Archive For The “Gabe Guild” Category
If you went into Murray Goodman Stadium and said you knew exactly what to expect from this Lehigh Mountain Hawks team, you were lying.
Everyone involved with the Mountain Hawks football program had seen, or heard about, the loss to Bucknell.
If they had sharp eyes, too, they saw the former starting quarterback, Brandon Bialkowski, on the sidelines in a jacket, his arm immobilized so his collarbone can heal.
You had to go back a long way to find a Lehigh team with this much uncertainty, with this much at stake, with three games left.
And in this environment, this Mountain Hawk team responded.
The Mountain Hawks would never trail in this game, though the Crusaders would tie the game twice, at 7-7 and 13-13. But then, after filling in permanently after what seemed to be a rib injury to junior QB Matt McHale, freshman QB Nick “Shaf” Shafnisky came into the game and guided Lehigh on three touchdown drives in a convincing 38-20 victory.
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(Photo Credit: Peter Cooke/Boston Globe)
We break down the Holy Cross game – and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.
If you’ve followed the Patriot League for some time, you know plenty about the wrangling that went on when the league was debating whether to change the existing financial aid structure to allow schools of the League to offer football scholarships that resembled, say, the same types of scholarships that Delaware or New Hampshire can offer.
You could argue that this decision has completely altered the course of the Patriot League this season.
On Lehigh’s depth chart, freshman LB Colton Caslow has stepped into the Mountain Hawk linebacking unit and forced his way into the starting lineup, and other impact freshmen like freshman DB/RS Brandon Leaks have pretty much been instant impact players since very early on the season.
Additionally – amazingly, actually – of the six Patriot League schools that are now eligible to offer football scholarships (Fordham started offering them years ago), all six have seen a freshman attempt a pass in a game that counts. Two weeks ago, Lehigh freshman QB Nick Shafnisky finally got in a game and threw a pass.
The Crusaders have a quarterback that is in serious contention for Patriot League Freshman of the year – and he’s the reason why Holy Cross is still alive for the Patriot League title.
Say this about Towson head football coach Rob Ambrose – he doesn’t mince words.
Sill jacked after the UConn victory, he mentioned his next opponents – Holy Cross, Towson’s next trip after the trip to Rentschler field. And inadvertently, he mentioned what he thought of last season’s Crusader squad.
“No matter how awesome the win, there’s already a mentality of ‘This was not the Super Bowl,'” Ambrose said to the Baltimore Sun. “It doesn’t matter if we play Holy Cross or the Pittsburgh Steelers. These guys will be ready because we need this game to get where we want to be.”
That might be exactly what the perception is of the Crusaders outside the halls of the Patriot League – a 2-9 team, the perceived polar opposite of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yet Holy Cross was one of Lehigh’s toughest outs last season in Fitton field. When they played Lehigh, they didn’t resemble a 2-9 team at all.
In 2013, will Lehigh face off against the Steelers, or a team that looks like a 2-9 team?
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