Skip to main content

QUICK RECAP: Up By 3, Lehigh Throws Out The Numbers And Finds A Way To Win, Beats Coglate 41-38

It was Colgate 28, Lehigh 14 as the first half was coming to a close. 

The Mountain Hawks had the ball, but the pall over Lehigh fans everywhere was very evident - "here we go again," most seemed to be thinking.

You couldn't blame fans necessarily for thinking that way, of course. 

The Mountain Hawks hadn't found out yet this year how to pull out a game like this, and normally, a two-touchdown deficit to Colgate feels like a four-touchdown deficit, the way they run the ball and gradually crush the spirit of opposing teams.

Driving and scrambling - somewhat of a broken play - junior QB Brad Mayes found junior RB Dominick Bragalone downfield with a big 35 yard touchdown pass, cutting the deficit to 28-21.

And then, gradually, over the course of a half of football, Lehigh put mistakes behind them just as the uncharacteristic mistakes by Colgate seemed to mount.  One Colgate touchdown would be called back.  Then another.  And Lehigh would battle back to tie the game twice, fall behind by a field goal with 5 minutes to play, and then score the winning touchdown and get a game's only turnover at the exact right time to preserve the win.

Somewhere, Al "Just Win, Baby" Davis was smiling.



It was a win Raider fans - Oakland Raider fans, that is - would have loved.

Behind an amazing 186 yards rushing by Bragalone, the Lehigh offense managed to match Colgate score for score when it most.  In a must-score situation - his second of the game - his 53 yard run to start the second half tied the game at 28 and kept Lehigh close.

After a 66 yard touchdown pass from Colgate QB Grant Breneman to WR Tre Caine, putting the Raiders back up by 7, Lehigh threw out the stat sheet and did what they had to do to drive down the field, with Mayes making a great pass to freshman WR Jorge Portorreal to get to the Coglate 5, and then junior RB Micco Brisker would find the end zone to tie the game - his third rushing touchdown on the afternoon.

Colgate would grind out a typical Colgate drive to chew up the rest of the second half, ending in a short FG to regain the lead with 5 minutes left to play.

And then Mayes, throwing out the reality of that field goal, drove the length of the field, throwing a pass up in the air in a place where only senior WR Troy Pelletier could catch it - where he fell into the end zone for the go-ahead score.

With a lot of time left, and the Raiders driving towards a game-winning score deep in Lehigh territory, Colgate, despite all the overturned touchdowns and all the penalties and all the offensive progress, was in a position to tie or win the game.

Instead, Colgate fumbled, and junior LB Mark Walker cleaved onto the loose ball, and gave Lehigh a chance to run out the clock.  And after Mayes would find Pelletier on a huge 3rd down conversion, Lehigh could go into victory formation and get their first win on the season.

Of Pelletier's 8 catches and 132 yards, it was that last one catch for 10 yards that was the best of the season for all of Lehigh Nation.
"Brad Mayes made really, really good decisions," a thrilled head coach Andy Coen told the radio crew after the game.  "I'm prod of him.  In the locker room he became a vocal leader."

Andy also mentioned the most important aspect of the game - not the passing yards, not the running penalties, not the return yardage, not the turnovers.

"We're 1-0," Andy said.

Comments

Unknown said…
Beating Colgate is always a good thing but this win was special in breaking us out of a slump..Wonderful win. I see more to come!

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