Archive For The “Dominick Bragalone” Category
On the first drive of the game, surprise Holy Cross starting QB Blaise Bell connected on a long pass to WR Jake Wieczorek, setting up a big touchdown run by WR Brendan Flaherty.
On the last drive of the game, freshman RB Domenic Cozier ran up the middle to score his first collegiate touchdown for the Crusaders.
In between those two touchdowns, it was for the most part all Lehigh.
Lehigh’s defense held Holy Cross to 281 yards of total offense and forced five turnovers – most of it coming on a couple of pass plays – and allowed the offense to to pummel Holy Cross’ defense with a balanced attack. With three passing touchdowns from sophomore QB Brad Mayes and three rushing touchdowns, two of them by sophomore RB Dominick Bragalone, Lehigh would score 46 unanswered points to win resoundingly, 46-14, at Fitton Field.
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(Photo Credit: Keith Groller/Morning Call)
It felt a lot closer than 14 to 3 at halftime.
Sure, Lehigh had outgained Georgetown 220-64 on offense up until that point. Definitely, the Lehigh defense, which has been playing with a chip on its shoulder for most of the entire season, was playing, as they say, lights-out, and they had just come up with a big defensive stop in the red zone to keep Georgetown from cutting it from 14-7 rather than 14-3.
But a batted ball at the line of scrimmage, alertly grabbed by DE Hoya DE Hunter Kiselick, made it feel like the Mountain Hawks might rue the opportunities they had in the first hald to put away Georgetown.
After coming in for injured senior QB Nick Shafnisky, sophomore QB Brad Mayes jumped right into the fray and finished the scoring drive with a perfect pass over the middle to junior WR Troy Pelletier to make the score 14-3 Lehigh.
But after a drive that went backwards and that interception, it was Georgetown that had momentum going into halftime, and they were getting the ball back as well.
That’s when the Mountain Hawks, who have defined this season so far as being a second half team, put the game away resoundingly.
“I’m pleased with how the kids responded at halftime,” head coach Andy Coen said after the game. “It wasn’t very pretty on the offensive side on the offensive side of the ball in the first half. The staff did a great job, got the kids rallied around, made a couple different turns of the wheel, so to speak, and really got the thing running again.
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(Photos and Graphic courtesy of Lehigh Athletics)
Suppose you put in a copy of NCAA Football ’14 into your dusty Playstation 3. You create a team, “Lehigh”, and put in the entire Lehigh roster, and make them 99s across the board.
You pick a team to play against – say, Yale – and you pick a place to play, of course, the Yale Bowl. You put it on the medium setting.
Would these stat lines seem out of place if you played that game on that system?
Sophomore QB Brad Mayes – 33 of 46 passing, 524 yards, 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.
Junior WR Troy Pelletier – 13 catches, 213 yards, 3 TDs.
Junior WR Gatlin Casey – 6 catches, 169 yards 2 TDs.
They look like something out of a video game – yet those are the real stats to come out of the Yale Bowl this weekend in an extraordinary, awesome, ridiculousness of an offensive performance. These numbers weren’t the only great numbers to come out of this record-setting game out of the Yale Bowl, but they stick out.
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(Photo Credit: Justin Lafleur/Lehigh Athletics)
Once upon a time, Lehigh’s offense had the nickname “Air Lehigh”, and players like QB Scott Semphiphelter, QB Phil Stambaugh and many other Mountain Hawk quarterbacks hucked the ball around Murray Goodman Stadium like kids in a sandlot, and posted some serious passing numbers that made the place a very fun spot to watch college football on Saturdays.
Today at Murray Goodman, senior QB Nick Shafnisky brought us back to those Air Lehigh days with a game with the same type of offensive firepower.
Pairing up with junior WR Troy Pelletier and junior WR Gatlin Casey for more than 100 yards receiving apiece, the Whitehall, PA native brought Lehigh fans back to the future with a 461 yard passing performance, coming oh-so-close to setting a Lehigh record in the process.
In the end, Lehigh fans left Murray Goodman stadium with a lot of pleasant memories about a beautiful, unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon and a resounding 42-28 win over a Princeton team that hung 50 points on them last season. Not that winning football games at Murray Goodman stadium the past few seasons wasn’t fun, mind you – but few wins evoked the sandlot quality that this game did.
Saturday’s game is a personal landmark for head coach Andy Coen: it marks the first time he’s coached a Lehigh team at Penn since he was hired there from Al Bagnoli‘s staff back in December of 2005.
He’ll be facing off against another former Bagnoli assistant coach, Ray Priore, who was a defensive coordinator at Penn when Andy was an offensive coordinator there.
Franklin Field, then, becomes one of the big #NarrativeStreet storylines going into Saturday, and for Lehigh, not a good reason.
Since 1895, when the enormous field was built in downtown Philadelphia, Lehigh has won exactly four times at the iconic venue, and the overall Brown and White record there is 4-28. Along the way, among the many losses by Lehigh there, came one recent one in particular that snapped a long Lehigh regular-season winning streak.
