Archive For The “Mark Walker” Category

2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villanova

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2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villanova

It’s a lot less fun to go through the “Players of the Week” and report card after a loss, but it’s still got to be done. 

Last week’s somewhat humbling 31-9 defeat comes at a point of the season where it’s more of a learning experience than a death blow to the season, and also came against one of the very best teams in all of FCS.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see Villanova win the CAA this season.

In any event, here we go.
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2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villnanova

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2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villnanova

It’s a lot less fun to go through the “Players of the Week” and report card after a loss, but it’s still got to be done. 

Last week’s somewhat humbling 31-9 defeat comes at a point of the season where it’s more of a learning experience than a death blow to the season, and also came against one of the very best teams in all of FCS.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see Villanova win the CAA this season.

In any event, here we go.
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2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

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2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

According to the FCS record books for 2017, there are 123 Division I schools listed in the team statistical Rankings. 

Out of 123 teams, Lehigh was ranked 119th in total team defense, allowing 477.7 yards per game.

And the defensive numbers don’t get much better the more you look.

Rushing defense, 117th.  Passing yards allowed, 89th.  Team sacks, 118th.  Red zone defense, 103rd. 

Total sacks in 12 games: 10, or 0.8 per game.  Total interceptions in 12 games: 4, or 0.25 per game.  Total takeaways: 13, or a little over 1 per game.

Though the final defensive numbers from 2017 are unable to be sugar-coated, nobody involved with Lehigh’s defense is running away from the facts this spring.  In fact, they feel they are better than this.

“When you hear so much about your defense not being good,” defensive coordinator Craig Sutyak said this week, “you start to believe it, and I think our kids started to believe it too the last couple of years.  But we’re not going to beat ourselves.  We’re going to have faith in ourselves, faith in the guys next to us, and we’re going to continue to grow as a unit.”

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2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

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2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

According to the FCS record books for 2017, there are 123 Division I schools listed in the team statistical Rankings. 

Out of 123 teams, Lehigh was ranked 119th in total team defense, allowing 477.7 yards per game.

And the defensive numbers don’t get much better the more you look.

Rushing defense, 117th.  Passing yards allowed, 89th.  Team sacks, 118th.  Red zone defense, 103rd. 

Total sacks in 12 games: 10, or 0.8 per game.  Total interceptions in 12 games: 4, or 0.25 per game.  Total takeaways: 13, or a little over 1 per game.

Though the final defensive numbers from 2017 are unable to be sugar-coated, nobody involved with Lehigh’s defense is running away from the facts this spring.  In fact, they feel they are better than this.

“When you hear so much about your defense not being good,” defensive coordinator Craig Sutyak said this week, “you start to believe it, and I think our kids started to believe it too the last couple of years.  But we’re not going to beat ourselves.  We’re going to have faith in ourselves, faith in the guys next to us, and we’re going to continue to grow as a unit.”

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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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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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Lehigh Goes 2-0 In Patriot League Play With Critical 54-35 Win Over Georgetown

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Lehigh Goes 2-0 In Patriot League Play With Critical 54-35 Win Over Georgetown

The 2017 Lehigh Mountain Hawks are known for having a great offense, a high-octane group that features stars like junior QB Brad Mayes and junior RB Dominick Bragalone.

But senior WR Troy Pelletier would trade it all for conference wins.

On an afternoon where he broke a bunch of school and Patriot League records – some of them unanticipated – his focus, as ever, was about getting the league victories that count towards the main goal of this team – to defend their Patriot League Championship.

“I didn’t know what the records are,” Troy said afterwards about his record-busting, 16 catch, 197 receiving yard, 4 touchdown performance.  “I just knew I was close.  I knew it was going to come if I bought in every day, do what I need to do every day to get better, and I knew it would come.”

Fortunately for Lehigh fans, his banner day came to allow Lehigh to resoundingly beat Georgetown 54-35 and go to 2-0 in Patriot League play.
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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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LFN’s Look at the Spring Defense

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LFN’s Look at the Spring Defense

Last season, a disappointed LB Colton Caslow talked about the Lehigh defense after a top 26-21 loss to nationally-ranked Villanova.

Caslow, LB Pierce Ripanti and LB Evan Harvey had combined for 27 tackles against the Wildcats, but it wasn’t enough to spring the upset.

“None of those plays I made would have been possible if I didn’t have the fantastic teammates I have around me out there,” he said after the game.  “Everyone’s just been flying around, we’re getting all eleven players to the ball, everyone has a lot higher energy out there, and we’re in a lot better shape than we were last year.”
Caslow’s disappointment would be the last time he’d experience that emotion after a regular-season football game, as Lehigh then proceeded to win their next nine games and the Patriot League championship.  Caslow, and the defense, never averted their focus and improvement from that point forward.

This weekend at the Brown/White spring scrimmage, we will see what the 2017 Lehigh defense will look like, but the emphasis on being in great shape and getting all eleven players to the ball will almost certainly remain.
The biggest question mark on the defensive side, though, remains which athletes will step up to replace Caslow, Ripanti, Harvey, ROV Laquan Lambert and CB Brandon Leaks – and which existing players will step into the leadership positions that these seniors had as well.

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