Colgate dominated the second half of its game against Lehigh on Saturday, propelling the Raiders to a 35-24 victory that secured the Patriot League title and an automatic berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the Raiders.
Raiders rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat the Mountain Hawks at Goodman Stadium.
The fifth-ranked Mountain Hawks (9-1 overall, 3-1 league) led 24-14 at the break on Jake Peery’s career-long 43-yard field goal as time expired.
But Colgate’s defense forced Lehigh’s offense into a lull in the second half while quarterback Gavin McCarney and company scored 21 points to lead the Raiders to their first league title since 2008 and seventh overall.
McCarney scored on a 2-yard TD run with 9:14 left to give Colgate (7-3, 5-0) its first lead of the game at 28-24. Senior running back Jordan McCord’s 8-yard touchdown run with 1:19 left sealed it.
Lehigh was driving but senior quarterback Mike Colvin was intercepted by safety Matt Yeager to end the threat.
Colvin went 15-for-29 for 242 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, while McCarney threw for 180 yards and ran for 121 on 24 carries with three scores.
McCord finished with 118 yards and two TDs on 35 attempts.
This week Colgate visits Fordham in a game that does not count toward the Patriot League standings but might have a bearing on seeding for the NCAA playoffs, which start Nov. 24. The brackets will be unveiled Nov. 18, at which time Colgate will learn its playoff opponent.