Archive For The “Quentin Jones” Category
Like I did last year, I compiled a list of a "greatest hits" of some of the published articles on all of the Lehigh football seniors. They are below the flip.All of the players below are listed as seniors or 5th year players on the current Le…
(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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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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It was a very different time for Lehigh football, but in 1966, the Engineers started out the season 0-5, and had to travel up to Hamilton, New York to take on the Colgate Red Raiders.
“Lehigh faces its toughest opponent of the season tomorrow afternoon in the Red Raiders of Colgate, at Kerr Memorial Stadium in Hamilton, N.Y,” the 1966 Brown and White preview read.
After their 21-15 loss to Colgate in 1966, the Engineers would fall to 0-6 and eventually finish 0-9 on the season, the last time Lehigh started a season 0-6 and the last time Lehigh would go winless in a season as well.
It was that sort of historic elephant that the 2017 Mountain Hawks had on their backs this Saturday, whether they realized it or not.
Had they lost to their Chenango Valley rival, they would have been the first Lehigh football team to go 0-6 in more than fifty years. 0-5 entering this game, ironically their sixth shot at a football victory would involve going to the same venue to play the same opponent they played fifty-one years ago trying to avoid a 0-6 start.
Turning around an 0-5 start could be one of the hardest jobs in football, especially against a hated conference rival, and especially in a place that has always been a difficult place for Lehigh to play.
And it wasn’t easy. The 2017 Mountain Hawks had help, both from some tough calls against Colgate and from some boneheaded penalties against the Raiders that were justified.
But this group of athletes achieved that goal that eluded the same goal of the Lehigh Engineers of 1966. The football team playing this Saturday won a hard-fought 41-38 contest that maybe, just maybe, might have turned things around just in time.
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You could say that following Lehigh football through the first five weeks has been an exercise in frustration.
That’s probably understating things quite a bit.
The season was not supposed to unfurl itself in this way.
The Mountain Hawks, rated in the Top 25 to start the season, remained that way after losing a tough game against Villanova, but then fell out of the national rankings when they followed that up with a loss to Monmouth.
And since, the team has just kept losing, each week more excruciating than the last.
Some Lehigh fans appear to think that the Mountain Hawks could turn things around and make a run at the Patriot League Championship in a world where the Patriot League is a combined 9-20 against out-of-conference foes.
I suppose it is still possible.
But to this fan, this goal can’t be the focus of the coming week.
Speaking as a fan, I feel the focus of all the players and coaches needs to be on one singular goal: how to win one, singular, football game.
The media in the run-up to the Wagner game has been more upbeat than one might think considering the Mountain Hawks’ 0-4 start.
That’s not to say that head coach Andy Coen is at all happy with how things have started, but his answers to this week’s media questions were not what some fans may have expected.
“I’m disappointed, I’m not going to lie,” he told Keith Groller of The Morning Call. “But again, this is a funny game. It’s never easy. It’s hard to win a game. It really is. At times last year we made it look really, really easy. Right now, we’re making it look really hard.”
On Lehigh Sports Central this week, he said he felt like Lehigh was more competitive against Penn than they were against Yale.
“We just continue to make mistakes,” Coen said. “We got the ball first, and turned the ball away.. we’ve got to get away from all of that stuff, and start playing better football.”
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Spotlight On: S Sam McCloskey
Some of the names, senior OL Zach Duffy and senior OL Brandon Short, were hardly surprises – after all, they were team captains last year.
Another, senior DL Jimmy Mitchell, is a steadying leadership force on the defensive line – again, not much of a surprise.
But the presence of junior S Sam McCloskey as the fourth team captain raised some eyebrows. It’s unusual to be a junior team captain, though QB Nick Shafnisky and LB Colton Caslow had been team captains as juniors.
As head coach Andy Coen explained, “What’s really impressive is that in our ballots contain only seniors with the ability to write-in people. A lot of our guys obviously had to write in Sam, so that was really interesting to see. Our coaching staff feels he’s ready right now to be a strong captain and his peers obviously feel the same way.”
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There’s a pretty good chance that senior WR Troy Pelletier, who made the Patriot League’s preseason all-Conference team and is on the Walter Payton Award watch list to start the year, will be the starter in the season opener vs. Villanova.
It’s also not a headline that junior RB Dominick Bragalone, also on the Patriot League’s preseason all-Conference team, is likely to -shocker! – be a starter on September 2nd.
But that doesn’t mean that there still aren’t plenty of questions as the Mountain Hawks enter into their fall training camp for fans to think about.
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Last season, a disappointed LB Colton Caslow talked about the Lehigh defense after a top 26-21 loss to nationally-ranked Villanova.
Anyone at all worried that it’s just a wee bit too quiet from Lewisburg? I am.
The narratives coming out of Bethlehem this week – emphatically, me included – are ones of possible Patriot League championships and how the offense is “clicking” and has been very, very good.
That’s not usually a very good recipe for a big game for the home side, especially since word out of the Bucknell camp is very, very quiet, even though the Bison still are very much alive in the conversation of winning the Patriot League title and making Lehigh sit at home Thanksgiving weekend.
Last week, Bucknell traveled to the No. 9 team in the country, Charleston Southern, and proceeded to put up a very good fight in a game that didn’t affect Bucknell’s title chances one way or another. Though the final tally was 49-28, Bucs, the Bison didn’t go away quietly against Charleston Southern’s triple-option attack, staying within a touchdown most of the way until the home team pulled away late.
“Our guys played their tails off today and I am proud of them,” Bucknell head coach Joe Susan said afterwards. “We were able to take advantage of turnovers, but it was frustrating as the score got away from us. Charleston Southern is a very good football team.”
Want to get more worried? Look at the comments from acting Charleston Southern head coach Chad Staggs, who was in that position after head coach Jamey Chadwell served a one-game suspension.
“I don’t know that we played our best today but you have to give some credit to (Bucknell),” Staggs said. “They came out in the first drive and sort of punched us in the mouth a little. We certainly have to play better, but we won the game. I thought we matched them physically overall. We will look at the film and see how we played. We have to be more disciplined than we were today. We had way too many penalties today and that’s something we have to correct.”
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