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Official Release: Lehigh 31, Bucknell 15

The official release for Lehigh's victory over Bucknell was released yesterday.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Mountain Hawks have had their fair share of narrow losses in 2008, losing four games by three points or less this season. So the Brown and White decided not to leave Saturday’s game against Bucknell to chance, jumping out to an early lead and pulling away for a 31-15 victory in the home finale at Goodman Stadium.

With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 4-6 on the season, with a 3-2 mark in Patriot League play. The Bison, meanwhile, drop to 4-6 with a 1-4 record in league contests.

"I'm especially happy for our seniors for all of the hard work they've put in this season," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said during the post game press conference. "That group (of seniors) has been put through a very emotional season, so to see them walk off this field for the last time as winners makes me happy and I know they're a happy bunch."

Coen continued, "It wasn't our best game, particularly on offense, but our defense played great again and we made enough plays on offense to get the win. Now we move into the most exciting week of the season. It will be a challenge to keep our guys focused and it will be a challenge because Lafayette has a great football team, but we're certainly very excited for the opportunity."

As might be expected, the reactions from the Morning Call and the Express-Times were somewhat muted given the shadow of "The Rivalry", but there were still some good insights on the game this week in both recaps:

''We started off slow because they did a good job with coverage and the field was slick and it kept the routes more dull,'' said senior WR Mike "Cris Carter" Fitzgerald, who caught five passes for 29 yards and snared his 10th TD reception of the season.

''It was one of those games when it just wasn't going to happen. We did make a couple of big plays in the second half, but we struggled with consistency. It still turned out pretty good and we're happy with where we're at.''


The defense was led by junior LB Matt Cohen who had a 38-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and an interception.

"I was (covering) the quarterback on the option and saw the reverse," the Central Catholic High School graduate said. "Just being opportunistic, I picked up the ball and ran with it. I looked back a couple times to make sure I wasn't going to get caught."

In a related story, junior LB Matt Cohen also got Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for his two-turnover effort this Saturday.

The start of some of the special senior features were released on on senior LB Tim Diamond and senior WR Nick Johnson:

Tim Diamond was always heavily involved in sports while growing up. He began playing hockey when he was just six, and soon after took up soccer, basketball and baseball. Diamond loved being outdoors and enjoyed playing countless sports. However, the closest he could get to a football field was his own backyard. “My mom would not let me play organized football when I was young for fear of me getting hurt,” Diamond says. “But I would play in my backyard with my brothers and cousins. They’d make me the running back and really enjoyed chasing me down and piling on top of me. I think that’s where I got my toughness from.”


Whenever classmates inquire about the size of his high school graduating class at Shiloh Christian (Md.) Academy, Lehigh senior wide receiver Nick Johnson holds up three fingers.

“The person then usually looks at me and asks, ‘So, there were 300 kids in your graduating class?” says Johnson. “And then I’ll say, ‘Nope, just three kids.’ One, two, three.

“There were twice as many kids each night at our dinner table (Johnson is one of seven boys in his family), but coming from such a small school has its plusses. The graduation ceremony was nice and short. And you are guaranteed to finish in the top-three of your class.”

In Keith Groller's blog, he talks to Bucknell head football coach Tim Landis about who has the edge in "The Rivalry" this weekend:

"I've been impressed with our league as a whole; there's no easy games," he said. "To compare Lehigh and Lafayette, Lafayette is an excellent defensive football team. I look at Lehigh and statistically what they've done defensively, they've gotten better. It's going to lead up to an excellent football game,

"Against Lafayette, we were in it through the first half and the beginning of the third quarter and then made a couple of turnovers and a couple of mistakes and it got away from us. Lehigh needs to control their running game and their big offensive line.

"Now we didn't see Matt McGowan today and I don't want to take anything away from the kids who took his place, but him being back would help Lehigh next week. I think it's going to be a typical Lehigh-Lafayette game, a great game that either team could win."

Finally, while nobody would think about classifying Lehigh as a basketball school (at least this week), Lehigh's men's basketball team rolled over Delaware State 76-58 - and in the process made the Roundball Hawks 2-0 for the first time since 1997. (In their opener, the Mountain Hawks beat St. Peter's on the road, 79-62).

With Rider coming on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m., the men's team has a real shot at going 3-0, too.


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