Sports | Football

Football falls to Lehigh in final nonconference game of 2013

  • Kiera Wood / Senior Staff Photographer
    Last but not East | Senior linebacker Brian East made eight tackles to help Columbia hold back the Lehigh offense.

Updated 10/14, 12:15 a.m.

Despite delivering its most promising performance of the 2013 season on Saturday afternoon, the football team fell to Lehigh 24-10.

Coming off a dismal 53-7 loss at Princeton, the Lions (0-4, 0-1 Ivy) stayed with a talented Mountain Hawks (5-1) team for much of the game. Only late in the fourth quarter, when Lehigh put together a couple of long drives and Columbia had difficulty moving the ball, did the visitors secure the win.

“I don’t even know really when we felt we had control of the game,” Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said. “Maybe right before halftime, we got up 17-3.”

Despite his team’s improved play, Columbia head coach Pete Mangurian was far from satisfied with the result.

“We lost, so I’m going to come right out and say that at the very beginning,” Mangurian said. “Everybody’s going to want to say it was closer, it was competitive, it was all those things. And this is a black-and-white business, so I don’t want to get lost in that.”

[Related: Despite improvement, Mangurian, team not interested in moral victories]

The Lions did get off to a good start offensively on Saturday afternoon. With sophomore Trevor McDonagh under center, the Lions put together a 69-yard drive on their first possession. Though Columbia was unable to come away with a touchdown, senior kicker Luke Eddy drilled a 23-yard field goal to put the home team up 3-0. The score gave the Light Blue its second lead of the season.

Lehigh countered with a long drive of its own. Quarterback Brandon Bialkowski led his team on a 59-yard drive that set up a 22-yard field goal, which tied the game at three.

A few drives later the Mountain Hawks seemed to be in position to score once again. Lehigh had second-and-goal from the Columbia 17, following a holding penalty. But Bialkowksi’s pass was tipped at the line and intercepted by sophomore defensive tackle JD Hurt. 

Columbia proved unable to turn that takeaway into points. 

With first-year Kelly Hilinski now at quarterback in the second quarter, senior running back Marcorus Garrett put the Lions in good position with a 29-yard run. But the drive eventually stalled, and Eddy missed a 46-yard field goal attempt to keep the game tied.

Lehigh got another chance in the red zone, and this time the Mountain Hawks did not come away empty-handed. Bialkowski found wide-open tight end Tyler Coyle in the end zone from six-yards out to put the visitors up 10-3.

The Mountain Hawks quickly got another chance to add to their lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, sophomore linebacker Max Keefe fumbled the ball and Lehigh recovered to put itself in excellent scoring position. Just a few plays later, Bialkowksi found wide receiver Lee Kurfis from 10-yards out to extend Lehigh’s lead to 17-3. The touchdown was one of two Kurfis would score on the afternoon on his way to a 130-receiving yard performance. Kurfis has had at least 100 receiving yards in every game of the 2013 season.

Neither team scored again for the rest of the half, as the 14-point margin held going into the break.

McDonagh was back at quarterback on Columbia’s first possession of the second half, but was hit hard on third down and helped off the field by trainers as the Lions went three-and-out.

Following that drive, Lehigh got into Columbia’s red zone on its next possession and threatened to make it a three-possession game.

But a holding call turned a first-and-10 from the Columbia 12 into a first-and-20 from the 22, and on the next play senior linebacker Brian East picked off a Bialkowksi pass to neutralize the threat.

The Lions got a big chance a few drives later, starting out the drive with the ball on the Lehigh 49.

Hilinksi completed a big 21-yard pass to senior tight end Hamilton Garner on a fourth-and-five, and on the next play Garrett ran it in from 12 yards out to bring Columbia within a touchdown, 17-10.

[Multimedia: Highlights, analysis of Columbia's 24-10 loss to Lehigh]

Garrett finished with 150 yards on the ground, bouncing back from a difficult outing against Princeton.

