Liveblog: Lafayette vs. Princeton
By Stephen Wood • Sports Editor • October 12, 2013
Off to one of its best starts in recent memory, the football team is back in Princeton Stadium this afternoon to take on Lafayette in its last non-Ivy contest of the year and its last home game before heading to Providence and Cambridge in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to this liveblog for all the action as the Tigers (2-1) look to continue their streak of offensive domination against the Leopards (1-3).
Epperly also had 30 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Atwater led the Tigers with 57 yards.
Michelsen was 15-35 with 174 yards, while Epperly completed 13 of 20 for 4 TDs and 91 yards.
Roman Wilson was no slouch himself, racking up 80 yards and 2 scores.
A large crowd stuck around til the end, and they cheer as the Band plays “Old Nassau” for the victors. Connor Kelley named player of the game – he had 8 catches for 102 yards and a TD.
And that’s all she wrote. The Tigers improve to 3-1, their best record through 4 games since 2006, and put up 42 points or more in three straight games. The defense had problems at first but held Lafayette to just 6 points in the second half, an encouraging sign given that almost the opposite happened against Lehigh.
Just over a minute to go and the Tigers move the chains again. We’re ready to call this one a victory for Princeton.
Gain of about 5 there, through sheer Will Powers. And yes, I’m going to make that joke every game.
Michelsen draws the Leopards offsides – first down, Princeton at the Lafayette 41.
Will Powers dodging all over the place on that run. He won’t quite get the first, but that was impressively elusiveness.
3rd and 8 now with Michelsen running the show.
Fun fact: Peter Frampton was also born in 1950, the last time Princeton scored 40 or more points in three straight games. I’d love to hear Roman Wilson sing “Baby, I Love Your Way.”
DiAndre Atwater keeps pumping his legs and proves difficult to bring down. 8 yard gain, that.
Princeton gets possession on its own 30, up 42-26 with 5:07 left in the game.
The ball flew loose – not sure if it was a fumble, but either way the Tigers will take over.
Tigers shut the door on 3rd and 10, and the Leopards might have to go for it from the 30.
Scheuerman finds a hole and goes on a ramble, matriculating the ball to the Tiger 28.
Dzurik hits his man and moves the chains. Lafayette hasn’t scored much this half, but the offense hasn’t looked too bad.
3rd and 4.
Another flag down – this has been a highly-penalized game. This time, it’s false start on the offense.
Short pass + good blocking = Lafayette first down on the Tiger 48.
Squib kick, and the Leopards will take over near the 40.
The Tigers are now on a 31-6 run after that touchdown run.
Notable 1950 births include Julius Erving, Mark Spitz, and Ken Griffey, Sr. Outside the world of sport, notable births include Robbie Coltrane (the British actor famous for portraying Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies), Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito, and late night mainstay Jay Leno.
And that’s the first time since 1950 that the Tigers have scored 40 or more points in three consecutive games.
PAT is good. Tigers lead 42-26 with 9:02 remaining.
Epperly dives, you know the rest.
3rd and 10: with 3 QBs on the field, Michelsen hits Bostic with a dart and he accelerates for the first. Nice little play. 1st and goal on the 3.
After the penalty, it’ll be 1st and 15. The Tigers have been shooting themselves in the paws all game with these penalties.
Michelsen carries for a short gain, Powers sprints forward on third down to move the chains and take Princeton to the Lafayette 16.
Epperly had Roman Wilson open deep on that play but must not have seen him.
Michelsen passes deep to Costello, who almost comes up with a huge play. Tiger ball at the 36.
Re: Damir’s comment: 1950 was also the first year that the legendary comic strip “Peanuts” was first published.
Yet another injury timeout as yet another Leopard goes down. They’ve really been getting banged up today.
The Tigers are one touchdown away from having scored 40+ points in three consecutive games. The last time Princeton accomplished that feat was in 1950, when they scored 45,63, and 47 in consecutive games. The Tigers went 9-0 that year.
Michelsen’s short pass to Kelley gets him a first. Michelsen has looked good with the short passes, less so when he has more time and tries for something downfield.
Atwater with a big run, bringing it to the Lafayette 47.
Epperly just ran a pretty long distance, but a lot of that was just running to the sideline. He picks up 5 yards going forward, though. 2nd and 5 for the Tigers, Michelsen and Epperly on the field.
Dzurik survives an attempted tackle that went straight at the ball, not the guy holding it. Still, the pass goes awry and the Leopards punt.
The Leopards are at their own 39, 3rd and 5.
