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Showing posts from August 27, 2017

QUICK RECAP: Lehigh Comes Close, But Can't Get Final Stop, Lose 38-35 to Villanova

Lehigh fell behind 21-7 and 28-14 in the first half, and battled back in the second half to give themselves a shot to win, but for the second straight year the Mountain Hawks came close but couldn't close the deal, falling 38-35 to Villanova at Murray Goodman Stadium this afternoon.

In his first start of the 2017 season, junior QB Brad Mayes went 33 for 49 with 406 yards passing and 4 touchdowns, including two to senior WR Gatlin Casey that were of highlight-reel quality.

One was a 29 yard strike through a pass interference call, and the second was a 3 yard drill that was tipped but Casey adjusted and came down with the pass at the back of the end zone.

Junior WR Luke Cristiano also had a career day with 8 catches and 143 yards and an amazing touchdown catch that saw him beat Villanova S Rob Rolle and scamper for a 66 yard touchdown.

Villanova amassed 475 yards of offense on the afternoon, achieving good balance with QB Zach Bednarczyk's passing (209 yards, 2 touchdown passes)…

How Will I Watch Villanova At Lehigh This Afternoon?

Not going to the home opener?

First of all, what's wrong with you?

OK.  So your bicycle is in the shop, it's the Pee Wee Soccer quarterfinals, or some other very good reason has arisen where you can't make it to Murray Goodman for the game.

Never fear.  LFN's here.

Villanova at Lehigh Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction: Who Will Be Pennsylvania's FCS Champion?

One of my favorite stories of the early Lehigh football era was the idea that Lehigh, Lafayette and Penn in the late 1800s battled for the "Championship of Pennsylvania".

In 2017, it wouldn't be prudent to call a game versus Lehigh and Villanova the "Championship of Pennsylvania", thanks to the presence of Penn State, Pitt and Temple in the state.

In FCS though, Lehigh vs. Villanova, the only two STATS and Coach's Poll Top 25 teams that are based in Pennsylvania, it could certainly be spun in that way.

Villanova, at No. 9/10, travels to Lehigh, No. 17/17, to determine who is the FCS Champion of Pennsylvania.

I like it.

Villanova at Lehigh Game Narratives: Excitement High In Bethlehem For Top 25 Matchup

It's different when you're returning champions.

That much was clear when sifting through all the preseason print pieces and videos covering the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.

Expectations return - you're no longer the "hunter", as head coach Andy Coen explained, you're the "hunted".

Managing those expectations has been almost as important for this Lehigh football team as the regular conditioning and X and O's drills of camp.

The common thread with the many print and video pieces and the many interviews is a sense of maturity and a businesslike ethic around this team, especially amongst its leadership.

Villanova at Lehigh Game Preview: Battle Of Nationally Ranked Teams Highlight Mountain Hawk Season Opener

One has been here before; the other has not, at least not lately.

Over the course of the last few seasons, Villanova Stadium has hosted all sorts of games involving Top 25 teams.  James Madison, New Hampshire, Richmond - all of these CAA teams have been to the Main Line, at one time or another, at the same time the Wildcats have also been in the Top 25.  When it comes to hosting big football games, Villanova is no stranger to that situation.

Not so, Lehigh.

Sure, the Mountain Hawks have played a bunch of Top 25 teams over the course of the last several seasons.  And last year, Lehigh returned to the Top 25 as well.

But the Mountain Hawks haven't hosted a game like this, a Top 25 tilt between two opponents that are both in the Top 25, since the Mountain Hawks beat New Hampshire 34-27 back in 2012.

This year's season opener represents the cumulation of the long, hard road of building a Top 25, national-caliber FCS football team.  Last season was a year of a Patriot League cham…

Get Ready For The Season With The Ultimate 2017 Lehigh Season Preview!

You're a Lehigh fan.  You have the tailgate chair, the BBQ Apron, and the cornhole set that's of questionable legality.

You've been stocking up on beer and beverages, ready to try new LFN "Drinks of the week" and trying new meatball recipes, awaiting the beginning of the season.

Mentally and physically, you're ready for the upcoming tailgating season.  But are you up-to-date on your fandom?  Are you in the know, or do you know how to get there?

Never fear, Lehigh fan, LFN's here with everything you need to know.  Every Twitter follow, every preseason preview, and profiles of every out-of-conference opponent.  You may have been busy learning how to prepare pulled pork this offseason, but below the flip is everything you need to get up to speed.

Lehigh Position Analysis: Skill Positions (QB, RB, WR, K, RS)

Spotlight On: QB Brad Mayes

Rightfully, much of the focus of Lehigh's football coverage this offseason has been on the offense.  That makes sense; after all, Lehigh ranked near the top of every receiving and rushing category in 2016.

Yet most of that coverage has been on guys that have been on preseason FCS all-American teams (senior WR Troy Pelletier, junior RB Dominick Bragalone) or probably should have been on more of them (senior WR Gatlin Casey).

Oddly, the focus on those all-League caliber players have shifted the focus from what could be the most important transition from the 2016 offense to the 2017 offense - the transition to a new starting quarterback.

Certainly, junior QB Brad Mayes was no ordinary understudy for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks last season.

Though technically he did back up QB Nick Shafnisky, he showcased his obvious talent multiple times last year, most notably breaking a Yale Bowl record with 524 passing yards and scoring 6 passing touchdowns in a 63-35 wi…