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Lehigh/G'Town Press Roundup and More

It took me a while to hunt down this photo of this past weekend's Lehigh/Georgetown game, but I think we can all agree this is a beauty. This was the catch by senior WR/PR Frank Trovato that put us ahead 14-3 at halftime. There will be more to come, inlcuding my game balls and the press roundup for the Lehigh/Georgetown game, but first, it's a TiVo alert for this Friday, October 13th.

The Lehigh/Lafayette Rivalry will be featured on ESPNU's Honor Roll, a show where the Top 10 college football rivalries of all-time will be counted down from #10 to #1. Since I was not consulted nor did I contribute material for this show, I have to assume that Lehigh/Lafayette will be featured at #10 or #9 rather than at #1, #1a, and #1b. (Note to self: must increase ESPN lobbying efforts - perhaps going to the ESPN SportsZone bar & grill might count?) As of right now, as far as I'm concerned ESPN is still "on notice" for last year featuring an online poll ranking college football rivalries, showing Lehigh/Lafayette but with a picture of the red-and-white Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns next to it.

For me the jury on ESPN will be out until I watch the show, but I'm likely to take them off notice as long as they get the teams and uniforms right. Still, with Lehigh's mention on a national college football show, it's an absolute must-see. Circle your calendar: October 13th, 7:30PM on ESPN2 (available basically everywhere), and replayed on October 15th, 8:30PM on ESPNU (available on some TV outlets). ESPNU can also be found on DirecTV channel 609 and Dish Network channel 148.

Game Balls
My game balls may be somewhat suprising this week. But on offense, I'm sure the recepient will be no surprise: senior RB Marques Thompson. 23 carries for 122 yards and two TDs that iced the victory is part of the reason why - but another is that he is really starting to emerge as a feature back and a guy that needs to be contained in order to stop Lehigh. Averaging over 5 yards a carry against Georgetown was a welcome source of consistency, even if he should have had over 150 yards without some inexcusable holding penalties.

On defense, I'm going to give to to two seniors: DL Paul Fabre and SS Julian Austin. Fabre's forced fumble last Saturday was the sort of big play that I've been looking for on this defense, along with Austin's recovery - both deserve credit. In addition, their combined nine tackles and a batted ball at the line of scrimmage were key plays that stuffed the Hoyas short of the first down marker or were big 3rd down stops. They were the big playmakers on the defense this day in a very solid defensive effort.

I know sophomore PK Jason Leo got Patriot League Special Teams Player of the week honors, but I'm scratching my head how he can get the honors when Georgetown's punter actually outperformed him (a 40.2 average to a 39.5 average) and got a 64 yard punt! Instead, I'm going to give it to - who else - senior PR/WR Frank "Al Del Greco" Trovato. Looking down the box score, his stats may not scream out "player of week" - 4 catches for 27 yards and 1 TD, 4 punt returns for 33 yards - but again, he is proving to be the go-to guy when it comes to Lehigh needing a big play on special teams or a big TD reception. Fearless in traffic, his return total would have been higher without two clipping penalites on punt returns, while his punt return near the end of the second quarter set up the all-important TD at the end of the half to go up 14-3.

Congratulations to all! I don't think it's any secret that "Del Greco" is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Mountain Hawks. Hopefully against Yale next week he'll keep this win party going.

Press Roundup
The press on the game follows, but I'd be remiss if I didn't repost my eerily prescient pick of the Princeton/Colgate game this past week which the Tigers won 28-27 on a missed 2-point conversion by the Raiders in OT: "If Colgate breaks the 28 point barrier, I think they win, but I think the Tigers win a, well, typical low-scoring Princeton game. Princeton 19, Colgate 17." To think, at the end of regulation it was a 20-20 tie.

(Of course, in the subject of fairness, I also picked Georgia Southern to beat North Dakota State, UMass to squeak past William & Mary, and Coastal Carolina to get thumped by Furman, so please take my picks with some grain of salt.)

Allentown Morning Call:
Lehigh Finally Gets Away with Easy Win over Hoyas
Upshot: Lehigh, at last, opened Patriot League play with a 28-3 win over the Hoyas that — while being far from perfect — was much closer to the type of physically dominant performance first-year coach Andy Coen has been seeking. "This is the way I want to do business postgame and that's with a smile on my face,"' Coen said. "It was great that we didn't have to give it up at the end and have to punt it away. We could really enjoy this one without having to worry about another nailbiter."

Thompson and Trovato Playing Bigger Roles
Upshot: One player stands at 5-9. The other is merely 5-7. But make no mistake, Bethlehem Catholic grad Frank Trovato (the 5-9 guy) and the even more diminutive Marques Thompson played giant roles in Lehigh's 28-3 win at Georgetown on Saturday afternoon. Lehigh's "TNT" attack was enough to allow the Mountain Hawks to pull away for a win in the team's Patriot League opener and snap a two-game losing streak.

"We're still too sloppy," said Coen. "We made it a lot harder on ourselves than it needed to be with block-in-the-back penalties and other miscues on offense and poor tackling on defense in the first half. We did a much job of tackling in the second half. And we didn't block [Georgetown defensive end] Alex Buzbee all day. He got a couple of sacks and forced [Threatt] out of the pocket. So, we have some things to work on. I pride myself on having a disciplined football team and we're not there yet."

Easton Express-Times:
Thompson is Lehigh's Go-To Guy
Upshot: "I feel good," said Thompson, who averaged 5.3 yards on 23 carries and scored on a pair of 5-yard touchdown runs -- his first rushing touchdowns since 2004 -- to salt away the game in the fourth quarter. "I play with a lot of confidence now. That's reflected in my yardage."

"We wanted to keep them from getting any momentum," [SS Julian] Austin said after striking the decisive blow for the defense. "Any time we get a lead, we feel the game is on us."

"I really like the way we stepped up in the fourth quarter and finished the game," Trovato said. "Which is very important. Coach tells us, 'September's done.' We've got to look forward to October. This is football season, it's getting a little colder and we're into league play. That's all that matters."

"You've got to win all of your league games," Thompson said. "Without those, you can't get into the playoffs. We have to focus on those."

Lehigh/Georgetown Recap
Upshot: Three turnovers exposed the Georgetown Hoyas once again, spoiling what was a fine defensive effort and opening up the floodgates in a 28-3 Lehigh win Saturday. The game turned late in the third quarter when a strong Georgetown drive advanced to the Lehigh 11, with hopes that a touchdown could bring the G-men within four. Instead, RB Erik Carter fumbled at the eight. The Engineers turned up the offense with a nine play drive, aided by passes of 36 yards [to WR Lee Thomas] and 27 yards [to WR Mike Fitzgerald] to get the score, 21-3.


Ngineer said…
Don't disagree with highlighting Fabre and Austin, but I think Ernie Moore, again, came up big.
As for special teams, I think the difference may be in the 'net'. Leo had nice hang time and little return, whereas the Georgetown punter had some beauties, but also some mediocres--especially the one Travato was able to return 20 yards to set up the TD before the half.
Good call with Colgate. I definitely see the potential for a multiple tie in the PL this year.

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