Skip to main content

QUICK RECAP: Mountain Hawks Defense Sets Tone As Lehigh Beats Colgate, 45-31

In all the pregame talk about an offensive showcase, we all forgot about how defense might be critical for the winning team in this important Patriot League Lehigh and Colgate clash.

Many saw the previous box scores and just assumed that Colgate's powerful offense, who put up more than 50 on Yale, would do something similar to the Mountain Hawks defense.

Not so.

After a 75 yard touchdown run by Colgate QB Jake Melville to start the game, the Lehigh defense forced two enormous turnovers, including a forced fumble by sophomore SS Sam McCloskey that was recovered by freshman FS Riley O'Neil on Colgate's first drive of the second half.


The play would allow Lehigh to tie it up with a 25 yard FG by sophomore PK Ed Mish, and it would fire off a string of 17 unanswered points that would give Lehigh a 31-17 lead that they would never relinquish.


After cutting the deficit to 31-24, junior WR Gatlin Casey, who had a day of days on offense, took the ensuing kickoff 93 yards to to end zone, making it 38-24.

Casey who racked up 196 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns from senior QB Nick Shafnisky, also added 195 yards in returns, giving the Florida native 389 all-purpose yards on the day and 4 scores.

Shafnisky, who went all the way this week after sitting out last week due to injury, went 27 for 40 passing for 394 yards and a career-high 5 touchdowns on the afternoon in front of 9,255 fans.

In addition, a sliding grab in the second half by junior WR Troy Pelletier gave him 102 yards on the afternoon and a critical touchdown.

But as powerful as Lehigh's offense was, it was the defense that held the Raiders scoreless through a large chunk of the second half.   The Mountain Hawks held the Raiders' powerful running attack to 252 total yards, and only gave up a late touchdown to make the score look closer than the game really was.

Key stops by senior LB Colton Caslow, senior LB Pierce Ripanti, and senior DB Laquan Lambert on 3rd down exemplified the second half effort, giving Colgate no answer to Lehigh's big-play touchdowns.

Check in later for the full LFN recap.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How The Ivy League Is Able To Break the NCAA's Scholarship Limits and Still Consider Themselves FCS

By now you've seen the results.  In 2018, the Ivy League has taken the FCS by storm. Perhaps it was Penn's 30-10 defeat of Lehigh a couple of weeks ago .  Or maybe it was Princeton's 50-9 drubbing of another team that made the FCS Playoffs last year, Monmouth.  Or maybe it was Yale's shockingly dominant 35-14 win over nationally-ranked Maine last weekend. The Ivy League has gone an astounding 12-4 so far in out-of-conference play, many of those wins coming against the Patriot League. But it's not just against the Patriot League where the Ivy League has excelled.  Every Ivy League school has at least one out-of-conference victory, which is remarkable since it is only three games into their football season.  The four losses - Rhode Island over Harvard, Holy Cross over Yale, Delaware over Cornell, and Cal Poly over Brown - were either close losses that could have gone either way or expected blowouts of teams picked to be at the bottom of the Ivy League. W

Made-Up Midseason Grades for Lehigh Football

 We are now officially midway through the 2023 Lehigh football season.  The Mountain Hawks sit at 1-5 overall, and 0-1 in the Patriot League. I thought I'd go ahead and make up some midseason grades, and set some "fan goals" for the second half. The 2023 Mountain Hawks were picked to finish fifth in the seven team Patriot League.  In order to meet or exceed that expectation, they'll probably have to go at least 3-2 the rest of the way in conference play.  Their remaining games are vs. Georgetown, at Bucknell, vs. Holy Cross, at Colgate, and vs. Lafayette in The Rivalry. Can they do it? Culture Changing: B+ .  I was there in the Bronx last week after the tough 38-35 defeat to Fordham, and there wasn't a single player emerging from the locker room that looked like they didn't care.  Every face was glum.  They didn't even seem sad.  More frustrated and angry. That may seem normal, considering the agonizing way the Mountain Hawks lost, but it was a marked chan

Eleven Guys Who Might Be Lafayette's Next Head Football Coach

It was a surprise.  Well, to me, anyway. Most people assumed that Lafayette head coach John Garrett was safe as the Leopards' head coach.  Though his five year record wasn't great, he had beaten bitter Rival Lehigh in two out of the last three Rivalry games, despite a tough 17-10 loss to Lehigh the final week of the year. Listening to the post-game press conference, I also didn't pick up on some of the signs that his job security might be in jeopardy.  Garrett was a bit prickly, but it was understandable - he had just lost a game to Lafayette's Rivals.  "The future is bright for Lafayette football," he said, not letting on that he might not be a part of that future. But by Monday, the announcement was made - after five years leading the Leopard football team, "Lafayette College will not renew the contract of head football coach John Garrett," a short press release stated.  "A national search for his replacement will begin immediately.  Defensive