“Marcorus had a heck of a game with 150 yards rushing,” Hilinski said. “I thought our offensive line played a lot better—tremendous bounds. We’re not there yet, though.”

Lehigh got some more breathing room early in the fourth quarter, as Bialkowski and Kurfis connected for the second time on an eight-yard touchdown pass to give Lehigh a two-touchdown lead, 24-10.

The Lions were unable to score again, as Lehigh preserved the lead to pick up its fifth win of the season.

eli.schultz@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports 

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Blalock '79 posted on

Appears to be one of the very worst teams fielded by the Lions in my lifetime. We should consider dropping out of the league.

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Puzzled Alum posted on

I think the problem is that the Lions are, historically speaking, starting from a position of weakness. Thus, it would take spending more money than other Ivies in order to reach a position of full competitiveness.

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jim posted on

We should not have a football team!!!!! These players should not have gotten into Columbia college. They should not represent us. They are mostly dumb. Why don't they transfer and lets have no recruits on the football team.

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Ron posted on

I agree with Jim 100%. Other Ivies are larger and can afford to have stupid people on campus. Columbia already has so many Barnard students we cannot afford to have more dummies.

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Anonymous posted on

Ron, that is a terrible thing to say.

Please, let's put an end to anon postings. Come on Columbia!

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ungvar posted on

jim and ron, a shame your posts are semi-literate. I highly doubt that either of you goes to Columbia.

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Anonymous posted on

It could have been much closer.

Spec would like to add the part when Columbia quarterback carried the ball to the edge of the Lehigh end zone, but could not get through. He could not get through because the left goal post was right in front of him. The goal post was too tall (and too solid) for him to assault. Out of options, and thinking back to the FroSci class that he is taking, he improvised as well as he could have, and did the pole-dance with the goal post instead. Needless to say, the Lehigh players were all over him in seconds.

In a random Spec interview after the game, a Columbia science professor thought that the player demonstrated intellectual initiative when faced by the goal post. "If he had already finished the FroSci course, then he might have been more effective in dealing with the goal post. But I think he is already very intelligent for a Columbia football player," said the science professor.

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Doug posted on
This article has been removed in line with our comment policy.
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Calvin posted on

Yummy

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Anonymous posted on

Dougie honey, I am the Columbia football player who swallowed you in the auditorium after FroSci class. You hurt my feelings that you pretend not to remember, compare me to a Barnard woman, and spend so much of your time studying FroSci (instead of paying attention to me). I did your homework. You did me. Remember, honey?

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Doug posted on
This article has been removed in line with our comment policy.
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Anonymous posted on

Ooh I get off when Dougie talks dirty to me. After all, I am a Columbia football player.

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anne connors posted on

The football players are not dumb students that go to ivy schools are not dumb, the team practices very early five days a week take classes as you do with the same professors who teach you and have stusy hrs after what does your day consist of, check the football teams grade before you call them dumb you might be surprised you might be thedumb one

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Anonymous posted on

Thanks Ann for the refrain.

Dumb people act the way many of the football players have in the past year.

I will not care to check their grades, given how dishonest the Columbia system is nowadays. The grades tell us nothing one way or the other. Their actions tell plenty.

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Anonymous posted on

"have study hours"......."good grades"......glad to see it spelled out that all it takes to get good grades at Columbia is to have study hours. It must be such an unusual thing at this university. Also glad that we all can distinguish between dumb and crass on the one hand, and unmotivated and juvenile on the other hand. Important distinction at Columbia, obviously. As for "students at ivies are not dumb"....well either that is not true, or it is true and therefore Columbia should not belong in the Ivy League. What are you saying Ann? That these people (students, professors, administrators, public safety) could act the way they have acted in the past few years, but that they are to be admired because they go to an Ivy League. I am going to say this as gently as possible to you. You have your head far up your own behind.

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