Attempting to Rally Against Lehigh
We are currently entering into the tenth game week of the 2015 season. Our players and staff just completed a bye week following a close loss to Lehigh University. While there are many positives to build on from this game, the bottom line is we did not play well enough to win. Football is very simple. If we play well for four quarters, we will win. If we do not play well, we will lose. The Lehigh game is a great game for our program, players and staff to learn and improve as we prepare for Fordham this upcoming weekend.
Early in the contest, we had trouble protecting quarterback Kyle Nolan. We surrendered five sacks on the day. Our first three offensive drives ended in punts. Defensively, we struggled to contain Lehigh’s rushing attack and we trailed 24-7 at the end of the first half.
Following halftime, we were able to regroup. Our offense came alive and scored three touchdowns on four second half possessions. The only drive we did not score on was a 16-play, 76-yard drive which was stopped on downs on the Lehigh five-yard line. Our defense settled down and held Lehigh to nine second half points. The final score was 33-28.
Offensively, we were led by quarterback Kyle Nolan. Nolan was 25-for-38 passing for 355 yards and four touchdowns. Nolan was named to the Patriot League Honorable Mention for his performance. Jake DeCicco had an outstanding game with 10 catches for 195 yards and a great touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Luke Morris played well the entire game. Morris had six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Senior Harry Glor added two touchdown catches. Jo’el Kimpela lead our rushing attack with 91 yards on 14 carries. Alex Valles also had a solid game on the ground.
Defensively, David Akere and Dan Yankovich continued to play well. Akere had nine total tackles, while Yankovich added eight. Both Phil Novacki and Dez Richardson recorded sacks. The entire defense also accounted for five tackles for a loss.
I do not believe in moral victories. Our goal is to win every game on our schedule, no matter the opponent. However, I was very impressed by the overall attitude and heart of our players. Down 24-7 at the half, I think our coaches and players did a great job at halftime. We made the necessary adjustments and our players fought until the final play of regulation. The fourth quarter saw us cut Lehigh’s lead to six points. The game ended with us attempting an onside kick with less than two minutes to play, down five points. To win games against good teams, you must be consistent from the first snap until the final whistle. We did not play well early against Lehigh and we ran out of time to complete the comeback.
During the bye week, our coaches were able to get out on the road to their national recruiting areas. The week off has helped our players to recover from the first nine weeks of the season. After two short practices on Thursday and Friday, the players were off for the weekend. Many of our student-athletes used the time to visit with family and friends. A number of our players were able to fly to Atlanta to visit with Ty Williams and his family at Shepherd Center. Ty continues to work extremely hard at his rehab. I am constantly amazed at his unbelievable attitude and work ethic.
We are already working to prepare for our last home contest against Fordham this Saturday. I am excited to honor our seniors for their last game on the Hilltop. I hope to see you this weekend!