Archive For The “Drink of the Week” Category
(Photo Credit: Morning Call)
“When’s enough, enough?”
Sometimes the game narratives can fall into something that seems like a cliche – the old halftime pep talk about “winning one for the Gipper”, or something like that. But this one feels different.
Head coach Andy Coen talked about it, and junior QB Brad Mayes talked about it – about Brad taking control of the locker room at halftime with a team full of long faces.
Going into that locker room, Brad had just before rallied on a broken play to fire a perfect pass to junior RB Dominick Bragalone to cut the two-touchdown deficit to one, and after a special teams touchdown for Colgate was called back on a penalty, the defense stopped Colgate cold to end the half.
But despite the momentum, gloom was still in the locker room.
“As a quarterback, you have to be a vocal leader,” Brad told Keith Groller of The Morning Call this week. “I’ve done it in the past when I was younger and in high school, and even when I played the past couple of years here, but I hadn’t done it until this year. We were just down seven. I didn’t understand the long faces and I basically said ‘When’s enough, enough?’ I said you guys have to hate losing as much as I do. We just had to go out and put forth the effort. We’re still a good football team. We just had to execute and it would work out, and it did.”
The Mountain Hawks then did enough to win the football game, and are hoping that they’ve said enough to losing any more games this season. The first test to see if that comes to pass will come at home as Lehigh hosts Georgetown.
Lehigh has never played Wagner in football, despite the fact that the schools are separated only by an hour and a half drive and that the institutions both sponsor FCS football in an area of the country where nearby opponents are sometimes hard to come by.
Long-time Patriot League fans might remember Wagner as legendary Lafayette head coach Bill Russo‘s coaching stint before he came to Easton to coach the Leopards for an 18 year stretch from 1981 to 1999.
Back in those days, Wagner was a Division III school, playing local schools like Iona, Pace, Seton Hall and Fordham, during a time when it was OK to field a Division III football program and a Division I athletics program (this is something that is no longer allowed today).
Since then, though, many Lehigh fans may not know that much about Wagner College, the Seahawk football program, and their ascent to becoming, eventually, and FCS playoff team.
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“The past is the past and we aren’t concerned with it. We have learned from our mistakes, and we are ready to move on.”
That comes from junior RB Micco Brisker, who was quoted two years ago after the Mountain Hawks came back from a trip to Princeton where Lehigh fought hard, but fell, to the Tigers 52-26.
The similarities between that week and this week are something that I cannot shake.
Like this week, Lehigh came back home that season to face off against Yale after a tough, physical loss. Like this week, the Mountain Hawks were coming off a school record being set by senior WR Troy Pelletier in a losing effort. Like this week, Yale started RB Deshawn Salter, a mild surprise after the expected starter went down to injury. And like this week, Lehigh came back home after a loss looking to right the ship.
In 2015, Lehigh lost the game.
In 2015, Brisker and LB Colton Caslow talked a good game about being prepared for that week, fixing mistakes and moving forward. But it didn’t result in a win, nor did it result in a Patriot League championship season.
It was usually used in the context of:
“Don’t pull another Monmouth.”
“Lehigh’s been doing pretty great – but they have to be careful not to have another Monmouth.”
The memory of last year’s loss to the Jersey Hawks stung particularly hard, because it had ramifications that slowed the recognition of Lehigh as a legitimate title contender. Wile their loss last season wasn’t stated as a reason why the Mountain Hawks didn’t earn a home game in the FCS Playoffs, it was the one, big blemish on Lehigh’s record that may have prevented them from being in consideration for a possible seed (and, by extension, at least one home game).
And yet, last year’s Monmouth loss also was important in that the loss in that first game of the year seemed to galvanize the Mountain Hawks, sending a potent message that winning every game was going to be hard and nothing was going to come easy. The lessons learned from that game carried through the season, and, in a way, set up everything good that was to come.