No matter when the game is played, when Lafayette and Lehigh get together on the gridiron, it almost always seems to be close and come down to a few plays.
This April, the same weekend as The Masters, Lehigh and Lafayette will be playing the first-ever Rivalry football game in the spring, a most atypical 156th meeting in the most-played college football game that’s simply called “The Rivalry”.
When you look at it in terms of the development of this team – and how this leads into next fall – there’s a lot more positives to draw than a normal fall season when the team is 0-2.
Two Ethan Torres FGs, one 26 yards, and one 24 yards, were enough to put the Bucknell Bison atop the Patriot League South Division, shutting out Lehigh at Murray Goodman Stadium 6-0.
In a way, the opening drive which ended with zero Lehigh points summed up the entire afternoon.
BETHLEHEM, PA – The Holy Cross Crusaders beat the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 20-3 at Murray Goodman Stadium in the first college football game contested by both schools in over 450 days.
It is uncharted waters for both teams, with plenty of questions to answer playing an unprecedented Patriot League spring football season. But many of the principal contributors in that 24-17 game more than a year ago in Bethlehem will be suiting up tomorrow.
For this Lehigh team, who has gone through this unique journey back to playing games that count, it feels like this weekend is almost as much a celebration of what football means to them as much as it is a Patriot League conference game against Holy Cross at Murray Goodman Stadium at noon this Saturday.
It’s been a very, very long wait, but this weekend, finally, we have a weekend of Patriot League football to look forward to.
“I’ve been very impressed with the enthusiasm and attitude across the board,” Lehigh head coach Tom Gilmore told me. “Getting the opportunity to be on the field and to be working towards competitive opportunities has really motivated everyone. It just feels different out there this semester. There’s an excitement in the air whenever we’re on the field.”
The signing day celebrations sometimes came with masks, but that didn’t make them any less important or meaningful to a group of athletes that have had a senior year like no other.
At the campuses at Lehigh and Lafayette, and the communities that surround them, there is a void in the third week in November, that most are trying to fill with virtual Rivalry activities and hope for a spring football season, making it not a cancelling of The Rivalry, but merely a delay to contest the game when it’s safer to have a more normal gameday experience.
On Tuesday, Lehigh University temporarily suspended training and practices for all sports programs after several Lehigh students tested positive for the coronavirus.
For months, fans, players, and Lehigh football head coach Tom Gilmore knew that this game wasn’t going to happen on this day. But Gilmore is trying to make the best of a difficult situation.
I have five burning questions on the issue that might help to give clarity on what a spring season for the Patriot League might look like.
Hope is not a strategy, and the truth is any form of national strategy has failed in an effort to have college football this fall. In a community like the Lehigh Valley, it’s a crushing loss to the coronavirus.
The Patriot League’s dilemmas, whether the rest of FCS admits it or not, is the FCS’ dilemmas. And as we inch closer to an alleged 2020 college football season, the NCAA needs to make some things very clear before a huge mess happens.
The Patriot League Office announced on Monday guidance regarding the 2020 fall competition, a list of principles to “guide the development of a Patriot League 2020 Athletics Plan.”
Lehigh head coach Tom Gilmore will be the first person to tell you that he’d prefer to have a regular spring assessment season for his football team.
It was an historic week that nobody could have foreseen.
I’m proud to unveil this year’s edition of the Patsy Ratings.
Patriot League Women’s Basketball conference play continues this week with five games on Wednesday, January 8, four on Saturday, Jan. 11 and one on Sunday, January 12. This week features 10 women’s basketball games around the Patriot League with all 10 on the Patriot League Network (PLN).
It is rare that the MVP of the Lehigh/Lafayette game is a kicker, but that’s exactly what happened this afternoon at Murray Goodman Stadium as the Leopards beat their bitter Mountain Hawk rivals for the first time in five years in a 17-16 win.
This season, though, there isn’t the same feeling of continuity that permeated many of these other games. Part of that comes from the fact that, unusually for The Rivalry, both teams are packed with young underclassmen, many of them playing in their first Rivalry ever. Normally, The Rivalry is filled with narratives. This season, it feels like the master narrative is waiting to be written with two teams that, even at this late date, have unknowns.
Going into this game, Lehigh’s defense had a serious challenge on their hands – to stop, or a least slow down, the leading rusher in FCS, Sacred Heart RB Julius Chestnut. For three quarters, they did just that, but in the fourth quarter Chestnut would score a pair of rushing touchdowns to lifted Sacred Heart to a 13-6 victory.
It’s highly unusual for Lehigh (4-5, 3-2) and Sacred Heart (6-4, 4-2)to be playing a non-conference game this late in the season, but for both teams, important milestones remain.
It was, depending on your perspective, either the roughest Lehigh offensive performance of the season, or the greatest Bucknell defensive performance of the year.
Most games between head coaches in their first years at a school are ones where the opponents need to feel themselves out, thanks to unfamiliarity. That will not be the case this weekend, as Cecchini and Gilmore have more than two decades of awareness of one another and their tendencies. It should have the feel of a brotherly fight.
