Category Archives: Jake Melville

Mountain Hawks Find Their Reagent, Combine Perfectly For Huge 45-31 Win Over Colgate

At times it felt like the playing field was just the personal playground of WR Gatlin Casey, especially when he broke free for a 93 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.  But it was more than that.

At other times, it felt like the defense, with freshman FS Riley O'Neil pouncing on a loose ball after a sophomore SS Sam McCloskey forced fumble. was the critical piece to keeping Colgate from winning this game.  But it was more than that.

And at other times, it felt like the offense, under the expert signalcalling of senior QB Nick Shafnisky, kept finding big plays, on many occasions to Casey, that kept the game out of reach for the Raiders.

In reality, it was all three phases of the game for Lehigh that finally formed the chemical reaction somewhere in the middle of the first half that erased a 17-7 deficit and transformed the different bits and pieces into an impressive 45-31 victory.

For in the first half, down 14-7, the game looked like it might just get away from the Mountain Hawks.
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QUICK RECAP: Mountain Hawks Defense Sets Tone As Lehigh Beats Colgate, 45-31

In all the pregame talk about an offensive showcase, we all forgot about how defense might be critical for the winning team in this important Patriot League Lehigh and Colgate clash.

Many saw the previous box scores and just assumed that Colgate's powerful offense, who put up more than 50 on Yale, would do something similar to the Mountain Hawks defense.

Not so.

After a 75 yard touchdown run by Colgate QB Jake Melville to start the game, the Lehigh defense forced two enormous turnovers, including a forced fumble by sophomore SS Sam McCloskey that was recovered by freshman FS Riley O'Neil on Colgate's first drive of the second half.


The play would allow Lehigh to tie it up with a 25 yard FG by sophomore PK Ed Mish, and it would fire off a string of 17 unanswered points that would give Lehigh a 31-17 lead that they would never relinquish.
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Colgate At Lehigh Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction: Experts Pick Raiders Early and Often

(Photo Credit: The Colgate Maroon News)

It's a big game in the Patriot League this weekend at Murray Goodman Stadium, and the FCS experts have been weighing in - and to a person, all picking Colgate to win.

Craig Haley of STATS/Athlon Sports:

An at-large playoff bid is out of the question for Colgate, which is going to have to repeat as Patriot League champion to get back to the postseason. The Raiders are reeling, while Lehigh’s offense (51.3 points per game the last three weeks) is soaring no matter if the quarterback is Nick Shafnisky or Brad Mayes. Shafnisky is due back this week.
Emory Hunt over at Football Gameplan also has picked Colgate to win, and the vast majority of posters in the Any Given Saturday fan community as well have picked the Raiders.


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Colgate At Lehigh Narrative Street: Despite Challenging Week, Mountain Hawks Should Be Sky-High for Saturday

There's no question that this weekend's Colgate and Lehigh game is an enormous game for both sides.  There's also a bit of a quarterback "controversy" on the Lehigh side as to who will come out for the first series, award-winning sophomore QB Brad Mayes or award-winning senior QB Nick Shafnisky.

One thing that has gone a bit unnoticed is the impact of Hurricane Matthew on the game this weekend.

Not so much the impact of the southerly weatherly system on the weather at Murray Goodman, which is still on target for a mostly cloudy, 65 degree day, with a small chance of showers in the late afternoon, but the impact on the Lehigh and Colgate players, many of whom call Florida their home.

Added to the already-challenging coaching twists centering around 4 O'Clock exams, something that head coach Andy Coen reminded me of last week, is the concern that the fourteen Lehigh football players from Florida, including Mayes, senior LB Colton Caslow, junior WR Gatlin Casey and a bunch of others, have for their families back at home.

Overall, seventeen Lehigh football players (14 from Florida, 3 from Georgia) and sixteen Colgate football players (15 from Florida, 1 from North Carolina) have family and possessions potentially impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

You can't blame some of those athletes being a bit distracted if they have a bit more on their minds than just football.


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Heartbreak in Hamilton As Lehigh Can’t Get Last Five Yards, Fall 49-42 To Colgate

Five yards.

With all the offense, with all the touchdowns, with all the passing yards by junior QB Nick Shafnisky, all the rushing yards from freshman RB Dominick Bragalone, all the plays, all the yards of offense gained, and allowed, it came down to five yards.

1st and goal at the five.  A minute to play.  Five yards from the end zone, five yards from the opportunity to come from behind and make the score 49-48, and then to have freshman PK Ed Mish trot out and attempt the game-typing extra point, to tie the score for the seventh time on the afternoon, or possibly try a two-point conversion to get the win.  Five.  Yards.

It came down to four shots from five lousy yards.

The game was a thriller.  A classic.  Both Colgate, who would clinch a share of the Patriot League championship today, and Lehigh, who wouldn't, were incredibly evenly matched.  Every time Colgate scored, Lehigh responded with a touchdown of their own, never trailing by more than a score, but never leading, either.

It was a street fight down to the last minute.  To the last five yards.  And Colgate won that street fight.  Since they stopped the Mountain Hawks from getting those last five yards, they are now the champs.
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Game Breakdown, Lehigh at Colgate, 11/14/2015

We break down the Colgate game - and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.

The updated weather report out of Hamilton is that the snow showers are supposed to end by Saturday morning. Gametime should be 38 or 39  degrees with gusts of wind up to 20 mph.

On paper, this should be a good thing for the home team.

Colgate is not in control of their championship and playoff destiny by some sort of fluke.  Their young team tested themselves early, going 0-3 against three tough teams in Navy, New Hampshire and Yale, managing to outlast Holy Cross in a critical Patriot League game that could have deep-sixed their season, and then won the rest of the Patriot League games in front of them, including a Fordham team that had dominated most of the teams on their schedule.

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Game Breakdown, Lehigh at Colgate, 11/14/2015

We break down the Colgate game - and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.

The updated weather report out of Hamilton is that the snow showers are supposed to end by Saturday morning. Gametime should be 38 or 39  degrees with gusts of wind up to 20 mph.

On paper, this should be a good thing for the home team.

Colgate is not in control of their championship and playoff destiny by some sort of fluke.  Their young team tested themselves early, going 0-3 against three tough teams in Navy, New Hampshire and Yale, managing to outlast Holy Cross in a critical Patriot League game that could have deep-sixed their season, and then won the rest of the Patriot League games in front of them, including a Fordham team that had dominated most of the teams on their schedule.

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