Skip to main content

Players Of The Week, Lehigh/Princeton

This week's vote for "Player Of The Week" was awfully close, but ultimately it was taken by a defender who probably also should have been Patriot League Player of the week.

On offense, I'm going to give it to both of the fab freshmen backs who played in this game: freshmen Kwesi Kankam and Jaren Walker. Kankam got 73 hard-earned rushing yards and an early touchdown to give Lehigh a lead they would never relinquish, not to mention a huge 3rd-and-15 on the game-icing drive off a screen pass that was crucial. Walker netted 59 rushing yards, got a big 4th-down conversion to help keep a drive alive at the end of the first half to score a touchdown, and got the tough yards between the tackles to power a the game-clinching touchdown for himself in the 4th quarter - in his first appearance as a Mountain Hawk.

There are a lot of special teamers that need recognition for some great stuff that was happening against Princeton: a blocked punt that ended up being a safety, heads-up play on kickoff coverage to recover a muffed kickoff, and heads-up play to recover a muffed punt. The two I will single out for this week are freshman DB Jarard Cribbs and sophomore DB Jesse Sanchez. Cribbs, in addition to an assisted tackle on special teams, alertly pounced on the ball after a muffed Princeton punt to give the offense another shot at the end zone, while Sanchez' only contribution on the stat sheet was a huge one: a blocked punt which went out of the end zone that put Lehigh up by four scores, 25-0.

After honoring four underclassmen, it's time to honor the defensive player that was voted by the fans as Player of the Week: senior DB Brannan Thomas. Not only did he lead the team in tackles on the night with seven, his forcing of two turnovers on Princeton's first two possessions of the game forced the Tigers to get out of their offensive gameplan right off the bat and put us out to daunting 13-0 lead. The first was a flying strip of Princeton RB R.C. Lagomarsino that was recovered by Lehigh, which resulted in the Mountain Hawks' first touchdown. The very next series, he would intercept Tiger QB Bill Foran to set up the second score - forcing two turnovers in Princeton's first four offensive plays. It's a dominating defensive performance that is more than deserving for Player of the Week.

Congratulations to all the winners! Tomorrow, look for the VMI/Lehigh game preview.


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…