It’s definitely possible that the Tigers could do that today, especially if Dzurik and the Leopards put up another score to make it a little more interesting.
Princeton has scored 50 and 53 points in its last two games, respectively. Damir’s looking up the last time the Tigers had back-to-back-to-back 40+ point games. He’s looked all the way back to the late 60′s so far, and nothing yet.
Princeton leads Lafayette 35-26 with 13:01 to go in the final quarter.
Michelsen escapes some would-be sackers, but he has to throw it away. Ineffective drive there.
Michelsen throws for the first, but a holding call that elicited quite a reaction from the crowd will bring that back.
Michelsen will re-enter the game now.
The sack has the Leopards facing a 3rd and 16 on their own 29.
Williams went through the line completely untouched. Dzurik didn’t even have a chance to react.
Sack! Dorian Williams takes it to Dzurik as the 3rd draws to a close.
Around the Ivies: Yale and Dartmouth are tied at 13 in the 3rd, Brown has defeated Bryant handily, and Columbia lost to Lehigh 24-10. William & Mary leads Penn early in the first, presumably as Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin look on from somewhere.
The record Princeton single-game record is 5, just so you know…
Epperly now has 4 TD passes today, as he did last game.
Epperly’s throw was perfect on the touchdown pass. Placed the ball exactly where it needed to be for the receiver to jump up and come down with a foot before falling out of bounds.
Epperly with a beautiful pass, Des Smith with a leaping catch. Smith did a great job of getting the foot down in bounds, and the PAT is good. Tigers up 35-26 with 57 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Leopard defense did a good job not biting on Epperly’s fake run.
Epperly comes in in the redzone, overthrows his man in the endzone.
Amazing catch by Kelley! An OK pass by Michelsen, but great hands from his receiver and it’s 1st and goal.
Deep pass looked like it could have been a pick, but Kelley actually almost came down with it. He didn’t though. Again, it looks like the Tigers are going for it on 4th. Michelsen still in.
Micheslen’s passes are simply not going where they need to. Epperly definitely appears to be the better ball thrower at the moment.
3rd and 5 after defensive offsides.
2nd and 10 on the Lafayette 39.
Michelsen hits Kelley for a first.
Michelsen completes his first pass, despite it not being a great throw.
Lescano gets decked on the punt return and the Leopards will be charged with a penalty for interfering with what was (apparently) a fair catch. He really got leveled – surprised he just walked off.
John Hill and Mike Zeuli credited with the drive-killing sack.
At least three Tigers helped bring down Dzurik on that one, and the Leopards will punt.
So here’s 3rd and 9.
Sotereanos looked like he was in pain but got up pretty quickly, unassisted.
Tiger down. Looks to be Greg Sotereanos.
Lafayette stacks the box but the Tiger defense still swarms. 3rd and 9 on their own 41.
Had the defender looked for the ball, that could have easily been a pick.
Pass caught just out of bounds – the refs were uncertain but the Tigers were pretty adamant about it, and the call went their way.
Dzurik’s pass complete to Mark Ross. Another deep pass brought to you in part by Princeton’s defensive backs watching only the receivers, not the ball.
There seem to be some problems lying just beneath the surface on several special teams units (see: kick returns in the first half, the field goal unit in previous games).
The Tigers have come dangerously close to having their last two punts blocked.
And it’s another good one – fair catch at the Lafayette 9.
Roth comes in for his fourth punt.
Lafayette’s Anthony Loyacona will walk off the field under his own power.
And for those of you who are just joining us, it’s 28-26 Princeton right now on a windy and increasingly grayer fall day in the Garden State.
Elsewhere, Harvard has improved to 2-0 in the Ivy League, beating Cornell 34-24.
Player down for Lafayette.
Michelsen’s pass to Epperly (that’s a thing now) incomplete, and the Tigers can’t capitalize on the pick.
After the Leopards did a good job defending the run last drive, the Tigers ran four straight pass plays this time around.
Michelsen overthrows a wide open Kelley. 3rd and 10.
The ball was up in the air for a long time on the interception and was a bit too deep for the intended receiver, giving Hill the perfect opportunity to make the pick.
Michelsen’s out there now for the Tigers. Incompletion on first down, and it’s 2nd and 10 from the 49.
Blatant pass interference on the Tigers’ first play, as Kelley was tripped by the defensive back.
Leopards came out with a weird one-receiver set, and DB John Hill knew his man would be targeted. He got under it perfectly and had a 25-yard return, giving Princeton the ball on its own 36.
