Archive For The “2017” Category

Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

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Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.

Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.

But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.

The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games. 

The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.

In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well. 

The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn’t unknown before this week – after all, as a freshman and a sophomore, he had already rushed for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.  But this year, where he’s amassed 1,200 yard rushing and an FCS-leading 16 rushing touchdowns, he’s gone into full Monster Mode, and Lehigh fans are loving every minute of it.
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QUICK RECAP: Mountain Hawks Keep Championship And Playoff Hopes Alive With 34-21 Victory Over Holy Cross

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QUICK RECAP: Mountain Hawks Keep Championship And Playoff Hopes Alive With 34-21 Victory Over Holy Cross

The term “control of your playoff destiny” is thrown around a lot.

The 3-6 Mountain Hawks were in control of their destiny this weekend.  Win against Holy Cross, and Lehigh will stay alive for no worse than a co-Patriot League Championship and possibly a ticket to the FCS Playoffs.
By the time the clock hit triple zero’s, the Mountain Hawks did what they had to do, beating the Crusaders 34-21, and keeping destiny in their own hands with one more regular season game to go – the 153rd meeting of The Rivalry next weekend vs. Lafayette.
Junior RB Dominick Bragalone carried the offense on his back with 30 carries for 205 yards and 4 touchdowns, but he and the offense fed off the energy of  some big Lehigh defensive and special teams plays.  Once Lehigh went up 14-0,  Holy Cross would never get any closer than a touchdown.

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How Will I Watch Holy Cross at Lehigh This Weekend? And Your Full Game Preview Pack

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How Will I Watch Holy Cross at Lehigh This Weekend?  And Your Full Game Preview Pack

Not headed to the the frozen tundra at Murray Goodman Stadium to catch the critical Holy Cross/Lehigh game?

Why?  THIS IS IT, FOLKS.  This is one to catch in person.

Yeah, I know it’s going to be cold.  Yeah, I know that life is busy.  But it’s a home game, it’s win, and stay alive for a Patriot League Championship.  It’s a big game; there’s no doubt about it.  You need to be there for big games.  Future generations of your family are counting on you to say that “I was there on that freezing cold day at Murray Goodman”.

So after that sales pitch, you still can’t make it, and still want to know how to you catch the game?

Never fear.  LFN’s here.

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Holy Cross at Lehigh Game Breakdown And Fearless Prediction: Which Crusader Team Will Lehigh Get?

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Holy Cross at Lehigh Game Breakdown And Fearless Prediction: Which Crusader Team Will Lehigh Get?

We break down the Holy Cross game – and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.

The old Forrest Gump saying that seems particularly apt about this matchup this weekend is: “Life is like a box of chocolates.  You don’t know what you’re going to get.”

So as it goes with Holy Cross, whose offensive outputs in every game this year have been: 20, 20, 51, 26, 7, 36, 0, 7, 24, and 42.

Three games scoring less than 10 points; three games scoring more than 30 points, and four games scoring between 20 and 29 points – that defines inconsistency.

In their high-scoring games, the ingredient that has seemed to help Holy Cross score points in bunches are the same thing that helped Lehigh so much this week: turnovers.

In Holy Cross’ two most impressive wins – against New Hampshire and against Fordham – in both games, the sequence “Holy Cross touchdown, get ball back after a turnover, Holy Cross touchdown” played a huge part in their wins.  Once they got up by two scores, it was a hill that neither opponent could climb.

It is that sequence, in my opinion, that needs to be avoided at all costs.
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Holy Cross at Lehigh Game Preview: Two Rollercoaster Seasons Meet Head-On At Murray Goodman

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Holy Cross at Lehigh Game Preview: Two Rollercoaster Seasons Meet Head-On At Murray Goodman

Holy Cross’ and Lehigh’s paths to having fun playing football have been different, but two teams that appear to have reclaimed the fun to some degree will be facing off this weekend at Murray Goodman Stadium in an intriguing, important football game.

The 4-6 Crusaders have only one path to a Patriot League co-championship: beat 3-6 Lehigh this weekend, and hope 3-6 Lafayette and 5-4 Colgate lose at least one game the rest of the way.

But in Holy Cross’ regular-season finale, it doesn’t really feel like it’s about the postseason – which would only happen in the unlikely event of Lehigh and Holy Cross finishing at 4-2, and Lafayette and Colgate finishing at 3-3 in league play.

For Lehigh, though, the Patriot League Championship and the opportunity to play in the FCS Playoffs is still very much in play.  Beat Holy Cross, and beat Lafayette in the 153rd meeting of The Rivalry, and this Mountain Hawk team will have a ring fitting in their future and a football practice on Thanksgiving.

