Skip to main content

Getting ready for Lehigh/Lafayette

Every year, my personal tagline for this game is, "Harvard/Yale is that OTHER game; Lehigh/Lafayette is THE Game". It's not too early to start talking about the 141st meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette the most-played college football rivalry. Yeah, I know, it's not time to forget the great play of the Lehigh defensive line from last Saturday - 8 sacks, helping force 3 turnovers. But Lehigh/Lafayette week starts now, and there's an army of students, alumni, and fans that are solidifying their tailgating plans right now.

To the uninformed, the dull, and the most of the national college football media circuit, many folks think that Harvard/Yale is to be considered "The Game". Ha! Lehigh/Lafayette has more on the line (especially this year), is more historic, and has a longer and richer history than that "other" game. Witness the statistics:

Number of meetings:
Harvard/Yale: 121 (through 2004)
Lehigh/Lafayette: 140 (through 2004)

Streak of consecutive years with at least 1 game played:
Harvard/Yale: 1945-2004
Lehigh/Lafayette: 1897-2004

I-AA Playoff implications:
Harvard/Yale: none
Lehigh/Lafayette: Lehigh is in if they win; Lafayette has a chance if they win

Also worthy of mention is: No two schools' rivalry has as long an unbroken yearly streak as Lehigh/Lafayette. Also, no two schools' rivalry has played as many games as Lehigh/Lafayette.

So, what's to debate? Lehigh/Lafayette's "The Game". Harvard/Yale is clearly "the other game".

I'll be writing more about the gameday traditions and my own personal Lehigh/Lafayette experiences later this week. If you want to brush up on more of the history of the game, two excellent sources are "The Lehigh/Lafayette Legacy", a PBS documentary on the rivalry (which may be replayed sometume this week in the Lehigh Valley), and the terrific book "Legends of Lehigh-Lafayette: College Football’s Most Played Rivalry,” written by Todd Davidson and Bob Donchez.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

#TheRivalry Flashback: November 21st, 1987: Lehigh 17, Lafayette 10

Since becoming an undergrad at Lehigh back in the late 1980s, I first heard about the historic nature of the football team and "The Rivalry" through the stories that fellow students would share.

I did not attend the final meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette at Taylor Stadium, which was the final time a football game would be played there.

Those that did attend said that was that it was cold.

"I remember it being one of the coldest games ever," Mark Redmann recollected, "with strong Northwesterly winds and the temperature hovering around 20.  By the end of the game, the stands were half empty because most of the fans just couldn't take the cold.

"Fortunately, several of my fraternity brothers snuck in flasks to help fend off the chill."

Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.

Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.

But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.

The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games. 

The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.

In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well. 

The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn't unknown before this week - after all, as a freshman and a sop…