Skip to main content

Press Mash-Up And Lehigh Gets More Votes

Somehow, I don't think the photo to my left is of freshman QB J.B. Clark, although he and senior LB Justin Weaver share the same number. (Photo courtesy of Demetra Stamus, Morning Call.) Aside from the missed photo credit, the press seemed pretty rosy about Lehigh this week after their 37-6 drubbing of VMI.

In the Sports Network Poll, Lafayette squeezed a few more votes than Lehigh and Holy Cross as the Mountain Hawks and Crusaders continued their slow climb to the rankings. It's still a bit of a way to #25, but only a handful of votes separate Lafayette (37), Lehigh (31), and Holy Cross (30).

How did I forget that at halftime the 50th anniversary of the 1957 Lambert Cup team was going to be honored? I should have mentioned that. This weekend, the 1977 Division II Championship team is going to be honored at halftime. I thought I'd mention this now, just in case I forget.

Here's the links and mash-up.

Allentown Morning Call: Lehigh Starts Fast, Puts VMI Away Early
Allentown Morning Call: Lehigh Exudes Confidence
Easton Express-Times: Donchez Shows Off His Arm
Brown & White: First Half Success Keys Win
Dave Coulson, Sports Network: Another Quick Start for Lehigh

Fifty years ago, VMI came to Lehigh and played what some consider to be one of the best games in Taylor Stadium history.

VMI won a battle of the unbeatens that day, 12-7, giving the Engineers their lone blemish in an 8-1, Lambert Cup-winning season.

That '57 team was honored at halftime Saturday at Goodman Stadium.

And, perhaps those guys gained a measure of satisfaction from the 37-6 pounding the current Lehigh team administered to the 2007 Keydets.

"We talked all week about not coming out flat," said Lehigh coach Andy Coen. "In the second half we got a little conservative, but when we got back to doing the things we did in the first half, we drove right down the field."

"When you play against that style of attack, staying disciplined is the key," Coen said. "We did a real good job of tackling. They had just a few broken tackles all day. We looked back on the Villanova game [a 30-20 Week 1 loss] and thought we needed to be more aggressive, more emotional on defense. We want to fly around to the ball, but at the same time you can't lose that discipline."

"Defensively, we played lights-out the whole game," Coen said. "This is a very emotional group of guys playing right now."

"We're satisfied today, but I've already told these guys we've got a very good team coming in here and we're going to have to execute better and play a very good game to have a chance," Coen said.


Even wide receiver and Bethlehem Catholic grad Pete Donchez joined the first-half fun with a 66-yard option pass to Johnson for a score.

"We practiced that play a lot this week and it was a little rocky at practice," said Donchez, who was one seven different pass-catchers, but the only receiver to throw a pass. “The whole week we were talking about catching the ball and selling the fake. I kind of had to rush the throw.

"It ended up working out really well. That was my first shot at being a quarterback and I enjoyed it."

"He's got the best quarterback rating in the country," Lehigh coach Andy Coen joked.

What made the play most impressive was Donchez -- more accustomed to being on the receiving end of such big throws -- unloaded one under duress, releasing the touchdown bomb just before taking a shot.

"I could see the defender coming out of the corner of my eye," Donchez said. "Nick made a great play on the outside to sell the block and get open, so, it wasn't that hard to hit him in the numbers."

"It was very catchable," praised Johnson. "I just had to sell the safety a little bit. My eyes got a little wide."

"We've got more like that," said coach Coen.


TE Troy Healion, a junior, has stepped in and more than adequately filled in for senior Joe Sutherland at tight end.

"Joe getting hurt in the first game gave me an opportunity,"Healion said. "He's getting better now and he's the better blocker. I just want to maintain a part in the offense.

“In the red zone all we want to do is take the attention off the outside guys and make plays,” Healion said. “The opposing teams don’t have one particular player to single out on our offense. We can all make plays and that makes the offense work well. We need to continue to dominate and not settle for field goals.”

WR Nick Johnson, too, has given the offense a different dimension.

"The coaches put me in a great position to make plays and I just feel it's my duty to come on the field and make them," said the junior from Lusby, Md. “It is a lot of fun to go out there and know you’re going to get opportunities to make a play. Every person on the offense has the potential to make a big play.”

"My first two years here were definitely a building block. I was behind some guys with more seniority and more savvy and now I'm getting my chance."


Anonymous said…
I noticed a couple other players share the same number. How does that impact participation?

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Lehigh's Battles With The Late Tubby Raymond

(Photo Credits: Delaware Online)

When I heard the news Tubby Raymond, legendary Delaware head football coach, died last week at the age of 92, two immediate memories came rushing back to me.

One occurred on October 16th, 1999, when Tubby had made a complaint to the local paper or radio in the run-up to Kevin Higgins' Mountain Hawks beating his Blue Hens on Delaware's homecoming, 42-35.

I have no idea if the quote even actually happened, but my recollection is that Tubby said that Lehigh had "St. Bartholomew's" on their schedule, and hadn't played anybody.  It was a verbal jab that many Delaware fans took with them to the stands to heckle the Mountain Hawk fans that made the short trip to Newark.

Up until that point, I had watched a bunch of Lehigh football games over the years.  I experienced their rise in the 1990s.  I enjoyed wins, and championships, and playoff victories.

But never had I felt a win so viscerally vindicating than the one over Tubby Raymond&…

Lehigh Wrestling Gets Superstar Treatment at PPL Center. Lehigh Football Needs The Same At Murray Goodman.

"We knew it would be nice," Lehigh wrestling head coach Pat Santoro said. "But it was even better than we expected."

Pat was talking about the reception his Lehigh wrestling squad experienced at Allentown's PPL Center this weekend, when a sellout crowd over nearly 10,000 people came to watch No. 1 Penn State grapple with No. 5 Lehigh in a collegiate wrestling event.

It was, by all accounts, something special to behold. 

"I thought it was really cool and an exciting place to wrestle," said Penn State wrestler Nick Nevills. "These fans were really into it, a rowdy bunch. It's a lot more fun as an athlete to wrestle in an environment like this. I'd say it was one of the most exciting times I have had in my career."

The sense of spectacle at the PPL center, though, puts a spotlight on what more can be done at Lehigh itself to make their athletic contests into spectacles.  It requires money to be spent and energy to be expended.  But the…

Troy Pelletier Hasn't Stopped Outworking His Rivals On His Journey To Professional Football

Many Patriot League football fans remember the 153rd meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette, one that ended happily for the Mountain Hawks.

They might remember the MVP performance of QB Brad Mayes, or perhaps the halftime speech by OL Zach Duffy that seemed to spur the Mountain Hawks to victory.

Or perhaps they might remember the spectacular single play of Mayes rolling right and finding WR Gatlin Casey in the end zone to give the Mountain Hawks a lead they didn't relinquish.  It was an incredible play by Mayes, who returns this upcoming year for his senior season, and Casey, who, having exhausted his eligibility at Lehigh, will be playing one more year at Middle Tennessee State.

As great as those individual moments are, though, they are not my biggest takeaway of that game.

Too many Lehigh people forget that Lehigh was down 31-21 at half, and that victory was no sure thing.  And they sometimes forget that so much of that victory came from the grinding of WR Troy Pelletier, deliver…