With the Brown and White, Lehigh's student newspaper, not providing coverage for homecoming, and the local Lewisburg papers' staying away from this 1-6 Bison team this week, coverage was pretty slim pickings this week in terms of the game. You could reread my great coverage of the game, of course, but you can also enjoy the local writeups of the game as well. (That includes a fantastic set of photographs by Denise Sanchez of the Morning Call that show sophomore WR Ryan Spadola's fingertip catch in the end zone in the first quarter.
All those links are provided below. (more)
Official Release: Lehigh rolls to 32-10 Homecoming win over Bucknell
“I thought the first half, with exception of some kicking issues it was a very good half of football,” said Lehigh head coach Andy Coen. “There were some really good things out there. Offensively, we moved the ball and scored points, and the defense was doing well. We came out a little flat in the second half. They put points on the board, but we were able to answer, which was good to see. The defense got right back to doing what they were doing most of the time, [which was] shutting them down.”
“We knew we were going to be a pass first attack against these guys,” Coen said. “We matched up better was throwing the football against these guys. We came out and were able to do that. It was good to see. And we mixed the run in – getting three, four yards a clip there – and those eventually become bigger runs.”
“We just need to keep getting better,” Coen said. “We’re down to a month season, four weeks left in this football season, and we need to keep getting better. I think the offense is, and you look at the yardage given up the last couple weeks, the defense is too. That’s a positive sign.”
Morning Call: Lehigh Rolls Over Bucknell
Morning Call Photo Gallery: Bucknell vs. Lehigh
Express-Times: Lehigh Tops Bucknell 32-10 in Patriot League Opener
"Sophomore WR Ryan Spadola makes people miss," Coen said. "He's not a jitterbug, but he's strong. He's not a surprise to us. He showed up on scout team (last year) and our defensive coaches kept saying this kid is special. We were hoping to see this from him.
"Last couple weeks he's really been a super player for us."
"Coach says you have to be the playmaker, we need playmakers on offense," Spadola said. "When my number is called, I just try to help out the offense and put points on the board."
Spadola also made several plays on special teams, including downing a Lehigh punt on the 1-yard line early in the game.
"Junior QB Chris Lum and I have gotten on the same page," Spadola said of his relationship with the quarterback. "Coach pretty much always says to be a playmaker and when my number is called, I do the best I can. I expected a cover two defensive look and I was shocked when I saw man coverage out there. My eyes just lit up.
"We've got momentum at our back, we've got a three-game winning streak, so I think we proved that we're a team to be reckoned with, and I hope other teams just know we're coming."
"I think we fell into our shoes and found ourselves," Spadola said. "We knew we were a team all season that we could make plays. We started getting on same page, driving teams downfield and putting points on the board. I don't know what it is."
When asked about the success of getting after the quarterback, junior LB Tanner Rivas had a simple answer.
"Our defense schemes," said Rivas, who had four tackles and a sack. "Coach (Dave) Kotulski works the crap out of us every week. He tells us to get after it. We kept getting after him, he'd get away but we just kept on."
Morning Call: Lehigh must get through 'the 'Gate' to continue streak
The Mountain Hawks are 1-0 in the Patriot League and all alone in first place.
There's no need to do any scoreboard-watching. Beat Colgate, Holy Cross, Georgetown and Lafayette and Lehigh will win its first league championship since a co-title with Lafayette in 2006 and earn its first FCS playoff berth since 2004.
"We're moving in the right direction," Coen said. "We've certainly seen a lot of positives over the past two weeks. My hope is that I keep seeing them as we go through here. We need to be at our best over the next month, and hopefully we keep improving and get better in practice.
"These kids love football. They have a lot to manage here academically as well as athletically, but they've been doing a great job so far and they need to keep it up."
"The last couple of weeks Ryan has been a super player for us," Coen said. "But Craig and Jake also had big days today and it's good that [Lum] is doing a nice job of distributing the ball and getting where it needs to be.
"If defenses take some things away with how they defend the field, there should be other things there that we can take advantage of; running the ball being one of them."
The 181 rushing yards was a season-high. Jay Campbell gained 80 yards, but both Zach Barket, the high school-record breaker from Schuylkill Haven, and freshman Keith Sherman, made major contributions.
Everything will be needed against Colgate.
"We had them beat here two years ago, and we let that one slip away, and were in a real competitive game at Hamilton [N.Y.] last year," Coen said. "We've had great games with them. The Lehigh-Colgate games, you know what types of games they are. If you love football, you love watching this game, you love playing in this game and you love coaching in this game."
Official Bucknell Recap: Football Falls to Lehigh, 32-10
The Bison amassed just 80 yards of total offense in the first half, more than half of which (43 yards) came on their touchdown drive. Bucknell finished with 195 yards. Lehigh totaled 289 yards in the first half and finished the game with 466.
Lehigh dominated the time of possession in the first half, possessing the ball for 19:50. The Bison, who opened the second half with a 12-play, 64-yard drive that spanned 5:40 and ended with a 27-yard field goal from Alex Eckard, evened the time of possession in the second half as the final tally was 34:29-25:31.
The Mountain Hawks scored four times in the first half and led 23-7 at halftime. Lehigh set the tone early as it marched 67 yards on eight plays on the very first drive of the game. Lum was 5-for-7 on the drive for 54 yards.