Archive For The “Jorge Portorreal” Category

2018 Week 3 Lehigh Players of the Week and Report Card: Navy

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2018 Week 3 Lehigh Players of the Week and Report Card: Navy

I’ve never done one of these before after Lehigh’s played an FBS opponent. 

That’s because the last FBS opponent Lehigh played was in 2003, when the Mountain Hawks lost to UConn 35-17.

The Lehigh Football Nation blog was in its first year of existence back in 2003, and undoubtedly I wrote about it – but it’s not currently in the archives here at Blogger, because I archived those first two years offline. 

What I can tell you about that UConn game was that Lehigh faced off against a future NFL player in QB Dan Orlovsky and that QB Chad Schwenk got hurt late in that game, which made it his final game in a Mountain Hawks uniform and effectively threw the rest of that season in some turmoil.

Fortunately turmoil doesn’t seem to be a part of the report card today.

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Spotlight: Brad Mayes Using Spring Ball To Build For Chance To Threepeat

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Spotlight: Brad Mayes Using Spring Ball To Build For Chance To Threepeat

Lehigh’s spring session is in full swing, and there’s no question who the opening-day starter will be at quarterback, barring injury – that would be rising senior QB Brad Mayes.

Mayes had a great season last year, helping the Mountain Hawk offense to tremendous production again, picking up exactly where Montreal Alouette QB Nick Shafnisky left off after the 2016 season.

That doesn’t mean Mayes is sitting back sipping an iced tea while his teammates are busting their humps this spring, however.  He’s been busy.

“This off season was a lot of fun for me,”  he told me. “I got to take on more of a leadership role which allowed me to make great strides in the weight room. We had an outstanding leadership council as well make some great strides in equipment and gear, nutrition, and alumni partnership. Although those may seem like little things when it comes to the game of football, stuff like looking like a team and matching on Saturdays really go a long way.”

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Spotlight: Brad Mayes Using Spring Ball To Build For Chance To Threepeat

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Spotlight: Brad Mayes Using Spring Ball To Build For Chance To Threepeat

Lehigh’s spring session is in full swing, and there’s no question who the opening-day starter will be at quarterback, barring injury – that would be rising senior QB Brad Mayes.

Mayes had a great season last year, helping the Mountain Hawk offense to tremendous production again, picking up exactly where Montreal Alouette QB Nick Shafnisky left off after the 2016 season.

That doesn’t mean Mayes is sitting back sipping an iced tea while his teammates are busting their humps this spring, however.  He’s been busy.

“This off season was a lot of fun for me,”  he told me. “I got to take on more of a leadership role which allowed me to make great strides in the weight room. We had an outstanding leadership council as well make some great strides in equipment and gear, nutrition, and alumni partnership. Although those may seem like little things when it comes to the game of football, stuff like looking like a team and matching on Saturdays really go a long way.”

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Five Questions for Lehigh Entering Spring Football Practice

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Five Questions for Lehigh Entering Spring Football Practice

Lehigh’s spring football practice segment officially starts tomorrow, ending an agonizingly long period of football inactivity from the end of the 2017 football season.

Tomorrow, the beginnings of the 2018 football team will take shape – a team that waves goodbye to WR Troy Pelletier and WR Gatlin Casey, but welcomes back rising senior QB Brad Mayes and some changes on the defensive side of the ball.

What sort of questions will be answered by by the end of this spring segment?  Here are five of my questions.
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Five Questions for Lehigh Entering Spring Football Practice

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Five Questions for Lehigh Entering Spring Football Practice

Lehigh’s spring football practice segment officially starts tomorrow, ending an agonizingly long period of football inactivity from the end of the 2017 football season.

Tomorrow, the beginnings of the 2018 football team will take shape – a team that waves goodbye to WR Troy Pelletier and WR Gatlin Casey, but welcomes back rising senior QB Brad Mayes and some changes on the defensive side of the ball.

What sort of questions will be answered by by the end of this spring segment?  Here are five of my questions.
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Pelletier, Casey, Mayes, And Lehigh Offense Put On A Show In 59-29 Loss To Stony Brook

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Pelletier, Casey, Mayes, And Lehigh Offense Put On A Show In 59-29 Loss To Stony Brook

(Photo Credit: Alec Turner c/o Lehigh Athletics)

For those that care about these things, Lehigh entered the first round FCS playoff matchup 21 1/2 point underdogs.

And if we’re being fair, that was probably the right number.

The Seawolves were 9-2, nationally ranked with seven conference wins in the tough CAA and one of their losses coming to a very strong FBS team in South Florida.  In contrast, unranked Lehigh came into the game 5-6 and only were here because they upset Colgate 41-38 on the road and won enough Patriot League conference games to win the autobid.

Yet a young Lehigh team was game to put their best foot forward and to have a heroic sendoff for potential NFL prospect senior WR Troy Pelletier, and in that, the game was a rousing success.

