Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lehigh Keeps Calm And Beats Monmouth, 28-25

(Photo Credit: Justin Lafleur/Lehigh Athletics)

"I'd never seen it," head coach Andy Coen said, adding a "whew" for good measure.

He was referring to a very strange play this Saturday, a play that happened in Lehigh's favor that felt like the decisive play of the game.

Down 25-21, and senior P Tim Divers readying to punt, speedy Monmouth CB Tevrin Brandon blocked his punt - the ball deflecting almost straight up, then falling back down to earth behind the line of scrimmage, where alert senior FB Zach Hayden kept calm, grabbed the ball out of the air, and started to go for the first down marker.

He did more than get enough yards for the first down.  He rumbled 37 yards, thus turning the momentum of the game completely on its head.

Two plays later, senior QB Brandon Bialkowski hit senior WR Lee Kurfis with a 40 yard dagger to make the score 28-25.

It would be a death blow from which Monmouth wouldn't recover.

“I’ve been coaching and playing a long time," Coen said, "and I’ve never seen a blocked punt picked up by one of our own guys and run for a first down, which ends up being the biggest play of the game.”

CFB Week 3: Your Weekend Lehigh Fan Viewing Giude

It's that time of the week where I share with you your weekly Lehigh fan viewing guide for Week 3 of the college football season.  Why go to website after website when all the information you need is right here?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Game 2 Breakdown, Lehigh at Monmouth, 9/14/2013

(Photo Credit: Liberty Athletics)

We break down the Monmouth game - and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.

Monmouth's game notes, happily, were available early in the week, and it reminded me of a couple other notes about Monmouth I forgot to mention.

First, the Jersey Hawks' home opener against Lehigh is only one of four home games for Monmouth this season, and their game this weekend is sandwiched between two road trips: reoad games against Montana State and Liberty, then away contests against Holy Cross and Columbis.

Second, this is the last time Kessler Field in West Long Branch will have their tiny press box.  As a part of Monmouth's move to 63 scholarships, plans are in the works to modernize their stadium, making it more Big South ready by 2014.  This comes on the heels of Monmouth's complete renovation of their basketball center, the MAC, and was a central reason why the Hawks were invited to join the MAAC in basketball.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Game Preview: Lehigh At Momouth, 9/14/2013

(Photo Credit: Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/The Bozeman Chronicle)

How do you judge an 0-2 team?

It's not just an academic question the week for Lehigh fans.

It's way too easy to look at the scores in Monmouth's first two games of the season - a 42-24 defeat against one of the top teams in the country, Montana State, and a 45-15 defeat on the road at Liberty, which, as any fan following Lehigh last year knows, is an awfully tough place to play.

If there's a message head coach Andy Coen wants to deliver in between the lines, its simply not to necessarily expect Lehigh to score 40 points on the Hawks this week.

"This football team we’re playing I think is a better team than the one we just played even though they’re 0-2," he told Mike LoRe of the Express-Times this week.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

LFN Players of the Week for CCSU/Lehigh, And The Two-Minute Drill

(Photo Credit: David DiFrancesco/Brown and White via the Express-Times)

Here at LFN, I'm always looking for something to keep things fresh, and this year the plan is to keep things fresh by combining the "LFN Players of the Week" with something new: the two-minute drill.

In the past, I used to have a "press roundup" with links to all the recaps and interesting articles that would emerge concerning Lehigh football.  In a world without Twitter and Facebook, this type of content curation was great not only for people who liked my blog, but for me, too, when wanting to refer back to a particularly memorable game or moment.

But we live in a world of Twitter and Facebook now.  I can post links to the recaps on my Facebook page, my Twitter feed, and they can even be pulled into a type of newspaper delivered to your email called Paper.li.  All are great tools, all feature content that I myself read, and, frankly, are the way people consume news now.

But that doesn't mean the "Press Roundup" is now worthless.  It will be the place where I empty out my notebook from the prior week, take a look ahead at next week's opponent, and maybe even something completely different.  We'll see how it all goes.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Win Against CCSU Evokes Many Goodman Memories

(Photo Credit: Chris Shipley/The Morning Call)

When you've gone to a lot of Lehigh games as I have, it's easy to fall back on "memories" (today's "Sunday Word") to try to describe the action.

In a game which pretty much defied description overall, perhaps it was a requirement.

Sure, there hasn't been a game in recent memory - certainly not in the Andy Coen Era - that featured a starting quarterback for Lehigh with less game experience than senior QB Brandon Bialkowski last Saturday.

Can you remember the last time Lehigh had eight departing seniors on defense to replace?  I can't, either.

Yet even with all the new faces lining up for the Mountain Hawks, it was easy to see this performance alongside some of the greats in Murray Goodman history.  I mean it.  It is game one, a fact I haven't forgotten, but I'm willing to bet that through time, this one is going to rank up there in terms of "memories" for many.

Lehigh Outlasts CCSU In Opening Day Marathon, 51-44

It looked pretty grim - so grim, in fact, that many of the announced attendance of 6,386 had already left the stadium by th beginning of the 4th quarter.

Central Connecticut State, behind a monster offensive performance by RB Rob Holloman, was methodically beating up the Lehigh defense.

There the Blue Devils were, driving to start the 4th quarter, a Lehigh facemask penalty keeping their drive alive, and finally reaching 1st and goal at the Lehigh 9.

It was the end of that drive, unbeknownst to all, that would be the difference between winning and losing their home opener.
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