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Brown 30, White 24

This Saturday, on a wet October-like day, the Lehigh defense (Brown) played extremely well in a 30-24 win against the offense (White).

With the halftime festivites cancelled due to the poor weather, some key spring injuries to senior FB Greg Fay and junior RB Josh Pastore, and a scant 90 scrimmage plays being called, it was certainly not a complete picture, especially offensively. But we did learn some tantalizing bits of information, and for sure some questions have been answered.

What's to get excited about in the fall, first and foremost? That's easy. Defensive Coordinator David Kotulski's 3-4 defense may promise to give the rest of the Patriot League fits. With rising senior and team captain SS Julian Austin heading a strong, experienced secondary, an interesting linebacking unit led by rising senior LB Matt Mohler (who had an interception in the game), and a very strong senior front three in DT Royce Morgan, NT Paul Fabre and DE Eric Rakus, I sense we are going to have a physical group that folks are not going to want to face.

I happen to be a huge fan of the 3-4 defense. From the New Orleans Saints "Dome Patrol" to the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, I've always loved physical 3-4 defenses, and I'm very excited to see that potentially come back to South Mountain in 2006.

On offense it was much harder to tell what we will look like. Coach Coen did come out with some interesting 4-wideout and no-back looks, probably comforting those fans who thought that maybe "Air Lehigh" was going to be no more. But that may have been a function of senior FB Greg Fay and junior Kent St. transfer Josh Pastore's absence more than anything.

Team captains on offense were rising senior OL John Reese and - in a bit of a surprise - rising junior QB Sedale Threatt. The coaching staff obviously have complete confidence in him, and see him as a natural leader on the field. Sedale played limited reps but showed his mountain of potential again with a beautiful TD strike to rising junior WR Pete Donchez.

One of the surprises was seeing Donchez in the starting lineup along with rising senior WR Frank Trovato. It looks like Trovato, Donchez and rising senior WR Lee Thomas will be the three primary receivers.

There was some sloppiness on the "O" line - but that's completely to be expected in the spring. They will continue to develop themselves over the summer and will continue to develop when fall practices start.

If there's one big question out of the spring game, it's this: Who's going to carry the rock? With the tailback injuries and the developing "O" line play, it was clear we weren't going to get an answer today. May rising senior RB Marques Thompson be the feature back? Will senior FB Greg Fay get the nod more often? Will junior RB Josh Pastore, rising junior RB Richard Forman, or rising sophomore RB Matt McGowan touch the rock more often? Will we be rushing by committee, with different backs with different looks?

Fielding punts was rising sophomore WR/PR Mike Fitzgerald, who looks strong for return duties in 2006. And let's not forget rising sophomore WR Sekou Yansane on special teams, who nearly blocked a punt and could have been the overall MVP of the Brown/White game.

Overall, this tantalizing look at the 2006 Mountain Hawks was just too short. More thoughts tomorrow as the Morning Call and Express-Times weigh in. In the meantime, here's the previews that appeared in today's editions.

Allentown Morning Call:
With Threatt in charge, Lehigh is Ready to Perform

Easton Express-Times:
Lehigh Looking to Have Some Fun

Comments

Anonymous said…
Wondered why new outside linebacker Joel Kriss (moved from DE) did not participate in the B/W... investigation and inquiry - out due to a strained hip-flexor.
Ngineer said…
Who was #77 on defense? Wasn't listed in the program, but appeared to be in on a lot of plays. That 'punt block' by Yasane may have been a mistake since the staff wants to see the kick and the fielding. They don't worry about putting on blocking schemes until August.
I thought McGowan showed a lot of promise as a between the tackles runner--good power and a lot of second effort. Plus--not the lack of fumbles despite the weather???
A very promising day. Donchez has the size to be a force if he applies himself.
Anonymous said…
#77 is Senior, Eric Rakus - switched his number this year to #77 from #35.

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