Akil Sharp ’13 ran for two touchdowns at Lehigh.
Akil Sharp ’13 ran for two touchdowns at Lehigh.

Host Lehigh led 17–0 at halftime of Princeton football’s season opener Sept. 15, but the Tigers clamped down on defense and climbed back into the game, scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns. With a chance to tie or win in the final three minutes, the Princeton offense stalled, and the Mountain Hawks held on to win, 17–14.

Connor Michelsen ’15, who earned the starting quarterback job, completed 14 of 30 passes for 103 yards (74 of them in the second half). Running back Akil Sharp ’13 was quiet in the first half but eventually found his stride, scoring Princeton’s first touchdown with an impressive 13-yard scamper and fighting for a second score from one yard out. He totaled 79 yards on 22 carries.

“In the past, some of the games like this snowballed — there was anxiety, or whatever it was, and a 17-0 game turned into a blowout,” head coach Bob Surace ’90 said. “We came out in the second half and we did a real good job getting control of the football, field position, and everything else ... and the next thing you know, it’s a three-point game.”

The Tigers were aided by some fortunate breaks, including two fumble recoveries on Lehigh punt returns, and avoided miscues of their own, committing just one penalty and no turnovers.

Princeton will have opportunities to measure itself against two of the Ivy League’s perennial ­contenders when the Tigers host Brown (Oct. 13) and Harvard (Oct. 20).