On a rainy night that had a major impact on the game, the Lehigh Lightning defeated the Mariner Tritons 28-23 Friday night at Tony McKenna Field.
The game was marred with numerous fumbles and costly penalties.
After Lehigh kicked out of bounds, Mariner began the game with a 12-yard quarterback keeper by Joey Lantz. The drive sputtered and the Tritons were forced to punt.
Lehigh mounted a drive and punted to the Mariner 20. At that point, the Tritons fumbled on the first play and Lehigh recovered on the 25.
Four plays later, Lehigh quarterback Da'Vonte White sprinted outside for eight yards and the touchdown. Lehigh faked the kick and ran the ball in for the two-point conversion with 6:38 left in the first quarter.
After a couple exchanges of possession, Mariner took possession deep in Lehigh territory following a failed fake punt.
The Tritons drove to the Lehigh 20 and scored in two plays, the last 10 yards covered by Jacob Martin. Justin Kuchle kicked the PAT to pull the Tritons within 8-7 with 1:49 left in the first quarter.
The Lightning answered immediately with a 41-yard drive after a 32-yard kick runback. On a play with zero time left in the quarter, White finished the series with a 30-yard TD. Chris Ludwig kicked the PAT.
Within 11 seconds, the Lightning add six more points. Mariner's return man fumbled the kickoff opening the second quarter and Jabari Irons snatched it in the air and scored the touchdown. The PAT failed leaving the Lightning with a 21-7 lead.
The teams exchanged possessions that featured punt problems on snaps and fumbles. Mariner recovered one of these on Lehigh's 26. Eight plays later Tritons runningback Jhshod Thornton ran it in from 13 yards out. Kuchle converted the PAT to narrowed the margin to 21-14.
The rain stopped in the second half, but the wet football continued to give both teams major problems as did numerous penalties. Three fumbles and five drive-killing penalties stymied Tritons and Lightning until Lehigh fumbled another punt snap and the Tritons recovered at the Lehigh 45.
Aided by a penalty, Mariner scored in five plays with Jacob Martin scoring from 11 yards out. Kuchle's third PAT tied the game at 21-21 with 3:52 left in the third quarter.
A Thornton interception snuffed out a Lightning drive, but within three plays Lehigh intercepted it right back.
Mariner scored next when a Kuchle punt was downed on the Lehigh 1-yard line. Three plays later, a host of Tritons tackled the White in the end zone for a safety.
With 4:14 left in the game Mariner led 23-21. Two more fumbles in 30 seconds time denied both teams scoring opportunities. However, with 1:59 left, Lehigh drove to the Mariner 2 with the aid of a major penalty. White scored on a keeper with 11 seconds remaining and Ludwig added the extra-point.
The Tritons (2-2) are idle next week.
Lehigh 15 6 0 7 - 28
Mariner 7 7 7 2 - 23
L White 8 run (Lastra run)
M Martin 10 run (Kuchle kick)
L White 30 run (Ludwig kick)
L Irons 26 fumble return (kick failed)
M Thornton 13 run (Kuchle kick)
M Martin 11 run (Kuchle kick)
M Alvarez safety
L White 2 run (Ludwig kick)