Skip to main content

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."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fifteen Guys Who Might be Lehigh's Next Football Coach (and Five More)

If you've been following my Twitter account, you might have caught some "possibilities" as Lehigh's next head football coach like Lou Holtz, Brett Favre and Bo Pelini.  The chance that any of those three guys actually are offered and accept the Lehigh head coaching position are somewhere between zero and zero.  (The full list of my Twitter "possibilities" are all on this thread on the Lehigh Sports Forum.)

However the actual Lehigh head football coaching search is well underway, with real names and real possibilities.

I've come up with a list of fifteen possible names, some which I've heard whispered as candidates, others which might be good fits at Lehigh for a variety of reasons.

UPDATE: I have found five more names of possible head coaches that I am adding to this list below.

Who are the twenty people?  Here they are, in alphabetical order.

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.

Why the Ivy Le…

Remembering Andy Coen's Time As Head Coach As He Steps Down as Lehigh Football Head Coach To Address Health Issue

I read the announcement that head coach Andy Coen was stepping down as head football coach late Friday evening.

It was an announcement that I was expecting, to some degree. 

Those of use who have been following the program closely knew that something was amiss with Andy. 

And yet, the reason for him needing to step down was devastating.

"Life has thrown me a curveball," Coen said in the press release on Friday, December 7th, 2018. "I am in the early stages [of early onset Alzheimer's disease] and it is best for me to eliminate stress and concentrate on my health and well-being.  My wife, Laura, and my children, Molly, Nolan and Finn have supported me throughout my career and are my biggest fans.  This is a very difficult decision for all of us, but it is what is best at this time."

It was the gutting, pit-in-the-stomach diagnosis nobody wanted to be true.  Just like that, a bigger challenge than simply winning football games faces the man who has been heading …