Archive For The “Tyler Cavenas” 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…
It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.
Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.
But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.
The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games.
The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.
In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well.
The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn’t unknown before this week – after all, as a freshman and a sophomore, he had already rushed for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. But this year, where he’s amassed 1,200 yard rushing and an FCS-leading 16 rushing touchdowns, he’s gone into full Monster Mode, and Lehigh fans are loving every minute of it.
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“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.”
Spotlight On: DE Tyler Cavenas and NG Jimmy Mitchell
This past year, the NCAA mandated that two-a-day practices would no longer be allowed, which naturally has changed the way Lehigh has been camping this August. “A single day may include a single, three-hour, on-field practice session and a walk-through. During walk-throughs, protective equipment such as helmets and pads can’t be worn, and contact is prohibited,” the NCAA said.
“The guys like the new procedure, the new process we have in place here,” head coach Andy Coen said. “The guys are more fresh not having the two-a-days. [Sunday] was the first day we went full pads and had live tackling and the kids were fired up about that. We didn’t do a lot, just enough to get our feet wet.”
With no contact during the two-hour walkthrough session, pads and contact are a more rare occurrence. To senior DE Tyler Cavenas, though, what did that mean?
“I [still] feel like we can push ourselves,” he told LehighSports.com. “It’s weird, we have these walkthroughs now, but I think when we do go out, we’ll be more intense out here and we’ll be getting after it more. We’re only going to be out here one practice a day, so we’ll have to give it all we have.”
Knowing Tyler, he does.
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Many will look at the spring game final results and stats and see that the offense “won” this Saturday’s Brown/White game, 48-34.
They’ll see a stat sheet they might expect from a Mountain Hawk team: 121 yards passing from junior QB Brad Mayes, touchdown receptions from senior WR Troy Pelletier and senior WR Gatlin Casey, as well as a touchdown run by junior RB Dominick Bragalone.
But that doesn’t tell the full story of the game, played on a wet Saturday morning under mostly overcast skies.
In the early portion of the scrimmage, the Brown defense racked up sacks, tipped passes and shut out the White offense for nearly an hour before Mayes would finally find Casey in the end zone.
If there was any question how the new four-man defensive front might work out for the Mountain Hawks, they were answered today with a solid performance early.
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(Photo Credit: Keith Groller/The Morning Call)
Lehigh football post-game press conferences don’t get much more relaxed than the one that happened last weekend.
You can hardly blame head coach Andy Coen, senior QB Nick Shafnisky, junior DE Tyler Cavenas and sophomore RB Dominick Bragalone for feeling that way, after jumping to a 13-0 lead right out of the gates and piling up an incredible 57-9 lead against their opponents last weekend before calling off the dogs.
It led to a familiar feeling in the post-game: talk of how the offense is clicking so well, how the defense keeps coming up big. There were plenty of accolades to go around.
But when one media member tried to lightly broach the subject to Lafayette, the always-loquacious Shafnisky quickly steered the conversation back to next week’s game.
That’s because Shafnisky, perhaps more than anybody, feels the importance of next week’s game vs. Bucknell.
“For us to be in this position, it’s all a credit to us and our coaches. We put ourselves in this position, we earned it. But we didn’t earn anything yet. Next week, when you ask that question again, hopefully I’ll be the happiest man.”
(Photo Credit: Amy Herzog/The Morning Call)
When people think Lehigh football, they rightfully think of a powerful air attack.
After all, the Mountain Hawks boast the top two receivers in all of FCS in regards to receiving yards, junior WR Troy Pelletier and junior WR Gatlin Casey.
What they don’t necessarily think of is a grinding rushing attack, something more out of a triple-option team or perhaps a run-heavy Wing-T team.
Yet in Lehigh’s 58-37 statement win over Fordham, the same Ram team with potential future NFL player RB Chase Edmonds, the main headline wasn’t the aerial show, though there were a few highlight-reel plays there, too.
Instead, the headline became Lehigh’s six rushing touchdowns, three from senior QB Nick Shafnisky and three more from sophomore RB Dominick Bragalone, and 349 yards on the ground.
I looked through the record books last night, and combed through recaps of a lot of football games, and the last time I found that Lehigh scored six rushing touchdowns in a game was in 1971, when FB John “Jack” Rizzo and RB Don Diorio combined for six rushing TDs in a 48-19 win over Lafayette.
That’s some pretty good company.
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The questions around Lehigh, as ever, surrounded the defense. Would they be able to slow down Edmonds? Would he score two touchdowns, or three? Would they hold the almost-certain-NFL-player to only 200 yards?
In all the talk about Edmonds, people forgot about two pretty good runners on the Lehigh side: senior QB Nick Shafnisky and sophomore RB Dominick Bragalone.
Bragalone, for the second straight week, had another amazing game, getting 192 yards rushing, zero negative rushes, and 3 touchdowns. Shafnisky ran for 112 yards and added 3 touchdowns of his own.
It would be a game where Lehigh would not need to punt – the first game since Bucknell in 1999 where that was the case. That’s because they ran over Fordham, 58-37, going up at one point 51-9 before giving up a bunch of late scores.
Next week Lehigh will host Bucknell for the right to clinch an FCS playoff shot, and the chance to do no worse than tie for the Patriot League championship.
It was a day where even when things went wrong they went right for the Mountain Hawks.
What a difference two weeks makes.
At times it’s hard to comprehend how desperate it felt for Lehigh fans after the Mountain Hawks’ slender loss at Villanova to fall 26-21 to the nationally-ranked Wildcats.
At 0-2, after a pair of excruciating losses, a rematch with the defending Ivy League champions Penn awaited, a game that the Quakers had circled on their calendar since about December. Following that tough test would be a Princeton team that laid 52 points on Lehigh last year and returned almost all of the skill players on the team that beat them then.
A losing record going into the Colgate seemed like a best-case scenario.
And yet, here we are after these two tough tests, and the Mountain Hawks are 2-2, with a boatload of momentum going into their game vs. 0-2 Yale next weekend. Suddenly, 3-2 and a three-game winning streak going into an enormous game vs. Colgate seems like a real possibility.
The reason for this dramatic, and important turnaround?
The Lehigh defense, who shut out Penn in the second half and shut down Princeton in key areas of the second half as well to allow Lehigh to maintain a three-score, largely drama-free lead.
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