What looked to be a blowout by the end of the first half turned out to be an exciting contest, as the Lehigh Mountain Hawks found themselves holding on against a determined Princeton Tigers squad that came up just short in the 2012 opener for the orange and black.
Lehigh senior Zach Barket opened the scoring with a five-yard TD run in the first quarter, staking the Mountain Hawks to an early 7-0 lead. After a Jake Peery 23-yard second-quarter field goal, the Hawks scored again with just over three minutes remaining in the half.
The score opened up a 17-0 lead against a Princeton team that could not get on track offensively.
But, in the second half, the 7,346 in attendance at Goodman Stadium saw the Tigers mount a fourth quarter comeback when Akil Sharp (22 carries for 79 yards and 2 TDs) scored on a 13-yard run. When the extra point was blocked, Lehigh led 17-6.
Princeton quarterback Connor Michelsen (14-of-30 for 103 yards) drove the team a second time in the fourth quarter, hitting Roman Wilson with a pass that got the Tigers to the Lehigh 1-yard line. From there, Princeton capped the drive with Akil Sharp's second touchdown on the ground.
The Tigers elected to go for the two-point conversion, and Michelsen hit Roman Wilson to cut the deficit to 17-14 with just under five minutes remaining.
The Tigers took possession of the ball again, but when Michelsen overthrew receiver Shane Wilkinson on third down, Princeton elected to punt and rely on their defense to get the ball back.
With Lehigh facing a third down and needing 11 yards for a first down, hopes of a Princeton comeback were dashed: QB Mike Colvin hit Dylan Colgate to move the sticks and seal the win for Lehigh.
Princeton faces Georgetown next at 7:00pm EDT on Friday, September 21 at Princeton Stadium.