Skip to main content

Top 5 Goodman Moments, and The Personal Touch

Think you'd get this at Ohio State? In a busy week for Lehigh athletics, yesterday marked a first: a season ticket pickup event where holders could chat with coach Coen, assistant coaches, and the captains of the 2007 squad: senior QB Sedale Threatt, senior DB Ernest Moore, senior C John Reese, and senior DB Brannan Thomas. It took place at the Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame (at Taylor Gymnasium in the middle of campus) and sounded like a fun event - I'd love for stuff like this to be an annual thing which emphasizes the personal and familial nature of Lehigh football. What better way to get folks excited than to talk to the players and coaches? (You can still buy season tickets if you click here.)

In other big news, our men's basketball coach Billy Taylor was hired away by Ball State this week, leaving the Lehigh basketball program in (what seemed to me) some disarray. The Morning Call report made it sound like Lehigh was somewhat caught flat-footed by the departure, with incoming recruits being unclear on the new direction and Lehigh Athletics Director Joe Sterrett heading a team to find an interim basketball coach.

First of all, I can't really blame coach Taylor for taking this opportunity to take a coaching position closer to his alma mater (Notre Dame). It sounds like a fantastic opportunity for him to climb the coaching ladder. Unfortunately, Lehigh also loses not only a very successful basketball coach who resurrected a program that was down in the dumps, but his presence also was one that served to welcome other African-American coaches and athletes into the Lehigh family. "Diversity" is an overused word, but Lehigh's diversity (for lack of a better term) has gotten better in recent years (for example, 11% of the class of 2010 was either African-American or Latino), and it's coaches like coach Taylor that we have to thank for that.

Coach Taylor hardly left a blank cupboard here, with a successful recruiting class and a team that isn't short on talent. Any incoming coach has a golden opportunity to make Lehigh the next Holy Cross or Bucknell in men's basketball in my somewhat-biased opinion. Here's hoping that the next coach will continue waht coach Taylor started.

Finally, Lehigh also kicked off their 20 seasons at Goodman promotion, where Lehigh Athletics will be compiling the Top 20 moments at Goodman Stadium. Lehigh Athletics is taking submissions from fans for their favorite games - just shoot them an email at sports@lehigh.edu with "Goodman 20" as the subject. When they're done on August 20th, they will compile the results and Lehigh's weekly sports magazine will count down the top 20 all-time games. Sounds like fun!

If you don't live in the area or don't get one of the buffet of different channels that carry the Lehigh Sports Magazine (DirecTV, DISH Network, Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh, Fox College Sports Atlantic, and CSTV: College Sports Television, and Service Electric 2 Sports), you can click here on the Lehigh Athletics site to find out about subscribing to the Yahoo! Sports Pack so you can watch (or listen) to Lehigh sports (and not just football), Lehigh press conferences, and the Sports Magazine online. I'm an old-fashioned "just barely off of basic cable guy", but I am a proud user of the Yahoo! Sports Pack and I find it to be the best sports deal of the century - last year it was about $6 per month (I think).

To help with the discussion on the "Top 20 Moments at Goodman", I thought I'd rank my personal Top 5 that doesn't include some of the more obvious choices (like "The Catch" during Lehigh/Lafayette 1995, or the 43-42 almost-win versus Holy Cross in 1991).

5. "The Abdullah Show" - October 21st, 1995. In Goodman's history, the best individual performance could have been RB Rabih Abdullah's 266 yard, 5 TD effort against the Cornell Big Red, including 2 TD runs of more than 60 yards. Abdullah was responsible for 30 of Lehigh's points (!) in a 34-23 win.

4. "7th and Goal" - November 27th, 2004. Yeah, we did end up losing this game 14-13 to the eventual national champion James Madison Dukes - but this was a truly underrated game in the annals of Goodman (and one of my first I-AA diaries). A defensive war, the "D"'s toughness stood out by stopping a powerful JMU offensive line on six straight goal line stands from the 1 yard line after finally yielding.

3. "Stambaugh's Scramble" - September 26th, 1998. It was too early then to speculate that Lehigh would have an undefeated regular season, but this thriller at Goodman against a rising Tiger squad was a dandy that went into overtime. After a rushing TD saw Princeton come all the way back to tie it at 24, Aylsworth was intercepted with time remaining to bring the game to OT. Then, Stambaugh took off on a broken play and found his way to the end zone - and CB Sam Brinley would seal the deal on Princeton's possession with an interception in the end zone for a 31-24 victory.

2. "Halloween Revenge" - October 31st, 2004. I'm not biased in favor of my diary games - really I'm not. But this 21-14 win over Colgate didn't only break a 2-game losing streak to the Raiders - it was the moment that Lehigh needed to show that they could beat a team that had been to the national championship game the year before, with most of the supporting cast still there. Tied most of the way, a surprise option play to Eric Rath ended up being the go-ahead score. Colgate was driving for the winning TD when an end-zone interception with 13 seconds left sealed the deal.

1. "South Mountain Miracle" - December 8th, 2001. The 24-21 victory over Hofstra in Lehigh's first-ever home playoff win has to be near the top of the list of moments - especially the way it played out. Star WR Josh Snyder on crutches to start the game? The Pride jumping out to a 14-0 lead which had their head coach thinking "blowout"? An ineffective QB Brant Hall benched for a little-used backup, QB Luke Cianello? Yet somehow, against all odds, Lehigh would battle their way back. With 3 minutes to play, RB Trevor Dimmie fumbled for Hofstra and Cianello would embark on "The Drive", a 92-yard grind that saw RB Jermaine Pugh get the game-tying score (and K Brian Kelley getting the extra-point) with 19 seconds left. You know the rest of the story: the "D" would stop the Pride in OT, and Kelley converted the FG to win their first postseason game since 1979 - and the first (and only) one at Goodman.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Aylsworth's scramble? Aylsworth graduated in 1996. It was Stambaugh.

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…