Liveblog: Lehigh at Princeton
By Stephen Wood • Sports Editor • September 21, 2013
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For the first game of the 2013 football season, we’re doing our first ever liveblog on the new website. Stay here for up-to-the-minute updates as the Tigers take on the No. 22 Mountain Hawks at Princeton Stadium.
Final stats: Michelsen goes 19-32 for 210 and two INTs. Epperly goes 6-8 for 100 yards and a TD. Atwater rushes 13 times for 111 yards and 2 scores. Roman Wilson had a day, with 168 yards and a TD. Matt Costello had 4 catches for 47 yards. Notably, Lehigh QB Brandon Bialkowski threw for 430 yards and 2 TDs.
Roman Wilson’s 184 yards and TD weren’t enough to overcome sloppy special teams play and 2 interceptions, not to mention Bialkowski’s phenomenal 2nd half.
A year ago, Tiger fans would have killed for a one-point loss to the No. 22 team in the country, but after Princeton led for most of the game and completely dominated the first half, this one will be especially tough for the Orange and Black to swallow.
Bialkowksi takes a knee, and wraps up a career day with a 1-point win. The Tigers start the season with dashed hopes and a bitter defeat.
TO Lehigh… for some reason.
Big rush for Sherman and Lehigh is in Princeton territory. 1:20 left, and very little hope left for Princeton.
Joe Barrett with the pick for Lehigh, which will now try to run out the clock on its 1-point lead from the Princeton 43.
Michelsen’s second INT of the game puts the Tigers in need of a miracle.
Michelsen again had time but couldn’t find an open man. Some fans screaming for pass interference, but no flag.
A dropped pass for the Tigers makes it 2nd and 10 just past half field.
First down Atwater.
The rain has slowed down, which is good news for the Tigers as they will likely have to do most their damage through the air if they hope to make a comeback.
Michelsen’s pass over the middle to Connor Kelley incomplete. Atwater rushes up the middle for 4 yards. 3rd and 6.
Gaffney back to return… but the kickoff goes out of bounds. Good luck for the Tigers.
Lehigh is accustomed to close games this season, as they won their first game in overtime and had a come from behind 3-point victory in their second game.
The Tigers looked unstoppable through the first two periods, but it’s been almost all Lehigh since. A pretty good crowd is still on hand despite the rain to watch as this one comes down the wire.
Dorian Williams, back after an injury in the 3rd quarter, stops Lehigh from converting. 29-28 Lehigh with 2:45 left.
It’s now pouring here at Princeton Stadium. Lehigh has one yard to go to take the lead. 3:03 to go.
QB keeper gets it closer but not quite – Lehigh ball at the 1.
Bialkowski is approaching a Lehigh record for single-game passing yards, and his Mountain Hawks are now at the Princeton 10.
The Tigers just can’t figure out Lehigh’s receivers. Mountain Hawk ball on the Tiger 31, 5:20 to play.
Under 7 minutes to go here at Princeton Stadium. Bialkowski picks up another first down and the ball is now at midfield.
Lehigh once again moves the chains on third down. 1st and 10 on their own 36.
Michelsen had time but couldn’t find anyone, and the Tigers take a tenuous 28-20 lead.
Tigers going for 2 with 4 wideouts
DiAndre Atwater with his second TD of the night, and the Tigers take back the lead.
A carry for Epperly and it’s 2nd and 5 on the 17.
Wilson in motion, Epperly hits DeValve with a bullet for the first.
Here come the Tigers, led by Epperly…
Everyone looks confused and Princeton has to take its first TO of the half with 8:40 to go in the game, down by 1.
3rd and 2 from the 29.
Atwater shakes off a tackler for a solid gain. 2nd and 4. Princeton’s offense is moving fast and looking the best it has all half.
Michelsen to Atwater for another first down at the Mountain Hawk 36.
Michelsen finds Roman Wilson, officially this offense’s workhorse today, bringing it to the Tiger 49.
TOUCHDOWN Lehigh. Bialkowski finds his man wide open again, and the Mountain Hawks take their first lead of the game. 23-22 Lehigh with 11:31 to go.
For the first time all game, the Tigers are in panic mode.
The Princeton defensive backfield is reeling: Bialkowski hurls it downfield and the Mountain Hawks are on the 2.
