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Press; Game balls: Rankings

Flame Extinguishers
Lots to report form the press. Not only do we have many game writeups, but we also have FS Kaloma Cardwell, who was selected as Patriot League co-Defensive player of the week.

Lehighsports.com
Cardwell captures Patriot League Honors
Morning Call:
Rath Rumbles in Lehigh Victory
Steady Improvement has Lehigh feeling its oats
Express-Times:
Rath, Borda lift #24 Lehigh

Your quotes:
"After an especially impressive performance at Liberty on Saturday, Lehigh junior captain Kaloma Cardwell has been named the Patriot League’s Co-Defensive Player of the Week. In the 18-point victory, Cardwell recorded ten tackles (three solo), including one for a loss. Equally as important, Cardwell picked off two Flames’ passes – returning one 31 yards for his first collegiate touchdown. "

''We have what I think is the best offensive line in the Patriot League, if not the nation,'' Rath said. ''They do a great job of dominating people up there, and we're getting great looks in the backfield.''

[Eric, I hope you're right about the 'O' Line. I think they did a great job last week. But, best in the nation?]

"With a bye week next to work on a few of the early miscues that mired Lehigh in a 6-0 hole deep into the second quarter at Liberty, coach Pete Lembo seemed certain his club was ready for the heart of its schedule."

''In the first half, it was a physical wash,'' Lehigh coach Pete Lembo said. ''But in the second half, there was a point where we took it to them physically. We haven't done that often. I was very proud of the physical effort, and I thought there were times when we were efficient, too.''

"Our guys are on board," Lehigh coach Pete Lembo said. "I really liked our effort out here tonight. We still have plenty of room to get better, but I thought we played well."

''We got better from Week 1 to Week 2, and we definitely got better from Week 2 to Week 3,'' Lembo said. ''The effort has been tremendous.''

''We had a great week of practice, and we're getting better,'' Borda said. ''Still, we're not anywhere near where we're going to be. It's good to have a bye week coming up so we can heal up and correct some of our errors.''

[Music to my ears.]

"Just as refreshing for Lehigh fans would have been the sight and sounds of defensive coordinator Shaun Morrison screaming in the coaches' box late in the fourth quarter Saturday night.Even with victory assured, Morrison wanted more from his players, a tell-tale sign that the defensive passion of the Tom Gilmore Era didn't depart with the new Holy Cross head coach.'"

'We can improve,'' Cardwell promised. ''We've seen it on film after the first two weeks and we'll see more during the bye week.We're not satisfied at all. Sometimes we just need to get the anxiety out, calm the nerves, and play within ourselves.''

'After a jittery opening-day win over Stony Brook and a disappointing loss to Villanova, Lehigh fans can also calm down for a while and settle in for the long ride ahead.'

[This quote seems directed at my blog comments - but I agree. I'm pretty optimistic about the games ahead. Hope the rest of Lehigh Nation feels the same way.]

Game Balls
This week, the game balls go out to:
Junior QB Mark Borda (20-27 passing, 2 TDs)
Sophomore RB Eric Rath (144 yards rushing, 1 TD)
Senior TE Adam Bergen (6 receptions, 48 yds, 1 TD)
The entire 'O' Line: (for dominating Liberty physically)
Sophomore RT Jason Russell
Senior RG Jason Morrell
Sophomore C John Reese
Junior LG Adam Selmasska
Senior LT Justin Terry
Senior CB Neal Boozer-Gallman (12 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT)
Junior CB Andrew Nelson (10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble & recovery)
Junior FS Kaloma Cardwell (10 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 returned for a TD)
Senior DE Tom Alfsen (4 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks)

An honorable mention also has to go out to a couple backups who did a great job in the game: sophomore DT Tyrell Jenkins (with 1/2 a sack), and freshman Richard Forman, listed as a RB but playing at DB (7 tackles, including a sack!).

Congratulations all!

Rankings
Lehigh Football Nation was bitterly disappointed to see that Lehigh actually went DOWN in the rankings in The Sports Network down to #25. They remain in the Top 25 at the #25 spot:

Sports Network (#25)
ESPN/USA Today (#25)
Any Given Saturday (#21)

My biggest beef with the so-called experts in the polls involves putting previously unranked teams above Lehigh for upsetting "better" competition. Hampton at #20 for beating Western Illinois at home? Sam Houston St. at #24 for beating Montana at home? Understood, these are fine wins. But Hampton has beaten Jackson St., a horrible SWAC team, and Howard, a bad MEAC squad. Sam Houston has lost to SMS, a middling Gateway team, and pounded a Division III school called Ouichida Baptist. And somehow Penn moves up a couple spots for pounding San Diego, a school that had its hands full with Holy Cross?

And while I'm on a tirade, how can UMass, Villanova, and New Hampshire only lose 5 or 6 spots for losing at home to, at best, middle-of-the-road A-10 teams?

It's a good thing it's a bye week. I can calm down by the time we play Albany!

I'll check in later this week with my picks of the weekend.

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