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Lehigh Offense Continues To Impress During Spring Game, Win 48-34

Some spring games are loaded with drama as to who might be rising into starting positions.

On Lehigh's offense, which boasts a backup quarterback-turned-starter that threw for 1,000 yards last year, a 1,000 yard rusher, and two of the Top 10 receivers in all of FCS, drama for starting positions was, shall we way, lacking.

Instead, the scrimmage became a show as to what Lehigh fans might be able to hope to see in Setpember, a reminder of all the good things that may be in store.

In that sense, even though they started out slow, junior QB Brad Mayes, junior RB Dominick Bragalone, senior WR Troy Pelletier and senior WR Gatlin Casey showed that they indeed still knew how to play some football.

They all came to play, and in the process gave Lehigh fans a taste of an offense that has the potential to be special yet again.


If Mayes had a goal this spring, it was to develop his leadership of this offense.  Though the Tampa, Florida native had stepped in a lot over the last two years during untimely injuries to then-starter QB Nick Shafnisky, it was still, in many ways, Nick's team.

Brad earned his place on this team through his work last year, and the team knows that, too.

"Last year I wasn't viewed as the starter or the leader on our team, but now having all these guys back is big because they know what I can do," Mayes said. "I don't have to prove myself to them. I just have to do my job and get the playmakers the ball and they'll do the rest for me."

Though it took some time, Mayes was pushed by the defense to step up and demonstrate his skills, ending up 9-of-16 with 121 yards passing and 2 TDs.

Showing off some extra shiftiness, he was able to get away from pressure on multiple occasions to make completions, which was what impressed me the most.

"Brad did a really good job," head coach Andy Coen said. "I was pleased to see him be as agile as he was. That wasn't something we expected. He was really a drop back guy. He's lost some weight and become more athletic and he's going to be able to do some things running the football for us too. I was pleased with him."

RB Dom Bragalone (Lehigh Sports)
It was his favorite targets - Casey, who hauled in a perfect pass for the first score of the day, and Pelletier, who nabbed a pass where only he could catch it which he brought in for the score - that put the offense up.

"After that, we kind of got evertything going, sophomore WR Cam Richardson said.

One of the few spots up for grabs was the critical position of slot receiver, which saw Northwestern Lehigh's Richardson make the most of his opportunity to become the leading receiver in the scrimmage, with 4 catches for 60 yards.

"Cam's doing an outstanding job," Mayes said. "He's a really good guy. He's done great things for us out here. He's fast, he's shifty, he has good hands. I've been really pleased with what he's been doing."

"I've been building up," Richardson told me, "Our receiver group, you're like a family.  I'm busting on Troy, Gatlin, 24/7, giving each other crap in practice.  We're pretty close, so being out there with them wasn't different."

Another receiver that stood out was the converted defensive back, sophomore WR Dev Bibbens, who had 3 catches for 55 yards and a TD from senior QB Matt Timochenko, penciled in as Mayes' backup.

"The big thing for our offense is to get back to watching film and studying," Mayes said. "I need to study the game film and see how the defenses played us last year, watching how Villanova played Shaf last year.  I want to become a real student of the game.

"I also want to be around these guys. I will miss being with my family at home, but it's something I need to sacrifice for this team. I want to work with these guys, and they're my best friends.  They're my brothers away from home.  I'm excited to see who stays around during the summer and who puts in the work. We'll go with those guys."

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