Dzurik tosses it to Scheuerman but the blocking isn’t there. 2nd and 11.
Dzurik had plenty of time in the pocket but the Tiger secondary held on strong. The Leopards will move the chains on the next play, though. 1st and 10 on their own 46.
It seemed Epperley had his man open but the pass was not on target.
Now we’ll see how the defense does after an offensive three-and-out. That caused some problems in the first half.
And that drive went nowhere. Roth comes out to punt.
Epperly hands off to Atwater for 4 or 5.
1st and 10 for the Tigers on their own 21.
With Scheurman having 114 yard on 12 carries, Lafayette knew that the Tigers would be focusing on the run and chose the perfect moment for the flea-flicker. The Tigers all bit on the play and the receiver was left completely uncovered on the touchdown pass.
The pass is knocked away by Arrends and Princeton will retain the lead, 28-26. Still, Lafayette just went 72 yards on three plays.
The Leopards will try to knot it up with a 2-pt. conversion.
TOUCHDOWN Lafayette! Ladies and gentlemen, that was a flea-flicker. A perfectly-executed one.
After his INT set up Princeton’s last touchdown, Gaffney can’t thwart that deep pass. Lafayette drives it to the Princeton 37.
Fun fact: This is the 9th game in a row in which Quinn Epperly has been involved in a touchdown. He has 3 TD passes today.
PAT is good. Princeton leads Lafayette 28-20 with 10:23 left in the 3rd.
TOUCHDOWN Princeton! Wilson went in motion, Epperly faked the handoff and found Connor Kelley wide open in the endzone.
Michelsen hits Costello and it’s 1st and goal at the 10.
It appeared as if Dzurik had an opening for a long run after escaping the Tiger pass rush but instead of taking those easy yards elected to go for the big play downfield while on the run and failed.
Michelsen takes over at the 20, hands off to Powers (whom we haven’t seen much of today) for a pickup of 2.
INTERCEPTION – Anthony Gaffney was in perfect position and easily came away with that pass from Dzurik.
Scheuerman carries for not much yardage. I forgot to mention at the half that he ran for 114 yards in the first half.
Roth punts and the fair catch is called for at the Lafayette 8.
Short pass by Michelsen ruled an incompletion after it was tipped in the backfield, but Lafayette and its fans seemed to think it should have been ruled a fumble. It was definitely close…
Epperly’s pass complete to Bostic, because it wouldn’t be a Princeton game if one QB didn’t complete passes to two others.
It appeared as if the tailback simply lost control of the ball as he tried to push for a couple extra yards.
Leicht stripped the ball and Zeuli recovered it. Tigers start off with a nice run from Brian Mills and they ahve the ball on the Lafayette 35.
And they do!
FUMBLE – the Tigers seem to think they have it.
Ross with a nice catch and the Leopards have 1st and 10 on their own 48.
The Tigers kickoff, Lafayette returns it to the 29.
The teams are back on the field, and we’ll get the second half underway in just a minute.
Around the Ivies: Harvard is still up 10 over Cornell – it’s now 27-17 early in the final quarter in Ithaca. Columbia trails Lehigh 24-10. Brown leads Bryant by 20 at the half, and Yale has taken a 10-6 lead over Dartmouth late in the second quarter.
Gaffney is averaging 33 yards per kick return, and Lescano has 23 yards on two punt returns.
As the Princeton Uuuuuuniversity Band takes the field, we’ll take a look at some stats. Somewhat bizarrely, Connor Michelsen leads the Tigers with 26 rushing yards. He is 9-18 with 98 passing yards, having just gotten in a rhythm relatively late. Epperly is 10-13 for with 86 yards and two TD passes, both to – you guessed it – Roman Wilson, who has 10 receptions for 80 yards. Somewhat more bizarrely, Michelsen also has a 13-yard reception.
The halftime Cheeburger Cheeburger Build A Burger Race really went down the wire.
The Hail Mary is incomplete. At the half, it’s Princeton 21 Lafayette 20.
Looks like the Leopards will launch one last lob before the half.
Princeton takes the lead, 21-20 with a few seconds left in the half.
Yep, that’s his longest. Also Princeton’s longest since November 19, 2011.
40 yard kick by Bieck – I’ll have to check, but that almost has to be the longest of his young career.
Kick is good!
Nevermind, after the timeout the Tigers line up to kick.
Michelsen hands off to Epperly who picks up 6. They’ll go for it on 4th and 3 on the Lafayette 23.
3rd and 9 for the Tigers.
Michelsen looks to be in a groove for the first time today. As does Wilson, but when isn’t he? They get Princeton another first.
