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Archive For The “Tyler Ward” Category

The Bronx Cheers As The Mountain Hawks Fall, 52-34

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The Bronx Cheers As The Mountain Hawks Fall, 52-34

(Photo Credit: Justin Lafleur/Lehigh Athletics)

It was a real Yankee crowd in the Bronx this afternoon – a sellout, overflow Bronx crowd of over 7,800.

Without a Yankee postseason to worry about, the nationally-ranked Fordham Rams had something they hadn’t had on an October afternoon in a very long time: the undivided sports attention of the local area, playing against another Top 25 team on national television.

When the calls didn’t go the Rams’ way, the fans stood up the same way they might in New Yankee Stadium, arguing the call.  And when a play didn’t have yellow laundry on the field, indeed, the “Bronx Cheer” the Borough made famous did indeed ripple through the crowd.

Not that Fordham needed help from the refs.

The Rams may have had some doubters going into this weekend with their 5-0 record, but there sure aren’t any more after a resounding, offensive clinic that made Lehigh pay desperately for two turnovers and ultimately had Fordham go to 6-0 with a 52-34 victory.
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LFN Players of the Week, New Hampshire vs. Lehigh, 9/28/2013

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LFN Players of the Week, New Hampshire vs. Lehigh, 9/28/2013

(Photo Credit: Matt Smith/The Express-Times)

Below the flip, enjoy this week’s “LFN Players of the Week” for the New Hampshire game.

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LFN Players of the Week, Lehigh vs. Princeton, 9/21/2013

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LFN Players of the Week, Lehigh vs. Princeton, 9/21/2013

(Photo Credit: Andrew Miller/Trenton Times)

Below the flip, enjoy this week’s “LFN Players of the Week” for the Princeton game.

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Two-Minute Drill and LFN Players of the Week: Lehigh/Monmouth 9/14/2013

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Two-Minute Drill and LFN Players of the Week: Lehigh/Monmouth 9/14/2013

(Photo Credit: Justin LaFleur/Lehigh Athletics)

Below the flip, enjoy this week’s “LFN Players of the Week” and a Two Minute drill on the quotes from this Saturday’s game.

I’ve decided to break out the sneak peek at Princeton into a different blog post – for reasons that will be come clear.

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Is This Lehigh Squad Living On "Borrowed Time"?

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Is This Lehigh Squad Living On "Borrowed Time"?

As much as I sometimes regret to admit, I remember the group Styx, and I also remember the album Paradise Theater.

One of the songs on that album, “Borrowed Time” (today’s “Sunday Word”), reminded me a lot of how Lehigh is winning football games right now.

The song, buried deep in my memory banks, perhaps not gracing my ears for more than two decades, struck me after the Mountain Hawks won their second improbable, impossible, game in a row.

“Don’t look now, but here come the ’80s!” lead singer Dennis DeYoung croons.

“Don’t look now, but here comes the 2013 season!”, the entire Lehigh football team seems to be telling me in the same way, flirting with danger, converting improbable plays into huge momentum swings, twenty-point deficits into touchdowns, losses into wins.
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Lehigh Keeps Calm And Beats Monmouth, 28-25

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Lehigh Keeps Calm And Beats Monmouth, 28-25

(Photo Credit: Justin Lafleur/Lehigh Athletics)

“I’d never seen it,” head coach Andy Coen said, adding a “whew” for good measure.

He was referring to a very strange play this Saturday, a play that happened in Lehigh’s favor that felt like the decisive play of the game.

Down 25-21, and senior P Tim Divers readying to punt, speedy Monmouth CB Tevrin Brandon blocked his punt – the ball deflecting almost straight up, then falling back down to earth behind the line of scrimmage, where alert senior FB Zach Hayden kept calm, grabbed the ball out of the air, and started to go for the first down marker.

He did more than get enough yards for the first down.  He rumbled 37 yards, thus turning the momentum of the game completely on its head.

Two plays later, senior QB Brandon Bialkowski hit senior WR Lee Kurfis with a 40 yard dagger to make the score 28-25.

It would be a death blow from which Monmouth wouldn’t recover.

“I’ve been coaching and playing a long time,” Coen said, “and I’ve never seen a blocked punt picked up by one of our own guys and run for a first down, which ends up being the biggest play of the game.”

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2013 Mountain Hawk Season Preview: The Defense And Special Teams

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2013 Mountain Hawk Season Preview: The Defense And Special Teams

Last season, Lehigh’s defense was expected to help carry an offense a little as a new offense learns the ropes.

This time around, though, it’s a completely different situation.

Eight starters depart last year’s starting squad, including key members of both the defensive line and defensive backfield rotation.  Oh yeah, and LB Billy Boyko, an undrafted free agent signee by the Raiders in the offseason, graduates as well.

It’s not like the cupboard is bare by any means.  But, man, eight starters?

While the expectation is that Lehigh’s offense will proceed just fine, the defense just has so many departing seniors that it’s worth asking the question: what’s the expectation for 2013?
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23 Days Until CCSU – No. 23, Tyler Ward

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23 Days Until CCSU – No. 23, Tyler Ward

(Photo Credit: Matt Smith/Lehigh Valley Live)

We are getting so close now we can all taste it.

Thankfully for all of us, our next honoree, senior FS Tyler Ward, has a great impact picture from Lehigh’s last game of 2012 – versus Lafayette, of course – to carry us through to the Big Day 23 days away.

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Patriot League Media Day: Andy Coen Can Finally Take A Deep Breath

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Patriot League Media Day: Andy Coen Can Finally Take A Deep Breath

(Photo Credit: Lehigh Athletics)

Despite the meetings with the other coaches beforehand, despite the bustling schedule of Media Day, where coaches are shunted around for two straight hours, fielding video spots, and reporter after reporter with digital recorders in hand, by the time I got to Lehigh head coach Andy Coen, any stress from the commotion was not evident anywhere when I talked to him.

Perhaps part of that came due to his incredible success over the past three seasons.

With a 31-6 record in the past three years, two Patriot League Championships, playoff wins against the CAA and Missouri Valley champs, and last year’s 10-1 record, his three last years at Lehigh can be stacked up against anyone’s in the country.

North Dakota State’s Craig Bohl, who downed Lehigh on their way to their first FCS National Championship in 2010, went 37-7 over that time period.  The coach of the team they beat twice for the national championship, Sam Houston State’s Willie Fritz, sports a 31-10 record over that period.

Heck, Alabama’s Nick Saban led the Crimson Tide to a 35-5 record over 3 years.

A 30 win record over a 3 year period gives you peace of mind, even if last season ended waiting for an at-large playoff bid that never came.
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Brown 46, White 37, Final

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Brown 46, White 37, Final

(Photo Credit: Kevin Mingora/The Morning Call/April 20th, 2013)

By any measure the defense probably had more of its share of concern – and attention from coaches and fans alike – in this Spring season.

They had heard the issues all Spring long – the fact that only three starters returned on defense, including four new starters in the secondary and three new starters on the defensive line.

“The defense needs to get better,” Coen said in the release before the Brown/White game. “They didn’t perform very well in our last scrimmage and our coaches have challenged them.”

The defensive Brown team, led by new team captains senior LB Nigel Muhammad and senior FS Tyler Ward, responded to the challenge.

Using a modified scoring system, the Brown defense scored 14 points off of sacks and 12 points off of turnovers as the defense put up a solid performance in a 46-37 victory.
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