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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.

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