Sunday, September 6, 2009

Central Connecticut State University?!

So that happened. Yes, the Lehigh Mountain Haws lost to the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils 28–21 in FCS football action. While I thought this would be an easy win, I did not realize how much turnover there was in the skill positions on our team. There were a lot of names that I did not recognize from the three years prior. Despite being picked to finish in a tie for third in the Patriot League, the Mountain Haws did not show much hope in this game.

The first half was full of mistakes, and CCSU looked like they were allergic to scoring, fumbling the ball on consecutive plays inside the red zone, losing the ball on the second one. Luckily for them, Lehigh could only go three and out on their second drive after throwing an interception on their first play of the game. The ball went back and forth without punts or scoring as the CCSU quarterback threw an interception in the end zone, the Lehigh quarterback threw an interception on the next play, then CCSU had another lost fumble. After all of that, Lehigh had a punt blocked, which led to CCSU's first touchdown.

But wait, it gets better. Lehigh returned the ensuing kickoff over 90 yards for a touchdown after it looked like the returner was going to have the ball go over his head. And this was all in the first quarter! Both teams managed to have sustained scoring drives in the second quarter, so the game was tied at 14 at halftime. After the band did their thing, spelling out 76 while playing "76 Trombones," CCSU scored another touchdown on another long drive in the second half. Lehigh answered right back again as QB Clark found a receiver that the defense lost so he could run uncontested for a touchdown. When it looked like Lehigh was about to take the lead for the first time with a pass to an open tight end in the end zone, Clark lobbed the pass so badly that it was intercepted. Instead, CCSU started at the 20-yard line and drove all the way for the winning touchdown.

The fourth quarter showed how the CCSU offense was killing Lehigh all day when they were not making mistakes: the quarterback option and other runs up the middle. Lehigh could not muster anything significant in the fourth and watched most of the minutes tick by when CCSU had the ball. The teams met at midfield for postgame handshakes without any ugly incident like was seen in Thursday night's Oregon-Boise State game.

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