With junior QB Brad Mayes expertly picking apart one of the top defenses in FCS, time after time he’d find Troy for reception after reception, each one highlighting his impressive skill set as an audition for the next level.

It wouldn’t be enough to win the game, but it was enough to keep the Mountain Hawks within striking distance until the Seawolves would pull away in the 4th quarter.

It was also enough to establish Troy as the all-time greatest receiver in Patriot League history.
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Pelletier, Casey, Mayes, And Lehigh Offense Put On A Show In 59-29 Loss To Stony Brook

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Pelletier, Casey, Mayes, And Lehigh Offense Put On A Show In 59-29 Loss To Stony Brook

(Photo Credit: Alec Turner c/o Lehigh Athletics)

For those that care about these things, Lehigh entered the first round FCS playoff matchup 21 1/2 point underdogs.

And if we’re being fair, that was probably the right number.

The Seawolves were 9-2, nationally ranked with seven conference wins in the tough CAA and one of their losses coming to a very strong FBS team in South Florida.  In contrast, unranked Lehigh came into the game 5-6 and only were here because they upset Colgate 41-38 on the road and won enough Patriot League conference games to win the autobid.

Yet a young Lehigh team was game to put their best foot forward and to have a heroic sendoff for potential NFL prospect senior WR Troy Pelletier, and in that, the game was a rousing success.

With junior QB Brad Mayes expertly picking apart one of the top defenses in FCS, time after time he’d find Troy for reception after reception, each one highlighting his impressive skill set as an audition for the next level.

It wouldn’t be enough to win the game, but it was enough to keep the Mountain Hawks within striking distance until the Seawolves would pull away in the 4th quarter.

It was also enough to establish Troy as the all-time greatest receiver in Patriot League history.
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LFN Midseason Report Card: All-Nighter Before Midterm Saves Passing Grade?

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LFN Midseason Report Card: All-Nighter Before Midterm Saves Passing Grade?

We’ve all been there, Lehigh fans.  I know I was as an undergrad.

You enter the mid-term needing something big to save a bad grade, so you work furiously, trying to catch up on months of the readings you should have been doing, going over homework you skipped for some good reason – that good reason escapes you now, of course – to try to ace the midterm that can pull your grade back up from the dead.

With copious amounts of coffee, you go over the readings, taking the notes you should have been taking all along.  You stay up all night to go over all the material, catching several catnaps during the morning.  You finally enter the classroom of the test – and you deliver the grade you needed.  You save your GPA, and you find yourself finally back on track – and then you collapse in a heap of bones on your bed.

OK, maybe the Colgate victory was not quite like that.

In a way, though, it feels like it – the win injects a huge measure of hope into a season that was pointed in the wrong direction, and allows Lehigh Nation to look at the midseason as a place to keep winning games and to possibly fight and claw their way to another Patriot League Championship.

LFN’s midseason grades are below.
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QUICK RECAP: Up By 3, Lehigh Throws Out The Numbers And Finds A Way To Win, Beats Coglate 41-38

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QUICK RECAP: Up By 3, Lehigh Throws Out The Numbers And Finds A Way To Win, Beats Coglate 41-38

It was Colgate 28, Lehigh 14 as the first half was coming to a close.  The Mountain Hawks had the ball, but the pall over Lehigh fans everywhere was very evident – “here we go again,” most seemed to be thinking.

You couldn’t blame fans necessarily for thinking that way, of course.  The Mountain Hawks hadn’t found out yet this year how to pull out a game like this, and normally, a two-touchdown deficit to Colgate feels like a four-touchdown deficit, the way they run the ball and gradually crush the spirit of opposing teams.

Driving and scrambling – somewhat of a broken play – junior QB Brad Mayes found junior RB Dominick Bragalone downfield with a big 35 yard touchdown pass, cutting the deficit to 28-21.

And then, gradually, over the course of a half of football, Lehigh put mistakes behind them just as the uncharacteristic mistakes by Colgate seemed to mount.  One Colgate touchdown would be called back.  Then another.  And Lehigh would battle back to tie the game twice, fall behind by a field goal with 5 minutes to play, and then score the winning touchdown and get a game’s only turnover at the exact right time to preserve the win.

Somewhere, Al “Just Win, Baby” Davis was smiling.
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Lehigh At Colgate Media Pack (w/ Video): Looking For Positives

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Lehigh At Colgate Media Pack (w/ Video): Looking For Positives

“We’re looking for positives,” Steve Degler of Lehigh Sports Central said several times.

And coach Andy Coen did mention a few positive things, like the play of junior RB Dominick Bragalone, and the improved play of Lehigh’s defense.

But he also mentioned how important it was to “educate his players” about the rivalry Lehigh has with Colgate as well – how playing up in Hamilton is never easy and this game is a rivalry game.

“Next to the Lafayette rivalry, I look to Colgate next,” Andy said.  “We have to educate our young players that this rivalry is a very, very tough one, and I know Colgate view themselves as the toughest guys going, and we need to prove they are tougher than they are.”

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