Category Archives: Stefan Sansone

Game Preview, Lehigh at James Madison, 9/12/2015

"We told the kids to go in and watch the tape from a year ago," head coach Andy Coen said in this week's preview of the James Madison game from The Morning Call.   "We probably should have won the game. We missed three field goals. That was the difference. We had a great opportunity to beat them."

There was a lot of frustration in last years' 3-8 season for the Mountain Hawks, but the 27-24 opening weekend loss was probably the second most frustrating.

Let's be blunt; Lehigh had James Madison on the ropes.

Whether the Dukes were in the middle of a letdown after their 52-7 loss to Maryland the weekend before, whether their talented team wasn't ready for Lehigh's best shot, whether the Mountain Hawks played the games of their lives, it didn't really matter.  With just about 12 minutes left, Lehigh had the ball at midfield, up by 4 on James Madison and the opportunity of opportunities to put the game away.

Two penalties, a punt and 98 James Madison yards later, the Dukes would take the lead and never give it back.
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LFN’s Season Preview: Healthy Shaf Key To Keeping the Points Coming

Lehigh QB Nick Shafnisky (Morning Call)
Junior QB Nick Shafnisky spent Patriot League media day telling the gathered media about haters drinking the haterade.

Well, he didn't exactly say it like that.  But he did talk about proving the haters wrong.

"I love having people either be there for me or count me out," he said.  "Personally, I love it all.  I love haters.  I was just saying to my dad - the more people are talking bad about you, the more people you have to prove wrong.  I love proving people wrong, and making my coaches from high school proud."

Now finally healthy, Shafnisky finally has the chance to prove a lot of people wrong - those that doubted his ability to recover from a Rivalry game he'd rather forget, those that thought he might not get over the injury that severely limited him last season, those that picked Lehigh to finish fifth, sixth, or even seventh in the Patriot League.

Despite an infections optimism that carried all the way through the preseason, you could see the chip forming on Shafnisky's shoulder that day, as well as junior LB Colton Caslow's.

How Shaf and Caslow perform with that chip on their shoulder is going to play a big part in the 2015 season.

"We want to show that the 3-8 team you guys saw last year is not what Lehigh's about, and it's not what Lehigh football is about," Shaf said.  "When they announced that we were picked fifth, Colton and I just looked at each other, and said, 'We'll see.'  Everyone has a different chip on their shoulder to prove everyone wrong."
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LFN’s 2015 Spring Preview – Wide Receivers and Running Backs

WR Troy Pelletier in an Oct 2014 practice (Brown and White)
Penn State is frequently called "Linebacker U", thanks to all the famous linebackers that played for them.

If Penn State is "Linebacker U", you could make a very good case for Lehigh being "Wide Receiver U."

Guys like WR Dave Cecchini, WR Rennie Benn, WR Josh Snyder, WR Jake Drwal, WR Ryan Spadola, and WR Lee Kurfis are just six of the many great names that have suited up for the Brown and White, and it's no wonder that Lehigh Nation would naturally look to this position group for a lot of potential in 2015.

With Lehigh returning a Jerry Rice Award finalist at this position, too, it's certainly going to be something to watch at the end of the Spring, too.

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Brown Defense Starts Strong, But White Offense Wins The Day, 37-35

(Photo Credit: Justin Lafleur/Lehigh Athletics)

At the University of Alabama they call it "A-day," and hold it in from of more than 76,000 fans.

Head coach Andy Coen didn't brand Lehigh's spring scrimmage "L-day", and, well, there weren't exactly 76,000 fans who came to Murray Goodman Stadium on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, either.

Instead, though, the fans that came were treated to a pass-happy scrimmage that featured no tackling contact after the third series, thanks in part to the fact that Lehigh only suited eight linemen on the morning.

It was a scrimmage that featured a whole lot of energy - and a whole lot of newness.
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