Michelsen pass complete to Kelley, another Tiger first down
Michelsen 5 yard run, first down Tigers
Now that’s how you cover a pass – SS Matt Arends gets right in the way of the pass, breaks it up and decks the receiver for good measure. Leopards will punt.
3rd and long now for the Leopards.
A sizeable crowd starts to make some noise. Many of those people are probably parents here for freshman parents’ weekend. Lafayette has brought a respectable crowd from Easton, PA.
Nice penetration by the defense to break up that run in the backfield. 2nd and 13 for Lafayette at the Princeton 33.
Incomplete – but there was definitely some interference there. The refs call it and, well, the Leopards can keep their momentum.
Big third down here – if the Tigers can stop Lafayette now it’s a momentum shifter.
Sorry that wasn’t very descriptive – I was dealing with a water spillage caused by the wind up here in the press box.
Lafayette messes up the kick return but holds on and works quickly, taking it to the Princeton 47 on a few plays.
PAT is good and it’s Lafayatte 20, Princeton 18.
Epperly fakes a handoff to Wilson, nearly finds his man in the endzone but leads him too much. He makes up for it on 3rd, though, running for the first. 1st and goal.
Completion to Kelley, offsides on the defense, and it’s 1st and 5 on the 10.
That one just missed being another pick, but instead it brought Princeton to the 15.
…one yard closer to the endzone than they were when he trhew the pick.
Epperly and the Tigers will take over at the Lafayette 32.
Lafayette 20, Princeton 11 with 7:09 remaining the second quarter
Decent punt, but Lescano accelerates big time and brings it close to the 30. The Tigers basically just netted a yard or two from that interception and the ensuing Lafayette three-and-out.
Great defensive stand for the Tigers, and it’s 4th and long from the 5. Not a great place for a punter to be.
Now that I think about it, that interception was way better for Princeton than an incompletion. Lafayette got the ball at the 2 instead of the 33.
Epperly chucks it up to a not-very-open Costello and the Leopards take it away from him at their own 2. Let’s see how the defense does after getting some rest for a change.
Looks like the Tigers are going for it. They need 4.
Score still Lafayette 20, Princeton 11 with 9:13 to go in the first half.
Under pressure, Epperly hits Costello just shy of the first down marker. 4th and 4 on the 33.
Epperly hits wilson again for a good gain but they still have a long way to go on 3rd.
2nd and 24 after a beautiful play is neutralized.
Beautiful play gets the ball inside the 30, but there’s a chop block called on the Tigers. You can hear them arguing the call over the referee’s mic.
Epperly finds a wide open Wilson for another first. I need to go through the stat book and see just how many times that’s happened this season.
1st and 10 at their own 45 for the Orange and Black.
So we’re seeing Epperly now after Michelsen led three straight nothing-doing drives. This game may be the tipping point – Surace could prove he’s sticking with the two-man formula all season, or it might be the moment Epperly takes over full-time duties.
Epperly’s pass just threaded its way through four leopards – two who were about to sack him and two who were covering his receiver. Great throw for a first.
Around the Ivies: Yale and Dartmouth are scoreless in the first. Harvard leads Cornell 13-3 at the half. That game has big implications.
Nice punt return by Max Lescano – it took him several seconds to shake a Leopard off his leg, but he kept his feet moving and broke the tackle.
Tigers rally ’round the ballcarrier on the that, driving him back for a loss of 3. Lafayette will punt.
I’d expect the defense to be tired, but AJ Glass won’t hear of it. Dzurik’s pass complete, but glass hits the receiver and brings him down for a gain of only 3. After a run, it’s 3rd and 1 for Lafayette on their own 35.
On 3rd, Michelsen’s pass almost hits its target, but it falls incomplete. Tigers punt, Leopards take over at their own 14.
Wilson bobbles the quick handoff and a slightly botched run will end the first quarter. Princeton trails Lafayette 20-11.
You know the Princeton defense appreciated that first down.
Short pass to Costello, who does a good job of hanging on and just gets the first.
Michelsen leading the offense for the third consecutive drive. 3rd and 8.
Scheuerman is ALREADY the first player in 3 years to score three rushing touchdowns against Princeton in a single game. And we’re not yet done with the first quarter.
Unlike previous drives, the Tiger defense looked pretty good there. If you take away the consecutive penalties on Gaffney, we’d be talking about what an impressive stand they just made.
PAT is good and it’s 20-11 Lafayette with 1:56 to go in the first. Another crazy first quarter for Princeton.
