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Football gears up to host Lafayette

Caption: Senior Zach Keller against Columbia.

Credit: GoPrincetonTigers
Caption: Senior Zach Keller against Columbia. Credit: GoPrincetonTigers

Tonight, No. 19 Princeton football (3–0) will host Lafayette (0–5), where the Leopards will look to bounce back from a tough loss at home to Penn. The Tigers will look to continue their early season dominance and continue dominating their non-conference schedule, in which their record is 13–1 since 2015. In that stretch, Princeton has played Lafayette three times and won all three, scoring at least 35 points in all of those games. Princeton’s win last week continued its winning streak dating back to last season to 13 straight, the longest in program history since 17 between 1964 and 1965.

Princeton’s game last week against Columbia saw the offense cool down a bit, scoring only seven points in the first half but taking the lead in the fourth quarter with a touchdown from junior running back Collin Eaddy and then securing the victory with a touchdown from senior running back Ryan Quigley. Senior quarterback Kevin Davidson had another strong day, completing 22 of 35 passes for 271 yards and one touchdown. The running back tandem of Eaddy and Quigley helped Princeton’s offense keep moving as they carried the ball collectively 30 times for 111 yards.

For the Leopards, this is their third season under Head Coach John Garrett ’88, who played at Princeton alongside Princeton Head Coach Bob Surace ’90. Garrett and Surace were formerly coworkers with the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2000s. Garrett has been able to help revive the Lafayette offense so far this season compared with last year.

Through five games, the Leopards are averaging 21.8 points, 283 passing yards, and 100.4 rushing yards. In 2018, those numbers respectively were 11.4, 203, and 54. Most importantly in this turnaround has been first-year quarterback Keegan Shoemaker, who most recently completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns against Penn.

This revamped Lafayette offense will take on what has been a very stout Princeton defense so far this year. The Tigers are allowing an average of 13.3 points, 211.3 passing yards, and 90 rushing yards per game. Most importantly, Princeton has been able to generate turnovers with four interceptions so far this season. This strong defensive backfield has helped the Princeton defensive line get home, which has six sacks so far this season, led by junior Samuel Wright with four. The Tigers have not allowed more than seven points in one quarter so far this year.

The Tigers’ results so far this season have helped them continue to climb in the FCS Coaches Poll, reaching No. 19 this week — the highest-ranked Ivy League team. Yale and Dartmouth are both receiving votes in the most recent poll from Oct. 7. The Tigers, Bulldogs, and Big Green are the only three remaining undefeated teams in the Ivy League. Princeton reached a high point of No. 10 last season after its final game.

The Tigers’ game against Lafayette will be available to watch on ESPNU. Radio coverage is available on 103.3 WPRB, which can be accessed through The game is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. under the lights at Powers Field at Princeton Stadium.