He was a great man, taken from us too soon from a horrible disease. I know, because I had the honor of talking to him about his passion, Lehigh football, for his entire hall-of-fame coaching career.
“We landed some very good talent and some are capable of helping early,” Lehigh head coach Tom Gilmore told me by email.
The daughter of a high school basketball coach, Mowins was introduced to basketball at an early age and was introduced to a whole other world while sitting on the floor in the family living room on Sunday mornings watching Phyllis George talk football.
Villanova has never lost to a Patriot League school in the postseason; one of their victories came against Holy Cross in their national championship season in 2009 by a 38-28 score.
Holy Cross and Sacred Heart are both riding six-game win streaks into the first round of the FCS Playoffs.
Fordham proved that as Kaitlyn Downey connected on a trio of 3-pointers in a span of 1:42 in the third period to help break open a close game before withstanding a late rally by Michigan State for a 71-68 win over the visiting Spartans on Nov. 21 at Rose Hill Gymnasium in the Bronx.
This Saturday, college football’s most-played Rivalry will contest its 157th meeting between the Lafayette Leopards (3-7) and Lehigh Mountain Hawks (2-8), and the hope is that it will be, well, normal.
Holy Cross ran the ball well … and passed the ball well … and its defense did what needed to be done as the Crusaders overcame a 24-17 deficit by scoring 35 unanswered points on the way to defeating Fordham 52-24 on Nov. 13 in the Bronx.
It was a game that wasn’t handed to them, either by Georgetown or Mother Nature, and they fought through and won.
It is the type of game only real fans understand.
With two weeks to go, no autobid has been determined for the upcoming FCS Playoffs, and without the FCS Playoff Committee releasing their working list of seeds, FCS fans have been left to the sift through the chaos as to what the heck the FCS Playoff bracket might look like.
In the 85th meeting between Bucknell and Lehigh on the football field, the Mountain Hawks rode a friendly home-like atmosphere on the road at Christy Matthewson Stadium to end a long consecutive game losing streak by a score of 38-6.
For three quarters, it didn’t really feel like a battle between a winless team (Lehigh, 0-8, 0-3) and a team still with an eye on a conference championship and an FCS Playoff appearance (Holy Cross, 6-2, 3-0).
“Who are these guys?”
While it’s long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, the images racked up through 59 minutes of play between Lehigh and Fordham were enough to provide an endless supply of storylines.
Fordham scored on all six of its possessions in the first half and was in command from start to finish en route to a 56-7 win over the Seahawks in a non-conference tilt at storied Jack Coffey Field.
The Penn Quakers leveled their season record at 2-2 after outlasting Lehigh 20-0 at Franklin Field this Saturday.
On a sunny 75 degree day, Yale’s offense racked up 420 yards on the Mountain Hawk defense as the Bulldogs (2-1, 1-0) pummeled Lehigh (0-5, 0-1) 34-0.
The number of monkeys on this Lehigh football team’s backs are beginning to mount.
The greatest thing about this rivalry game every year is that the stakes are always higher, and in recent years the fact that it has been earlier in the schedule has meant that there is a critical nature of this game.
BETHELEHEM, PA – Lehigh’s offensive woes continued against a daunting, precise Princeton team, losing 32-0 in front of a crowd of 7,050 at Murray Goodman Stadium this afternoon.
Don’t accuse the Patriot League anymore of not challenging themselves in the scheduling department.
Lehigh’s offensive struggles don’t have one single source, but what is clear is that any success the Mountain Hawks have in 2021 will have to come from vast improvements across the board.
The success of the 2021 Mountain Hawks will start with the defense – a unit that was, quietly, outstanding last spring and will be the rock on which Lehigh leans as the offense tries to get back to the teams of its offensive-minded past.
At Lehigh there is the hope that less restrictive practices and a return to a normal fall practice will mean a return to more familiar winning ways.
Holy Cross survived a season of long COVID pauses and a chaotic schedule the same place they were at the conclusion of the 2019 football season – Patriot League Champions. This time, however, they ended with a perfect 3-0 record.
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.
An already-crazy Patriot League season still had some craziness left to reveal this week, as the 156th meeting between Lafayette and Lehigh was postponed due to a Tier 1 exposure in the Lafayette program.
In a way it’s fitting during this strange season that two of the teams playing this weekend are in their season openers, while their opponents are coming off of two weeks off after winning their openers. It is a byproduct of this crazy Patriot League spring, and results in two fascinating games that are basically playoff games. And with no game film on Bucknell or Fordham, it feels like anything can happen.
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 CSJ writing staff answer the questions many of us have about the beginning of this unprecedented FCS season.
Today, the Patriot League was the final FCS football conference to unveil their spring competition schedule to the public, as a part of their release announcing the schedules of twenty-two different sports being contested in the spring.
The National Football Foundation (NFF) highlighted today the more than 310 schools and 35 conferences playing college football this spring at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III and NAIA levels. FBS independent New Mexico State will also play games this spring.
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.
In 2006, I wrote two pieces for the website I-AA.org about a Fordham/Columbia game I attended. The two crosstown Rivals competed for an actual cup, the “Liberty Cup”, and it was a 9/11 themed rivalry game for a time.
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.
Despite the bungling and mismanagement of the NCAA, President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors, they still have one final chance to get on the right side of history and submit to reality.
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.