For the players of both programs, it was more about demonstrating how much they had improved over that battle of 1-6 teams on a wet, rainy, homecoming game a year ago in Worcester. Both teams showed exactly how much more they were than those teams with losing records last year, and in the end, Holy Cross showed that they were one play better than the Mountain Hawks on this afternoon.
In the final minute, Holy Cross made one more play than Lehigh.
November in the Lehigh Valley is known for potentially frosty temperatures, blazing red and yellow fall colors, and apple picking season.
Don’t expect anything chill at Murray Goodman Stadium this Saturday, where the combined heat of the Holy Cross Crusaders (4-4, 2-0) and Lehigh Mountain Hawks (4-3, 3-0) should be radiating from both teams.
After their 27-24 win over Georgetown – their third conference game won on very memorable final plays – what is the Mountain Hawks’ secret for pulling out these conference wins?
Another week, another nail-biting game with the game in doubt in the closing seconds. Fans of of the Mountain Hawks might have been standing, perhaps cheering, perhaps looking away, unable to watch whether the 27 yard FG goes through the uprights.
Last season, Lehigh football suffered through a bunch of firsts that Mountain Hawk football fans had no desire to experience. One important one came on the campus of Georgetown on October 20th, 2018.
Up until that point, in the modern era, the Lehigh football team had not lost to Georgetown.
Before the biggest game of the year so far for the Lehigh football program, senior WR Dev Bibbens was left off the depth chart for the Fordham game. Two weeks ago, the New Hope, Pennsylvania native was leveled by a vicious hit to the midsection from a Colgate defensive back, and he didn’t return in […]
Both teams find themselves sitting tied atop the Patriot League standings, playing for first place, and unlike last year, there will be no shortage of passion on the field at Jack Coffey Field at 1:00 PM this Saturday.
Nobody at Andy Kerr Stadium was sitting down during the last play of the game.
To Colgate fans, Lehigh is returning to the scene of the crime this weekend.
That’s because the Raiders’ last Patriot League conference loss came to Lehigh on their home field, Andy Kerr Stadium, two years ago back on October 7th, 2017.
On a hot, humid late September afternoon at Murray Goodman Stadium, Gilmore won his first football game as head coach, finally outlasting visiting Merrimack 10-3 in a game where defense and special teams were the order of the day.
It wasn’t the sort of game for the NFL’s Red Zone channel. It wasn’t for people who love power rushing, precision passing, or turnover-free ball. But it was a win that the Lehigh Mountain Hawks will happily take. The Lehigh Mountain Hawks had six sacks and kept Merrimack out of the end zone, and rode […]
In the end, the matchup this weekend will be a show-me type of game, one that might set the trajectory for both programs.
UC Davis QB Jake Maier had a tremendous evening in the Aggies’ home opener in UC Davis Health Stadium, going 38-for-49 passing for 389 yards in a 41-13 win over Lehigh Saturday Evening in front of 9.908 fans. Maier threw for four touchdown passes, all coming off of long drives of more than 50 yards. […]
Last week, Holy Cross stunned many with their 13-10 upset of New Hampshire, the Patriot League’s first win over a CAA school this season. This week Colgate hopes to make it a second when they face William and Mary on the road. NEC, Big Sky, and even a D-III opponent graces the Patriot League schedule this week.
The Lehigh Mountain Hawks (0-2) make a trip to Davis, California to take on the UC Davis Aggies (1-1). It’s a game that promises to be an interesting clash of East Coast vs. West Coast in UC Davis Health Stadium – a Big Sky vs. Patriot League matchup, which is a rarity during the regular season.
The Villanova Wildcats (2-0) surged to a 17-3 halftime lead over Lehigh, and ultimately cruised to a 38-10 win on Saturday evening on the Main Line.
It was a game where the Mountain Hawks (0-2) would make way too many mistakes to pull off the upset on the road of a nationally-ranked FCS football team on the road.
We live in a strange world where people consume things in bites. People consume bites like video clips quickly, and sometimes they love them enough to keep watching them, enjoy them, and share them with their friends and followers.
That’s what happened today with one play out of the 138 plays that were run in the St. Francis (PA)/Lehigh game this Saturday, the first game of the season for both teams.
It was a game a defensive coordinator could love, and it resulted in a thrilling victory for St. Francis (PA) and an agonizing loss for Lehigh when a late 40 yard FG attempt went wide right for the Mountain Hawks, resulting in a 14-13 win for the Red Flash.
Last season, St. Francis (PA) and Lehigh faced off at the exact same time of year (Saturday, Labor Day weekend) at the exact same weekend. But the teams heading onto the field this weekend are not only filled with new personnel – they are also teams eager to put disappointing, losing season behind them in 2019.
Lehigh has just released their game notes for their 2019 Week 1 tilt against St. Francis (PA), and it’s our first look at Lehigh’s starting two deep. Here are my five takeaways from the list.
Much of preseason practice for a football involves building the skills, plays and toughness that’s required for the full grind of a full season. For the 2019 Lehigh Mountain Hawks, it seems to be about more than just that. With new head coach Tom Gilmore, a big theme that has emerged in preseason training camp […]