TOUCHDOWN Lafayette. 1-yard run by Scheuerman
Leopards take it to the 1.
…and Gaffney’s called for a facemask. No doubt about whose fault it was that time. 1st and goal for the Leopards.
Interference called on Gaffney. Automatic first at the 21. Surace has some feelings about the call – it’s possible the receiver was the one who pushed off.
Pass deep down the right side incomplete, but there’s a flag.
Dzurik was hit as he threw but delivered a nice pass, which was broken up by AJ Glass. Leopards going for it on 4th and long.
3rd and long now. A tired Princeton defense will try to keep the Leopards in checkand stop them from scoring on consecutive drives.
Scheuerman’s blockers open up a huge hole for the tailback, who picks up good yardage, but it’s called back. 2nd and 15 on the Princeton 35 for Lafayatte, which leads 13-11.
Ross tries to replicate his earlier one-handed grab, this time in the endzone, but he can’t hang on.
Dzurik picks up big yardage with a deep pass. Lafayette threatening again on the Tiger 31.
Nope, it’s a real punt, with some real yardage on the return. Lafayette will take over on its own 46.
Unless, of course, we see a fake punt here.
Michelsen overthrows Costello. By a lot. That’ll be the first three-and-out for either team.
3rd and 10 for the Tigers. This defense could really use a longer rest than 4 plays.
Michelsen under center. Two consecutive passes fall incomplete thanks to some tight Leopard coverage.
Anthony Gaffney with another outstanding return, accelerating down the line then jumping behind a blocker to bring the kickoff to the Princeton 39.
Princeton 11 Lafayette 13, 5:23 to go in the first. Lafayette’s receivers made some outstanding catches to keep that drive going, and they mixed in runs at the perfect moments.
PAT is good and Princeton is down for the first time since the first quarter of the Georgetown game two weeks ago.
TOUCHDOWN Lafayette – a whole mess of Tigers couldn’t bring Scheuerman down.
Wow, another fantastic grab by Lafayette. The wideout jumps up and manages to keep his feet in bounds for a Leopard first.
Dzurik’s pass is complete, but Jason Ray nails the receiver. Catapano-esque tackle there.
Neither defense has been particularly effective so far.
Lafayette’s ball at the Princeton 32.
Pressure getting to QB Andrew Dzurik, but his pass is corralled with one hand by WR Mark Ross. One of the better catches I’ve seen from this press box gives the Leopards the first.
11-6 Princeton, if you’re just joining us. We’re working on adding a permanent score box to these liveblogs, just so you know.
Great kick return for Lafayette – Princeton’s kickoff squad has been shaky all season. Leopard ball at the 44.
Interesting that Surace is going right back to the Michelsen/Epperly time-splitting formula after Epperly’s career day last Saturday.
A perfect 30-yard kick (not always a guarantee with this field goal unit) adds to Princeton’s lead. 11-6 Princeton, 9:24 to go in the first.
On 3rd and 14, Lafayette’s defense holds. Bieck to try the field goal.
Michelsen’s first pass attempt of the game was just a little too outside for Costello to hold on to. Michelsen hits Wilson on the next play – he fumbles for no apparent reason but recovers.
Nothing but runs so far on this drive. Atwater goes up the middle for another Princeton first down. Lafayette called for a personal foul. Princeton has 1st and 10 on the 10.
Tigers already at the Lafayette 28.
Michelsen left the game in the first quarter last week, head coach Bob Surace seemed unsure as to whether or not he would play this week.
Aaaand Connor Michelsen appears to be healthy. Epperly hands off to him and he breaks a run that’s good for a first down.
That was a 69-yard run by Sheuerman. Caraun Reid blocked the kick. Princeton 8 Lafayette 6, 12:10 to go in the first.
PAT blocked! This has been an exciting first 3 minutes.
TOUCHDOWN Lafayette! Tailback Ross Scheuerman breaks a huge run down the left side.
Bieck’s kick goes for a touchback. The Leopards will take over at the 25.
Epperly finds Wilson wide open in the endzone. Flag flies, but it’s offsides on the defense. On the 2-point conversion, freshman punter Tyler Roth scrambles to his right then throws to the left side, hitting a wide open Des Smith. Princeton 8 Lafayette 0, 12:58 to go in the 1st quarter
Long pass from Epperly to Kelley and a nice grab by Wilson take the Tigers to the redzone.
We’re underway at Princeton Stadium. Gaffney gets solid yardage off the opening kick and Epperly is under center. Tigers have the ball at their own 49.