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Press; Game balls: Rankings

From the annals of the online press comes today's press roundup. It must be said: when Fordham was ranked in the I-AA Top 25 last year, all the major New York papers (like the New York Times and Daily News) were falling over themselves to write about their "beloved" Rams and couldn't get over the upsides of Kevin Eakin and Kirwin Watson. But now that the team is in the middle of the pack in the Patriot... not even one crummy writeup of the game. That's New York fans for you - don't let the bandwagon run you over on the way out of town.

Easton Express-Times:
Lehigh Defense Preserves Victory
Allentown Morning Call:
Lehigh a 'Low Maintenance' Team
Brown & White:
Hawks One Victory From Title

Choice Quotes:
"A big Fordham bomb early in the fourth quarter covered 44 yards and left the Rams three yards away from tying the game, maybe a play or two away from causing chaos in the fidgety Goodman Stadium stands... It was about then that the Mountain Hawks imposed the will of a champion.

"We looked around at each other," Lehigh cornerback Brannan Thomas remembered, passion rising in his voice, "and said 'We've got to get firm right here... No more."

"Thomas stepped up with an interception in the end zone on the very next play, then Eric Rath fueled a 96-yard touchdown drive that produced his second touchdown of the day as Lehigh overcame a feisty Fordham team, 21-14.

''That whole drive was Eric, our fullback and the line,'' Borda said. ''It wasn't that hard to complete a 15-yard pass to Lee.''... Lembo, though, said it's not that quite easy.''Mark's being humble because he probably doesn't feel he had his best day, and that's fine,'' Lembo said. ''But he also made some big plays when we needed them.''

"Of course we're happy with that [beating Forhdam]," said Borda... "But nobody feels like we really won the Patriot League without winning next week."

"That's the reason we came to Lehigh," said Rath, a former two-time All-State performer at Pius X High School. "Mark and I, being local boys, we grew up watching Lehigh."

''It's a low-maintenance team,'' Lembo has said repeatedly. ''Especially with the skilled-position guys on offense, where you sometimes have to deal with big egos, we've had no problems.''

Head Coach Pete Lembo said his team is not concerned about any playoff implications yet.“If we don’t win this Saturday, it doesn’t matter – chances are we aren’t going,” he said.

Going into Saturday’s game against Lafayette, Lembo said the formula for success is simple.“I think what we need to do is play with consistency in all three parts of the game for 60 minutes,” he said.

[Quote of the week coming up...]

''These guys have worked extremely hard since the end of last season,'' Lembo said. ''They've been extremely hungry, they've been very low maintenance, they've done the right things on and off the field. I've been hard on them and pushed them hard, but I'm proud of them. They deserve to be called champions.''

Game Balls
If it's Monday, that means it's time for... Lehigh/Fordham game balls. It should be pretty obvious who the suspects are this week. In a switch, I'm offering 2 special teams game balls and only 2 offensive game balls this week. Without any further ado.. here they are:
Sophomore RB Eric Rath (149 yards rushing, 2 TDs)
Senior TE Adam Bergen (2 receptions 55 yards, 1 big TD)
Senior OLB Anthony "Graz" Graziani (15 tackles, 2 sacks)
Senior CB Duane Smith (3 tackles, the final defensive stop of the game)
Sophomore CB Brannan Thomas (had the play of the game - INT in the end zone)
Special Teams:
Junior PR Gregg Petrosky (86 yards of punt returns)
Freshman PK Matt McNeils (mistake-free kicking)

Congratulations to all! A great mix of underclassmen and seniors with honors this week!

Lehigh stays steady at #8 in the Sports Network poll, and #9 in the ESPN/USA Today (no Any Given Saturday poll this week so far):
Sports Network (#8)
ESPN/USA Today(#9)

Coming up: Lehigh/Lafayette Memories; Lehigh/Lafayette Preview; More Lehigh/Lafayette Stuff You Won't Want To Miss


Anonymous said…
Unlike those "true" Boston fans and papers who wrote off the Red Sox in the playoffs this year when they were down to the Yankees.

I also remember plenty of empty seats in Foxboro a few years back before their beloved Patriots started winning.

Holy Cross also use to get plenty of press when they were a winning program back in the 80's and early 90's. Not the case anymore!

I guess Boston is a bunch of bandwagon fans as well!

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