By Craig Sachson
Home Sweet Home • Princeton enters its home opener having won 14 of its last 15 at Princeton Stadium, including all four last season. The last time Princeton had a similar such streak at home came between 1951-1953.
Three-Peat • Princeton is looking for its first three-game win streak over Lehigh since a trio of wins in 1987, 1992 and 1993; current head coach Bob Surace was a sophomore on the 1987 team.
We’re Honored • Princeton had two players recognized by the Ivy League following Week 1. Senior punter Will Powers was named the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week, while freshman running back Ryan Butler was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. Butler averaged 48.7 yards per punt, including a long of 64, while Butler rushed seven times for 67 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut.
The Butler Did It • Ryan Butler became the first Princeton freshman in the 2000s to score multiple touchdowns in his collegiate debut. He scored on a one-yard run for Princeton’s first touchdown of the season, and added a 25-yard run to end the scoring in a 39-14 win.
Andrei The Giant • Senior wideout Andrei Iosivas also recorded a multiple-touchdown game, with scoring catches of five and 10 yards in the second quarter. Iosivas now has three multiple-touchdown games in his career, including a 117-yard, two-touchdown performance in the 2021 road win at Lehigh.
New Face, Same Result • Princeton has started a different starting quarterback in each of the last five season openers, and each has earned a win. Last weekend, junior Blake Stenstrom threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Stetson. He completed just under 70% of his passes and added 14 rushed for 37 yards.
Conversion Chart • The Stetson offense converted on three of its first four third-down attempts last weekend, including one on a long touchdown pass and one on a penalty. The Princeton defense held them without a single conversion on their final nine opportunities of the game.
Grounded • Princeton allowed -10 yards rushing last weekend. Part of the stout run defense came because of the pass rush, as Stetson quarterback Brady Meitz was sacked five times for a loss of 34 yards.
Multiple Choice • Eighteen Princeton defenders recorded multiple tackles in the Stetson win. Linebacker Joseph Bonczek led all Tigers with six tackles, while both Matthew Jester and Ryan Ives added four stops apiece.
The Mountain Hawks enter the weekend with a 1-2 record, though both losses have come to ranked teams. Last weekend, they allowed 374 yards passing and three first-half touchdowns in a 30-6 loss to Richmond. In their two losses this season, Lehigh has been outscored 51-14.
The offense is well spread out in both the rushing and passing game. Lehigh has three backs with at least 20 carries this season, including team leader Gaige Garcia, who averages 48 yards per game, but it has scored only two rushing touchdowns on the season. Three different receivers have caught at least 10 passes, but nobody has more than one receiving touchdown through the first three games.
Quarterback Dante Perri is completing nearly 62% of his passes for 553 yards and four touchdowns, including a 77-yard strike to Zaythan Hill last week. Perry played half the game against Princeton last season and completed 12 of 17 passes for 62 yards.
Defensively, Lehigh is allowing over 33 points per game and is struggling to get off the field on third downs (47.4%). The Mountain Hawks also haven’t forced a turnover on the season. The team has gotten several strong individual performances, including one from TyGee Lynch, who has 30 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss through three games. Both Mike DeNucci and Nate Norris have 20 tackles apiece, while Norris and Sam Sheridan share the team lead with two sacks.
By Craig Sachson