Lafayette wins Patriot title, joins playoffs at 5-6

Bethlehem, PA ( - In the winner-take-all, 149th meeting of college football's most-played rivalry, Lafayette beat No. 17 Lehigh, 50-28, on Saturday to claim the Patriot League championship.

The victory also gave Lafayette (5-6, 4-1) the league's automatic bid to the FCS playoffs as the first-ever sub-.500 qualifier. The playoffs began in 1978.

Freshman quarterback Drew Reed completed 20-of-27 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns, and junior running back Ross Scheuerman rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns for coach Frank Tavani's Leopards.

Lehigh (8-3, 3-2) turned the ball over three times. Tyler Coyle caught one touchdown each from Mountain Hawks quarterbacks Matt McHale and Nick Shafnisky.

Lafayette, which opened the season by losing five of its first six games but has since won four of its last five, captured its first Patriot League title since 2006 and seventh overall.

Lafayette has a 77-67-5 series lead. The Leopards ended Lehigh's five-game winning streak in the series with the most points scored by either school since Lafayette won 54-20 in 1994.

Next year's 150th Lafayette-Lehigh game will be played at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 22, 2014.