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Official Release: Harvard 27, Lehigh 24

As we reflect on the 27-24 loss to Harvard, one thing is becoming more clear: it was a very close game that could have gone either way. Without making excuses for the loss, the two plays around the end zone - the strip of senior WR Sekou Yansane in the end zone by Harvard CB Drew Berry, and the strip by the Harvard defensive lineman of sophomore QB J.B. Clark weren't so much Lehigh screw-ups as they were stupendous individual plays by the Harvard defense.

Speaking of screw-ups, voting for the Lehigh vs. Harvard Player of the Week is now available in the sidebar. I've extended voting through Wednesday to make up for the delay.

That's not to say Lehigh played a screw-up-free game - far from it. The official recap, and head coach Andy Coen, says it well:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard linebacker Glenn Dorris recovered a Lehigh fumble on the Crimson’s 19 yard line with just 1:07 to play, and Harvard was able to run out the clock to hang on for a 27-24 victory over the visiting Mountain Hawks at Harvard Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Lehigh scored 17 second-half points and looked poised to go in for the winning score, but the untimely turnover prevented that from happening. With the win, Harvard improves to 4-1 on the season, while Lehigh drops to 2-4 with the setback.

"Obviously a tough, tough loss for us today," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said during the post game press conference. "The game was lost in the first half; we made too many mistakes and didn't make the big play."

He continued, "We gave them 14 points off of turnovers (in that first half). I will say this about our kids. They gave great effort. The second half was probably the best half of football I've seen this team play in my two-plus years as the head coach. We talked about it at halftime, just playing within yourself, taking it one snap at a time. And in the second half we did that, and gave ourselves a chance to win."
The official box score is available here.

If you thought that coach Coen considers this a "moral victory", if you read the Morning Call's Monday recap you know that's not true:

Coen would not embrace the effort in Cambridge as a ''moral victory.''

''I don't believe in them. We have to find ways to win these games because how many times are you going to allow this to happen?'' he said.

Of increasing concern is the injury toll.

Starting left guard Chris Tiefenthal and backup split end Nick Johnson missed Saturday's game and backup tailback Jaren Walker is out for the season. Bode, a key man on the defensive line, left the game with a knee injury and his status was uncertain.

''Injuries are going to creep up on you when you play a physical team like this,'' Coen said. ''Injuries are a part of football. You just have to deal with them.''

Worthy of special mention is something else that coach Coen is doing this week versus Holy Cross: he's showing his support for the "Coach to Cure" effort to fight Muscular Dystrophy:

“I am very proud to be joining my fellow coaches in the Coach to Cure MD program,” Coen explained. “I am sure we will be able to create more awareness of this disease and help generate added funds necessary for research.” He added, “As football coaches we are very fortunate to work with some of the strongest and fastest young people in our country, and it is only fitting that our association should step forward to help those who are stricken by MD.”

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood. Because the Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome, it primarily affects boys and occurs across all races and cultures.

Football fans will be able to donate to muscular dystrophy research either online at http://www.CoachToCureMD.org or by texting the word “CURE” to 90999 to automatically donate $5 from their mobile phones.

This seems like a good time to also mention that I shared a running commentary during the Fordham game with Brett Snyder '00, who is the president of the Tackle ALS Foundation. While we're supporting "Coach to Cure", it's worth also surfing over to Tackle ALS as well to find out about Brett's story and what his foundation is doing to help find a cure.

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