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Official Release: Lehigh 45. Fordham 24

This week, we get a happy recap to go along with the now-regular features on the Lehighsports.com website like the podcast of the postgame press conference and video of senior WR Mike Fitzgerald's second touchdown pass on the afternoon:

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Sophomore quarterback J.B. Clark led the Mountain Hawks to a 45-24 victory against defending Patriot League champion Fordham in what was by far the best statistical game of his career at Lehigh.

Clark threw for 296 yards on 18-of-27 passing in the win. The sophomore connected for four touchdowns through the air and added another on the ground while not throwing an interception for the second-consecutive week. With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 2-3 on the season and 1-0 in the Patriot League and run their record to a perfect 10-0 at Goodman Stadium versus Fordham. The Rams dropped their second-consecutive league game to fall to 2-3 (0-2).

"I'm obviously very proud of our kids for a lot of reasons," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said afterwards. "Through the adversity of the last two weeks, these kids came out, they worked hard, they didn't get down, they got angry." He continued, "We played well today. Well enough to win. We made some of the plays that we needed to make to get the win today. I thought the kids executed pretty well. They made their share of mistakes too, but it's easier to clean those things up after you come away with a win like we did today."
Worth adding to the mix of recaps is the following as well from Keith Groller of the Morning Call. In this quote from WR Mike Fitzgerald, it's a sign that Lehigh has taken the right lessons from the close losses:

''You could probably see it in everyone's reaction coming off the field and in our locker room. Guys were just sick and tired of losing, especially the way we were losing. I think you can expect to see more of this over the next three games.''
Finally, Lehighsports.com had a really good article about two local players who devoted themselves to getting into Lehigh, and did so: the safety tandem of senior DB Quadir Carter and senior DB Brendan VanAckeren. Both talk a bit about growing up in Bethlehem - VanAckeren on the north side and Carter on the south side - and how they cam to choose Lehigh.

Carter is one year older than Van Ackeren, having attended The Hill School in Pottstown for a year of post-graduate schooling after graduating from Freedom High School. “I struggled academically in high school and wasn’t very interested in any of the subjects being taught. Still, I could have gone to college, but my high school coach (Jim Morgans) talked to me about considering prep school. It turned out to be a great decision.”

Carter continues, “The Hill School helped me in a lot of ways. It prepared me for the rigorous academics and it helped me in adjusting to a much different social scene. By the time I came to Lehigh, the transition wasn’t nearly as tough as when I went to prep school. I really enjoy learning here at Lehigh; I’m able to select the courses I want to take and it makes things interesting.”

“I had talked to the coaches at Lehigh and they were very interested in Quadir,” Morgans explains. “They recommended that he go to prep school and he took it from there. He used football as a vehicle and I’m very proud of him.”

...

While Carter was attending The Hill School, Van Ackeren was contemplating where he would attend college upon graduation from Liberty High School. It was then that a former Lehigh football player, Jim Seratelli, offered his thoughts on the University just down the street. “I coached Brendan during his senior year at Liberty and quickly noticed that he was an outstanding person from an outstanding family,” Seratelli explains. “He’s very bright, he’s polite and I was immediately drawn to him.”

Seratelli continues, “As I’m watching Brendan, the entire time I’m thinking, this is the perfect Lehigh guy. He gives 100-percent on the field, he’s smart, the young guys look up to him, he’s an incredibly hard working individual and I just knew that Lehigh University would be a perfect fit for him.”

“I knew that Lehigh would be a good fit,” Van Ackeren says. “I knew it was a good school, I knew about the tradition and it just felt like the right environment for me.”

Hopefully, Lehigh will be able to continue to get these sort of men in the program for years to come.

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