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This Saturday, Lehigh football fans will finally get a chance to get a free sneak peek at the 2016 Mountain Hawks at Murray Goodman stadium.
Scheduled to start at 11:00AM, it will be a bit of a different spring game than usual, due to the fact that it will be a no-tackling practice, unlike the one I happened to catch that was partial tackling.
“We never had a full practice that was all tackling,” head coach Andy Coen told Lehighsports.com. “I picked about three practices where he had at times, full contact. We never put ourselves in a situation where we were doing too much. I do believe if you want to get good at these things, you have to practice them. We’ve been using a lot of the techniques that the Seattle Seahawks have utilized over the last couple of years, and those techniques have been very productive for us. We’re getting a lot better with our technique and are coaches are doing a great job of staying on top of our kids regarding technique.”
So considering that this spring game will be a little bit different than other ones we’re used to, what can we expect to learn? Plenty, fortunately.
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|Coach Andy Coen at football practice (Morning Call)|
Lehigh’s spring session has been underway for several weeks now – the period of time where Patriot League championships are won.
It’s a spring season where, frankly, there’s not that much drama, especially on offense.
There’s no drama at quarterback, where senior QB Nick Shafnisky is firmly ensconced as the starter, and proven sophomore QB Brad Mayes right there next to him on the depth chart.
It’s very clear that sophomore RB Dominic Bragalone will be a big part of next year’s offense, health willing, as well as junior WR Troy Pelletier and a many players from last year’s offense that led the Patriot League in total offensive yardage.
So what is the big story halfway through the spring?
Whether there will be enough healthy bodies to have a spring game.
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Everything about the 2015 season screamed “rebuilding,” even if the Lehigh faithful never really could bring themselves to completely believe it.
Lehigh was coming from a frustrating 2014 where the Mountain Hawks came close to beating James Madison at home, but couldn’t finish the game, making Lehigh slide to an uncharacteristic 3-8 record.
There was the departure in the offseason of RB Chris Leigh, the one player that scored a touchdown for the Mountain Hawks in the 150th meeting between Lafayette and Lehigh in Yankee Stadium, and RB Brandon Yosha, the transfer running back that battled injury and chop blocks leading to his retirement from football as well.
With pretty much any other team and any other fan base, expectations for the year would have been low. But at Lehigh, expectations are sky-high, for better or for worse, all the time. Perhaps it’s the historic success of the program; perhaps it’s the fans, who are spoiled by all the Patriot League championships, wins over Lafayette, and FCS playoff wins, but that’s what playing at Lehigh is all about.
What the 2015 Mountain Hawks will be best known for is righting the ship from that awful 2014 to return to the winning ways that all Lehigh fans seem to expect. Going into the 2015 offseason, the Mountain Hawks 6-5 record wasn’t good enough to win a Patriot League championship – though they came very, very close – but it definitely shows that the foundation has been rebuilt for future success.
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Not that long ago, Lehigh football players had to take those dreaded 4 O’Clock exams, an essential, dreaded part of the Lehigh experience.
Today, though the 2015 Lehigh Mountain Hawks are getting areport card of a different sort.
Past the halfway point of the season, it’s time to take a step back and see where the Mountain Hawks are, and where they need to go to get back to the top of the Patriot League.
The season, as befitting a young team, has been inconsistent. At times, Lehigh has looked like a team that could possibly win the Patriot League title. At other times, though, they haven’t.
Fortunately for all Lehigh fans, the Mountain Hawks last game, a gritty 21-10 win over Bucknell, was the equivalent of acing the mid-term exam. That win, which brought Lehigh back to a 3-3 record, was huge. But tougher challenges await in the last five weeks of the season.
It was a game that was pretty much the opposite of what Lehigh football fans would have wanted from homecoming.
People want games in Murray Goodman Stadium that are sunny and 70 degrees, with perhaps just a hint of wind. Instead, despite the fact that a threatened hurricane never arrived, temperatures dipped into the 50s to go with some cold, gusty winds, which caused not a few people to get runny noses.
Homecoming is supposed to be a happy time, but the dark, overcast skies didn’t make the game feel like a warm, welcoming place. Though the Marching 97 tried their best, as did the Alumni band, the dreariness hung over the stadium like an unwelcome guest.
Home fans always want a win on homecoming, hopefully with exciting, crisp, vibrant execution from the guys in the brown jerseys, but again, that too would end up being the opposite of what Lehigh fans were hoping for on this afternoon.
Yale would turn over the ball three times, be penalized 11 times for 94 yards, and be limited to 200 yards passing on the afternoon. But they would also enjoy over 200 yards rushing from RB Deshawn Salter, playing in his first career start filling in for injured RB Candler Rich, and that, coupled with plenty of mistakes on the Lehigh side, would amount to a comfortable 27-12 win for the Buldogs.
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