And in a way, that’s what makes this game extra-dangerous for these Mountain Hawks.  The Crusaders are nearing the likely finale of their roller-coaster ride.  Lehigh’s 2017 coaster ride still has some very big twists and turns still in it.
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Holy Cross at Lehigh Game Preview: Two Rollercoaster Seasons Meet Head-On At Murray Goodman

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Holy Cross at Lehigh Game Preview: Two Rollercoaster Seasons Meet Head-On At Murray Goodman

Holy Cross’ and Lehigh’s paths to having fun playing football have been different, but two teams that appear to have reclaimed the fun to some degree will be facing off this weekend at Murray Goodman Stadium in an intriguing, important football game.

The 4-6 Crusaders have only one path to a Patriot League co-championship: beat 3-6 Lehigh this weekend, and hope 3-6 Lafayette and 5-4 Colgate lose at least one game the rest of the way.

But in Holy Cross’ regular-season finale, it doesn’t really feel like it’s about the postseason – which would only happen in the unlikely event of Lehigh and Holy Cross finishing at 4-2, and Lafayette and Colgate finishing at 3-3 in league play.

For Lehigh, though, the Patriot League Championship and the opportunity to play in the FCS Playoffs is still very much in play.  Beat Holy Cross, and beat Lafayette in the 153rd meeting of The Rivalry, and this Mountain Hawk team will have a ring fitting in their future and a football practice on Thanksgiving.

And in a way, that’s what makes this game extra-dangerous for these Mountain Hawks.  The Crusaders are nearing the likely finale of their roller-coaster ride.  Lehigh’s 2017 coaster ride still has some very big twists and turns still in it.
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It All Will Come Down To 14 Days Of Being Locked In

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It All Will Come Down To 14 Days Of Being Locked In

After the Bucknell victory, senior OL Zach Duffy said something that cut through the entire 2017 Lehigh football season.

“We have 14 days to stay locked in and do whatever it takes to win another championship,” he said to the team.

And it’s true. 

It really doesn’t matter what happened Week One, Week Five, or even last week.  When this Mountain Hawk team goes to bed, and wakes up again during the next six days, they are in the Patriot League Championship race.  If they win, and stay locked in for the next fourteen days and win two football games, they will win the Patriot League.

It will require being locked in for fourteen days.
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In Must-Win Game, Lehigh Defense Forces Four Turnovers And Lehigh Offense Makes Bison Pay, Win 42-21

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In Must-Win Game, Lehigh Defense Forces Four Turnovers And Lehigh Offense Makes Bison Pay, Win 42-21

(Photo Credits: Mike Geer/Lehigh Athletics)

“We went right at ’em.”

That was head coach Andy Coen talking to Lehigh Sports’ Steve Lomangino after the Mountain Hawks’ 42-21 win over Bucknell.

With their Patriot League title hopes on the line, and the No. 1 defense in the Patriot League the opposition, it seemed like the Mountain Hawks might enter into the type of defensive struggle that defined last year’s game against Bucknell.

But after junior LB Mark Walker forced and and grabbed a Bison fumble and returned it to the Bucknell 9 yard line, junior QB Brad Mayes didn’t mess around.
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How Will I Watch Lehigh At Bucknell This Weekend? And Your Media Pack

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How Will I Watch Lehigh At Bucknell This Weekend?  And Your Media Pack

Not headed to Lewisburg this morning to catch the Lehigh/Bucknell game?

OK.  I do sort-of understand.  It’s a noon start, and it’s pretty far away.  You’re still somewhat in a Halloween-candy coma, and heck, is today fall back, turn-the-clock-back an hour, or is that on Sunday?

So you can’t head out.  So how do you catch the game?

Never fear.  LFN’s here.

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Lehigh at Bucknell Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction: Will Homecoming Spell Doom Again For Lehigh?

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Lehigh at Bucknell Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction: Will Homecoming Spell Doom Again For Lehigh?

We break down the Bucknell game – and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.

In my preview, I spent a lot of time talking about Lehigh, but let’s take a minute to try to get inside the heads of this Bucknell team this weekend.

The Bison, along with every other team in the Patriot League, are still mathematically alive for at least a share of the Patriot League title.  But considering that mathematical window closes the second Colgate beats Georgetown (or, barring that, Lafayette), it’s more realistic to say that the Bison are playing for pride, and the future, this Saturday.

Not that that’s going to make things any easier this weekend – Fordham, in similar circumstances, beat Lehigh 45-35 last weekend.

And something that has to be remembered is that for every team on the schedule, beating Lehigh is a huge goal.  Along with Colgate, Lehigh’s perennial success makes opponents just that much more focused during Lehigh week to take them down, and all the better if the Mountain Hawks are 2-6.

Even worse for Lehigh, this game comes on Bucknell’s homecoming, which will add some extra juice to the Bison for this matchup.  In 2013 on homecoming, it was Bucknell that beat Lehigh 45-23 that really started to change expectations for the Bison football program.

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