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The great forgotten game?

Forgotten game?
The Lehigh/Fordham game this weekend seems to be dwarfed by "that other Lehigh game" next weekend. The press seems to be taking a pacing break for what is likely to be a week's worth of features and spilled ink.

It's not even on the radar screen of the New York press - a turnaround from last year, when both Lehigh and Fordham were ranked and were poised to make a statement that year about their Patriot chances. Right now, Fordham is playing for pride - but they would love nothing better to ruin Lehigh's perfect league record this week.

For Lehigh, as I have sought to imply all week, this game is a real danger of being another letdown game. Fordham is no slouch. They have an experienced and talented defense, and have an explosive big-play offense that can put points on the board in a hurry.

Fordham has played 3 close games against Lehigh the past 3 years. They cannot be taken lightly.

Allentown Morning Call:
Hawks Expect Another Close Call Against Fordham
Easton Express-Times:
Mountain Hawks Won't Look Past Final Home Game
Brown & White:
Bergen Steers Clear of Hoopla

"This is what Lehigh University senior safety and co-captain Karrie Ford will remember about Goodman Stadium... "Coming onto the field, seeing the fans screaming ... it's a great feeling," Ford said. "I love that feeling."

"We just have confidence in each other," said Ford, who celebrated his mother's birthday with a 40-yard touchdown on a fumble return for the final score against Georgetown. "That's something that may have separated us from the (Lehigh) teams that didn't quite get the championship."

''All of our goals are still in place, which means we're more focused than ever,'' strong safety Karrie Ford said. ''We have our long-term goals in mind, but to attain them we need to pay attention to the short-term goals and that's beating Fordham. Everyone in the program is mature enough to understand what's at stake.''

"I know the emotion's going to be high for all the seniors," Ford said, "because it's our last moment. I don't think that's going to overcome the emotion of playing for a championship."

"This is what senior nose guard Jim Norris sees when he looks at Lehigh's push for a Patriot League championship... "It's on us," Norris said. "We're not depending on anybody else. If we win out, we win that championship."

''Maybe those emotions will come out at the end of the game, but it can't get in the way of the game itself,'' senior nose guard Jim Norris said.... ''Our emotions will be high, but that's because it's another game on the road to a championship. To beat Fordham, we can't come out flat like we did against Georgetown. We have to play with emotion.''

"Yeah, it might be our last home game," Norris said. "But it's on the road to our goal... You can't win a championship by looking ahead. "

''Our staff and players have a lot of respect for their athleticism and how well they're coached,'' Lehigh coach Pete Lembo said. ''Anybody who has been involved in this game for the last three or four years knows how intense, how physical it has been. You can feel the energy building within our team all week.''

''Their cover guys are very good athletes,'' Lembo said. ''Kornegay has size, speed, athleticism and experience, and their whole secondary plays with confidence. They're very similar to Colgate's secondary... 'They're not overly complicated schematically, but they just get after you.''

''We've shown the ability to play hard four quarters a couple of times this year,'' Fordham coach Ed Foley said... ''I hope that sooner or later, playing these close games will pay off.''We have to play smarter. We've had a huge amount of penalties called against us and some misfortune. And we haven't made enough plays. We just have to get over the hump and finish games.''

''I want to win by one point,'' Lembo said. ''That's the goal, winning. Sometimes we're too hard on ourselves around here. Every win is so precious and hard to come by... 'I can be critical of my guys. That's my job. I want to make them better. But I hope we don't get to a point as a football community where we take things for granted.''

[Ithink it'll take more than a point, Coach Lembo, but I get what you're saying.]

Adam Bergen: "We look at every single game as it is the most important game of the season. We know that we have to go out and play a good solid mistake-free game in order to beat any team in our league."

That's it! See you here for live commentary on Saturday! Go Lehigh! And seniors, it may be your last home game, so leave it all out on the field!


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