Bialkowski finds Lee Kurfis wide open and the Mountain Hawks are almost at the 50.
So far this has been the opposite of last year’s Princeton-Lehigh game, where the Tigers looked lethargic in the first half but put together several solid drives later in the game.
Lehigh rolling as the Tigers can’t capitalize on a huge reception by Wilson. The Mountain Hawks will take over at the 27 after Artuyo Gyles blocks Bieck’s FG attempt.
Atwater carries but can’t get a first. Bieck comes out to kick.
Epperly answers back with authority. He finds Wilson for a giant gain and takes the Tigers to the Lehigh 23 on the first play of the possession.
After a good passing game couldn’t get it done in the first half Lehigh’s offense finally looked like the No. 22 offense in the FCS in the third and scored 13 unanswered. Bialkowski had 125 yards that quarter after throwing for 177 in the first half.
The PAT is good, and it’s now a one-possession game. Princeton leads 22-16 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Another short pass and this time Lehigh gets it. The Mountain Hawks find the endzone for their 12th unanswered point.
Bialkowski had Dylan Colgate wide open in the left corner of the endzone, but Bialkowski overshot him.
Yet another third down conversion thanks to Bialkowski & Co. Mountain Hawks at the Princeton 15.
DB Trocon Davis now walking off the field with an injury. Princeton’s defensive backfield has taken a beating this half, although we don’t have word yet on how serious Williams’ or Davis’ injuries are.
Bialkowski just isn’t fazed by third downs, and he gets the job done on third again to take Lehigh to the 30. Another pass complete on the next play and Lehigh is threatening to score on its second straight possession.
Princeton DB Dorian Williams goes down briefly but walks off the field. 2nd and 10 for Lehigh at its own 34.
The Mountain Hawks swarm around Michelsen and he barely gets the ball away in time to avoid the sack. Freshman punter Tyler Roth will come out for his second collegiate punt.
Michelsen, well-protected in the pocket, finds Costello for the first. Wilson runs it to the 40.
Pandy’s kick caught by Gaffney in the back of the endzone. The Tigers will set up shop at their own 25.
It’s now 22-9 Princeton.
Josh Parris tries for the 2-point conversion but it’s no good.
Touchdown Lehigh. Keith Sherman runs it in on 1st and 10 from the 10, and the Mountain Hawks find the endzone for the first time this game with 5:17 to go in the 3rd.
…and the chains are moved again. The Mountain Hawks continue to chip away, now at the Tiger 20.
Another screen pass brings up another 4th and short…
Bialkowski hits his man for the first, and the Mountain Hawks find themselves on the Tiger 32.
4th and 1 for Lehigh…
Short pass, big gain as the screen pass moves the chains again. The Tiger D hasn’t given up many long bombs but Bialkowski has picked Princeton apart with quick throws.
Tigers get in the backfield but Bialkowski scrambles left, ducking out of bounds after picking up the first.
Bialkowski has been solid this game but has also shown a tendency to overthrow receivers, as he did twice in a row just there.
On 4th and 4, Michelsen’s pass is broken up and Lehigh takes over on its own 21.
Atwater keeps the drive alive with another long run, then Michelsen runs for another first. Princeton is at Lehigh’s 25.
Sophomore CB Anthony Gaffney takes it to the 24.
Lehigh will kick to Princeton to begin the second half.
The teams are back on the sidelines with less than 4 minutes to go til the second half gets underway. If you were wondering, the Princeton Uuuuuniversity Band played “Great Balls of Fire” and “I’m a Believer” during their halftime show.
It’s always fun seeing the contrast between a precision marching band like Lehigh’s and Princeton’s “scramble” style band.
Michelsen is 10-14 with 126 yards and an INT. Epperly is 4-5 for 37 yards and a TD.
The Tiger’s defense had an outstanding first half, holding a Lehigh squad that averages 39.5 pointer per game to only three points in the first half.
Bialkowski is 17-25 for 177 yards and an INT.
At the half, the Tigers lead No. 22 Lehigh 22-3. While Mountain Hawk QB Brandon Bialkowski has piled up pretty good yardage, Lehigh has failed to capitalize all but once. Meanwhile, Princeton head coach Bob Surace has tried some wacky formations with varying degrees of success, but a great first half from wideout Roman Wilson, complemented by 61 rushing yards from DiAndre Atwater, has put the Tigers in control.
