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Lehigh 19, Drake 0, Final

Coach Coen finally got his season-opening win. In a game that featured torrential rain and Lehigh's brand-new grass and drainage system almost as much as Lehigh's stifling defense, the Mountain Hawks scored 13 early points and didn't look back in cruising to a 19-0 victory. (My photo album will hopefully be up sometime in the next couple of days.)

With so much talk in the offseason about quarterbacks, how's this for a debut: sophomore QB J.B. Clark's first two pass attempts as a starting QB were completions for touchdowns. His stat sheet was modest, but efficient - 9-for-12 for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. One of those was a beautiful streak by senior WR Sekou "Stunt Man" Yansane down the right side of the field where he "beat his man like a rented mule" as another famous Pennsylvania sports announcer once uttered.

Senior RB Matt McGowan erased any lingering doubts about his injuries from last year after posting his best-ever day rushing in a Mountain Hawk uniform. His 39 rushes for 172 yards were 60% of the offensive Lehigh plays for the Mountain Hawks on the afternoon, and McGowan played his style of running. "I'm not going to try to run around you - I'm going to try to run you over first," he said, and on many of his runs he basically did just that. "We had seven guys trying to block nine or ten guys [in the second half]," coach Coen said. "[Even so,] I thought Matt a couple times was going to turn one of those 10 or 12 yard runs into 60 yarders."

Defensively, Lehigh had an outstanding day disrupting Drake's offensive system. The Mountain Hawk "D" held the Bulldogs to only 7 yards rushing, forced the duo of quarterbacks to go 12-32 for 118 yards and 2 interceptions while also pouncing on a fumble (although he wasn't given credit for it, from my angle on the field it looked like senior LB Tim Diamond forced the fumble from Drake QB Cole Ingle). Statistically, senior DL Brian Jackson had the best day with 7 tackles, at 1 tackle for loss.

Special teams had their troubles at times with the conditions, but one player that did impress on special teams (and defense) is junior LB Troy Taylor with two nice tackles on kickoffs and an absolute bone-crusher hit on a busted running play in the second quarter.

All that, and Lehigh shut out another opponent at Goodman Stadium: their first shutout at Goodman since last year (a 45-0 defeat of Georgetown) and their first shutout of an opponent at Goodman not named Georgetown since 1998 (when Lehigh shut out Wofford 26-0). What's not to like about the defensive effort?

It's great to get a "W" this early. Having said that, it's difficult to see what we've learned about this Lehigh team at this point in time with this victory. Drake, part of the non-scholarship Pioneer League, is on their third head coach in three years and had what looked to be a pretty thin travel team on the other sideline from Des Moines, Iowa. The Bulldogs played their guts out - coach Coen said Drake "played very, very physical" and gave them lots of credit in the postgame press conference - and did hold us without a touchdown after the 1st quarter of the game. On special teams, there were (predictably) mistakes that needed correction.

The old saying is that teams see the most improvement from Week One to Week Two, and Lehigh will need to show that improvement next week if they hope to have a chance to knock down nationally-ranked Villanova.

Comments

hawkineer said…
Slight correction to your analysis. His first completion, I believe, was to Fitzgerald which set up the pass to Herrion. So his first two passes were not for TDs.
Anonymous said…
Slight correction to your correction - it's Troy Healion
Anonymous said…
Slight correction. His first twho passes were touchdowns because his first pass went backwards witch means its a lateral.
Anonymous said…
I happened to be at the game on Saturday and sophomore quarterback J.B. Clark looked exceptionally well. At his first Lehigh start he opened up the game with a screen pass that put them into the red zone and then after a run he went for a fade in the right corner of the endzone with a great catch by the receiver. On the next possession he came out to a fast start hitting his receiver in stride for a 85 yard touchdown pass. As the game went on his passes attempts were limited (only 1 pass in the 2nd half) because of the rainfall coming down harder and harder as the game carried on. Also senior running back Matt McGowan has superstar caliber game. With over 175 yards rushing and keeping the clock moving. I just hope we can do the same we did this week against a tough Villanova game.
Anonymous said…
So many relatives with their own agenda...... It wasn't a fade, it was a drag on a rollout that the TE made a nice catch on. The long pass was pretty one to a reciever that beat his defender by 10 yards. The rest of the game the coaching staff did a good job of not letting him make any mistakes by calling only short dump passes and letting the recievers make the plays.
Anonymous said…
To the last post...what is your problem? Lehigh had a great opener the entire team played well.
ngineer said…
There are a few who always feel compelled to be critical even when we win in poor weather conditions. Sure it was conservative play calling, but Clark showed why he was selected to be the starter. He showed poise and a very good arm that can stretch the field. This was a nice 'solid' win over a team we should have beaten and did. The team did not take Drake lightly and played with consistency. Scoring the first TD after the 5 yard procedure penalty was a good sign. Last year's team would probably had to settle for a FG. Hopefully Bode and Walker aren't hurt too bad as we'll need all the depth we get at Villanova.
Anonymous said…
Check your stats before you post a message. Last Year TD % in the red zone 47%. Saturday 33%.
Matthew Girardi said…
Why doesn't the same person who leaves all the negative posts put their name on the site other than being anonymous... Obviously you are the same crab that consistently makes unnecessary comments. Scared to unveil who you really are? South Bend is only 630 miles away. ..Go join the rest of the cry babies.
Matt Clark- brother of J.B. Clark and not anonymous said…
Mr. Negative must have a few issues..

1) Too much free time
2) Lack of or unable to woo a
significant other
3) Ties to Lafayette

It's okay ... we all understand you never made it..

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