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Showing posts from November 12, 2006

Lafayette 49, Lehigh 27, final

Where to begin?

I'm tossed. Part of me wants to lay into Lehigh's inability to tackle today, and their inability to stop 3rd down conversions. Letting the Leopards drop 49 points on us is something that is incredibly disappointing, with an eye-popping 6-for-6 in the red zone. Not to mention the 466 yards of offense. It was a bad day for us in "The Rivalry" defensively, to put it mildly. I can't remember a day when our defense got such a butt-whoopin'. 1994 leaps to mind - of course, that was the last time Lafayette pounded us in Fisher by scoring more than 40 points. (That game was 54-20.)

Yet, it wasn't 1994. The team didn't simply turn over and play dead down 28-7. They came all the way back and rode the momentum back to 28-27. The team battled back, and that shouldn't be forgotten. Midway through the 3rd quarter, we all had serious hope. There is no doubt about that.

But that was the end of the line. In crunch time, the offense didn&…

Friday Happy Hour: Lehigh/Lafayette

With apologies to the NYC Lehigh Club of 2003, it's time for this weekend's Water Cooler... I mean, Happy Hour! Lehigh and Lafayette alumni are undoubtedly getting their final arrangements together to either head back to Bethlehem and Easton to catch the 142nd, or you can make like these folks did and go to a Lehigh/Lafayette telecast party anywhere around the country.

If you haven't gotten your plans ready, you can just surf on over to the Lehigh Alumni web site for information. A list of locations for the Lehigh/Lafayette telecasts are listed, directions to Lafayette, and a link to the best unofficial news source on Lehigh football. (One guess.)

As to tailgating at Easton, I only have a couple of suggestions, namely: Get there early. The parking garage next to Fisher is a great place to tailgate, but it's the pros that generally get there early (if it's not for season-ticket holders - I'm not sure). If you miss that (like I probably will), you'll have to pa…

Memories of "The Rivalry"

"The Rivalry" means different things to different fans. To some, it's an extension of the high school rivalries between Bethlehem and Easton. To others, it's a fun party and a way to blow off steam after a tough semester at Lehigh or Lafayette: the last big blowout before Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays. To others it's being a part of history: something that has been here long before us.

Everyone can agree that "The Rivalry" is simply something that trancends a mere football game.

Lehigh and Lafayette are only separated by 13 miles along historic Route 22, which means that the fans, students and alumni of both schools don't have to travel far to see the game. If you're a student, you can leave your fraternity in the morning, get to the game, and be back in time to celebrate on Saturday night.

More than other rivalries, the Bethlehem, Allentown, and Easton communities are also flush with "The Rivalry" as well. It transcends "Le…

Preview of Lehigh/Lafayette

This picture, taken just after the end of the Lafayette/Georgetown game, lends itself to the imagination as to what exactly head coach Frank "GQ" Tavani is telling his players. It probably involves the words "focus", "championships", and "climbing higher". But the point is clear. Just like 2004 and 2005, he will have his troops focused and ready for "The Rivalry".

The 5 game losing streak, the struggles against the Ivy League, the loss to Holy Cross, the slow start. All history to the Leopards now. The only history they will be looking at is 2004 and 2005.

2004. A year where Lehigh fans remember getting pummled by Lafayette 24-10 in what will end up being the last Lehigh/Lafayette game in an unrenovated Fisher field, complete with "Woodrow Wilson Era" bathrooms and a pressbox you couldn't shoehorn your grandmother into. A game where we went into halftime with a 7-0 lead, a hungry Leopard team took control with some tough pl…

Press Roundup: Fordham/Lehigh

We can't get to Lehigh/Lafayette without celebrating the week that was: the Fordham game which got us to this game for "all the marbles" in the Patriot League. There will be plenty of time for breaking down "THE Rivalry" (Wednesday), talking about the personal side of "THE Rivalry" (Thursday), and, of course, what folks are saying around the water cooler (Friday). For now, we give out game balls for last week's game.

On offense, it's fitting that we give balls to senior RB Marques Thompson and the "O" Line, junior T Jimmy Kehs, senior G Pete Morelli, senior C John Reese, senior G Jim Petrucelli, and senior T Jason Russell. The line simply smothered the Fordham defensive line and forged 237 net rushing yards for our offense, while Thompson scorched the Rams to the tune of 144 all-purpose yards and 3 TDs. A completely dominating performance for a boatload of seniors who are the reason why we're here this year.

Defensively I'll gi…

Playoff Speculation, T-6 Days

Last week I engaged in some I-AA playoff speculation, and it was so popular I figured I'd revisit this today, 6 days before the selections will be announced on ESPN News.

The full rules for playoff selection were explained in this post, but the basics are: eight conferences (including the Patriot League) have an autobid into the I-AA playoffs, and eight teams will be selected as at-large qualifiers. For Lehigh fans, it's really simple: win, and we win the Patriot League title outright and will be playing the weekend after Thanksgiving. Lose, and the season will be over. The chance of Lehigh getting an at-large bid is super-remote.

Let's run down what we know. First, the autobid qualifiers.

Atlantic 10: With James Madison losing and UMass winning last weekend, the Minutemen wrapped up the autobid, no matter what happens next weekend vs. Hofstra.

Gateway:Youngstown State wrapped this up by beating Western Kentucky in their final regular-season game.

SoCon: Appalachian State clinc…

Sunday's Word: Rivalry

The Lehigh/Lafayette rivalry - what I like to refer to as simply "The Rivalry" - is the purest and greatest rivalry in the world. And this year it's for all the marbles - a I-AA playoff berth.

Sure, Lehigh clinched a Patriot League co-championship by blowing out Fordham in an impressive display on Saturday. But it sure would be awfully empty sharing it with Lafayette, losing to the Leopards in "The Rivalry" and sitting at home Thanksgiving weekend. Lehigh/Lafayette is always more than just a game, but with a I-AA Playoff game on the line, "The Rivalry", in effect, is another playoff game. Win, we survive and play on. Lose, we're done.

Lehigh and Lafayette have played each other more times than any other rivals in the history of college football. This will be the 142nd meeting between these two schools, who are separated only by about 13 miles along old Route 22. There are other rivalries are considered big games: Michigan/Ohio State, Alabama/…