 yards on several big plays.

Perhaps the most important stat for Wesley, though, was 0 - the number of interceptions he threw.  0 was also the number of turnovers the Bison committed.

The Bison forced five Lehigh turnovers, including two interceptions by junior DB Matthew Steinbeck, to help Bucknell get the resounding victory.

To this reporter, the game was lost early in the second quarter, down 13-0.  Lehigh drove the ball effectively down the field - one of the Mountain Hawks' rare good offensive drives of the game - where a forced pass was tipped and intercepted by DB Tajh Boyd that was promptly converted into points.

From there, the game was a slow, painful go for Lehigh, with an apparent collarbone injury to senior QB Brandon Bialkowski the final, humiliating blow to this nightmarish game everyone associated with Lehigh would rather forget.

It was a smothering performance defensively for Bucknell, where the Bison would hold the Mountain Hawks to under 300 yards of total offense for the first time in recent memory, while forcing turnovers from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd string Lehigh quarterbacks.

What could have been the play of the game was the picture in the leader, where Williams leaped over a Lehigh defender to get an incredible touchdown up the middle.

To Bucknell, hats off to them.  It's not easy to be the victim 15 times straight against any opponent, let alone a league opponent, and the Bison made the most of their moment in the sun, knocking off a nationally-ranked team with playoff ambitions.  Head coach Joe Susan was heard loud and clear: whatever happens this year, and the Patriot League playoff race is not entirely in their own hands, the Bison have returned to relevancy in the Patriot League.

"This was a big win for us and a statement win for the team to show who and what they are," Susan said.

As for Lehigh, they'll have two weeks to see if they can make things right - and likely, if the initial reports are accurate, with either junior QB Matt McHale or freshman QB Nick Shafnisky.


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