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Second Half Surge Lead Princeton to Season Opening Win

(Photo by Rob Samuels - Double G Media)

(Photo by Rob Samuels – Double G Media)


Welcome back Princeton football!

Senior running back Joe Rhattigan had a career-high 137 yards with three touchdowns and junior quarterback John Lovett added two rushing touchdowns to lead Princeton to a 35-31 victory over Lafayette Saturday at Princeton Stadium.

Trailing 24-21 with 7:47 left in the third quarter, the Tigers (1-0) outscored Lafayette (1-2), 21-7, the rest of the game, highlighted by two TD runs by Rhattigan, including the eventual game-winner from 17 yards out with 48 seconds left in the third quarter to take a 35-24 lead.

“We spent a lot of time this preseason talking about not flinching,” said Princeton head coach Bob Surace. “Don’t press the panic button. Stick together and play, and that’s what they did. I was very proud of them, and that was my message after the game.”

Rhattigan had a 23-yard TD run in the first quarter top open the game’s scoring and give Princeton an early 7-0 lead.

Lovett had scoring runs of two yards and one yard in the second quarter to lift Princeton to a 21-21 halftime tie.

Senior wide receiver Isaiah Barnes caught five passes for 102 yards, posting the second 100-yard receiving performance of his career.

The Tigers, which has won back-to-back season openers for the first time since the 2005-06 season and has won nine straight against Lafayette, visit Lehigh (1-2) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Saturday for an early 12:30 p.m. kickoff.

Senior quarterback Nick Shafinsky completed 28-of-41 passes for 317 yards with three touchdowns and added 71 yards on the ground with three first-half TDs to lead Lehigh to a 49-28 victory over Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

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