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Showing posts from November 7, 2004

Lehigh 21, Fordham 14, final

Lehigh does what they need to do by beating Fordham. A game which featured a defensive struggle, with field position and special teams playing a key role.

A thrilling (or nerve-wracking) fourth quarter was featured. Fordham completing a long pass to Lehigh's 5 yard line, and Brannan "Game Ball" Thomas snagging the interception out of the end zone.

Then the Lehigh offense chewed up 4 minutes off the clock, with WR Lee Thomas making a key grab; and TB Eric "Game Ball" Rath powering the 96-yard drive. Rath punched it in, making the score 21-7.

I thought that the game was over at that point. However, the big-play ability of Fordham QB Derric Daniels struck again, when he completed another 35-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 21-14.

Then, my nightmare continued, after Fordham recovered an onsides kick, and on the next play from scrimmage, DB Duane Smith got flagged for roughing the passer, setting up the Rams the Lehigh 34 with a little under 1:30 to play. Time t…

Lehigh 14, Fordham 7, end of 3rd quarter

Agony and ecstasy.

Fordham did what I knew they were capable of - converting a 3rd-and-10 and making a big 74 yard completetion for a TD, tying the game. But then, Lehigh came back for a 47 yard TD pass to Adam Bergen just before the end of the 3rd quarter, putting Lehigh back on top.

One breakdown for the defense, a blemish on what is otherwise a great day for them. Fortunately, it doesn't look like that slip-up will hurt us, thanks to Borda, Bergen and the offense.

Special teams have been excellent. Punting and kicking have been very good.

Now we need to do this for 1 more quarter! Go Lehigh!

(It looks like Colgate is going down big to Bucknell... and Lafayette is pulling away from Holy Cross.. so that means should Lehigh win, the 140th Lehigh/Lafayette showdown will be for the Patriot League title and a I-AA playoff berth!)

Lehigh 7, Fordham 0, halftime

After a TD scamper by Eric Rath on Lehigh's first possession of the game, both defenses have clamped down and kept this game at 7-0 Lehigh.

Miscues have helped keep the game close. Twice Lehigh have turned over the ball in the end zone. Several penalities have reversed key gains while Lehigh was driving.

Both defenses are having a great day shutting down the offense. And special teams have ruled the day. Next half, the special teams need to keep making a statement.

Stick around, this game is going to be interesting. For the second half, Lehigh's offense needs to just remain patient and keep going after Fordham's defense. And the "D" still needs to respect Fordham QB Derric Daniels' ability to make th big play.

See you end of the 3rd quarter.




Predictions of Other Games

Predictions of Other Games
In the Patriot League:
Georgetown at Davidson. Georgetown showed signs of breaking out of their offensive doldrums last week, and beating struggling Davidson handily will show this to the rest of I-AA. G'Town 38, Davidson 10.

Colgate at Bucknell. A must-win for the Raiders to keep their playoff and title hopes alive. Bucknell plays to build for next season, and to knock off their second playoff-bound team. I think Bucknell makes the statement for their outgoing seniors that they will be sticking around in the Patriot elite in a game which Colgate doesn't match up well. Bucknell 24, Colgate 17.

Holy Cross at Lafayette. With a Leopard win and Raider loss, next week's Lehigh/Lafayette game would become the Patriot League championship game. I'm thinking that will be the case, though I think the Crusaders will make it a lot closer than the folks in Easton would like. Lafayette 32, Holy Cross 28.

In the top 25:
Harvard at Penn. For the Ivy League cham…

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.

Press
Allentown Morning Call:
Hawks Expect Another Close Call Agai…

Playoff Scenarios... Lehigh on the road?

Playoff scenarios?
Lehigh fans are starting to look optimistically at possible playoff scenarios, as well as the national pundits of I-AA. Both are assuming that Lehigh will win their last two games and go 10-1 overall - a pretty lofty assumption with 2 games left against teams who would like no better than to eliminate Lehigh's postseason chances.

At first, I thought if Lehigh goes 10-1, that it would be a mortal lock that Lehigh would at least get a home game, or with (admittedly) a lot of help get the #1 seed in the Eastern bracket. However, it's becoming clear that there are possible scenarios where Lehigh goes on the road in the first round, even if they are 10-1.

Say what? Sure enough, take a look at Matt Dougherty's mock playoff column:

Projected Matchups and Seeds:
East:
Wofford at No. 2 James Madison
William & Mary at Georgia Southern
Hampton at No. 3 Furman
Lehigh at Delaware

West:
Jacksonville State at No. 1 Southern Illinois
Eastern Washington at Western Kentucky

Lehigh/Fordham Preview

Lehigh/Fordham Preview
Against my better judgement, I decided to leave my playoff atricle for tomorrow so I could bring you the most important Mountain Hawk task at hand, which would be previewing this weekend's Lehigh/Fordham game.

Before we all get out the champagne, it is vital that Lehigh players, coaches, and fans remember that we need to win our last two games in order to win thte outright Patriot League title and I-AA playoff berth, and *maybe* a first-round game. (More on that tomorrow.) Lose either of these next two games, and Lehigh won't only possibly forfeit their chance at the title, they could easily also miss their chance at the I-AA playoffs as well.

Having said that, winning this Saturday will mean that Lehigh will clinch at least a share of the Patriot League title for 2004. This adds to the importance.

Lehigh Injury Report
TE Steve Burant (OUT)
OL John Reese (OUT)
FS Kaloma Cardwell (OUT)
OLB Jon Guynes (OUT)
DT Royce Morgan (OUT)
LB Randy Rovesti (OUT)
RB Eri…

Press; Game balls: Rankings

Postgame press from Lehigh/Georgetown
Allentown Morning Call:
Lehigh Wins, Takes Over Patriot Lead
Lehigh Suffers Letdown but Wins Anyway
Easton Express-Times:
Walker keeps Lehigh right on course
Hoyasaxa.Com:
Lehigh 49, Georgetown 18

Quotes:
"The pale complexion of Pete Lembo's face late Saturday afternoon matched the color of the sidewalk outside Lehigh's locker room at Georgetown... Lembo's queasiness had nothing to do with some uneasy moments his Mountain Hawks encountered against the host Hoyas.

"Lehigh... lacked the intensity and crispness it has had in recent weeks and used a few big plays by the offense, defense and special teams to overcome its inconsistency.

"Special teams miscues kept the Hoyas out of contention time and time again against the #9-ranked Engineers (aka Mountain Hawks), in a game where the Georgetown offense showed some of its best efforts all season. Time and time again, when momentum seemed to be turning Georgetown's way, the special…

Thoughts after Georgetown game; Patriot Playoff situation; Prediction Results

Thoughts after Georgetown game
Well, we got the win 49-18. Pretty? At times. Ugly? For sure at times. But pretty or ugly Lehigh did what they had to do, and they won the game.

The number that pops out at me is 384 yards of total offense from one of the weaker offensive teams in the Patriot League this year. Not only that, they mixed things up pretty well too - 197 yards rushing and 187 yards passing. Think about that a minute. The defense that completely shut down Payton award-winner Jamaal Branch the previous week turns around and gives up nearly 200 yards rushing to the Hoyas. Yep, and those were the same guys in the uniforms this week - I checked.

Kickoffs, punts, and kickoff coverage had one nice play at the beginning of the game... and then, seemed to decide to take a nap the rest of the day. Kickoffs out of bounds... kickoffs almost out of bounds... the long-snapper snaps the ball over P Kyle Keating's head, resulting (admirably) in a 7 yard punt... a kickoff right down the m…