As Lehigh tries to work out the kinks in its defense, we’ve worked out some technically difficulties up here. Welcome to the liveblog, Associate Sports Editor Damir Golac.
After throwing primarily shorts passes throughout the first half, the Tigers have started throwing deeper, with Wilson’s 33 yard reception setting up the Tiger’s third touchdown of the day.
They’re saying that was technically a pass from Epperly to Wilson, although it didn’t look like it went forward from up here. At any rate, Wilson has 6 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown this half.
Bieck’s extra point attempt is good, and the Tigers are up 22-3 with 37 to go.
Touchdown Roman Wilson! He gets the ball on the pitch and takes it all the way for Princeton’s 3rd TD of the game.
TO Princeton with 42 seconds left in the half.
Epperly on the keep, trying to repeat the first-quarter TD, but nothing doing.
With a little over a minute to go, Michelsen runs to his left and chucks it to Wilson for a 33 yard gain. Princeton has the ball at the 5.
Wilson has been wide open more than a few times so far, and he hauls in another pass to move the chains.
Shortly after, Michelsen hits Wilson up the middle. Princeton has the ball at the Lehigh 49.
Surace tries a truly bizarre formation. We can’t think of a name for it, but the line was split and the play ended with a desperate attempt at a pitch, which hit the ground and was recovered by Michelsen.
After a touchback, Michelsen hands off to Epperly for no gain.
Dorian Williams breaks up Bialkowski’s third-down attempt, but the Mountain Hawks finally get on the board with 3:26 left in the first half with a field goal. 15-3 Princeton.
Make that the 9.
Bialkowski seems pretty comfortable right now, and Lehigh is within striking distance at the Princeton 30.
…but the Mountain Hawks respond with a perfectly-executed pass for a new set of downs.
Rookie linebacker’s Rohan Hylton gets his first career tackle in style: stuffing the Lehigh running back for a 7-yard loss.
Epperly just led a 91-yard drive, with plenty of help from sophomore Atwater, who’s really made his presence known today.
Bieck’s extra point attempt is good, and it’s 15-0 Princeton.
QB dive, touchdown Epperly!
Atwater’s having a day: his reception brings it to the 14 and he then runs it to the 4.
Epperly chucks it to DeValve, who nearly came down with it in the endzone. Pass interference called, bringing the Tigers to the 21.
Well, whatever just happened worked. Michelsen went in motion, Epperly handed off to Atwater, and it’s a Tiger first down. Epperly then finds Costello, bringing the Tigers to the 50. Evidently Lehigh’s defense is as confused as I am as to who’s playing what position down there.
Epperly and Michelsen line up together again, this time with Epperly as QB.
Lehigh using lots of screen passes to get past what has been a pretty solid Princeton pass rush. The Tiger D cracks down, though, and it’s 4th and 5.
Bialkowski’s pass up the middle cuts straight through Princeton’s defense and the Mountain Hawks are on the Princeton 46.
Michelsen nearly finds Wilson in the endzone (about where Epperly found him against Harvard that time… remember?) but the reception was broken up and the Tiger offense will leave empty-handed after a blocked field goal by Lehigh’s Ricky Layton.
Passes to Kelly and Wilson move the Tigers well into Mountain Hawk territory – 1st and 10 on the 19.
The first quarter ends with the Tigers up by 8. The Mountain Hawks were driving until Bhaya’s interception, which set up a quick touchdown by the Tigers. Both offenses have been moving quickly and switching things up, and DiAndre Atwater has 25 yards and a touchdown on two carries.
Connor Michelsen’s pass complete… to Quinn Epperly. Woah.
Evan Kapatos’ sack leads to a 37-yard field goal attempt, but the Mountain Hawks can’t make it happen and the Tigers take over at the 20
Princeton leads 8-0 after Atwater ran for a touchdown, but Lehigh is driving in the Tigers’ red zone.
After some difficulties with the internet in the press box, we’re back! I hope…
…and we’re up with about half an hour until we’re underway here at Princeton Stadium. As Lehigh and Princeton warm up, five Ivy League schools are playing or have already played. Brown kicked off its season by dismantling Georgetown 45-7 and Yale won handily as well, downing Colgate 39-22. Meanwhile, Columbia was crushed 52-7 by Fordham. Cornell and Harvard have both taken solid leads well into the second half.