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Lafayette News Stand

Thursday, October 31, 2002

FOOTBALL: Lafayette seems to go from one must-win game to another
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
Lafayette head football coach Frank Tavani would have been a lot happier had his Leopards managed to pull out a victory at Fordham last week. Had it been able to reverse the outcome, a 33-26 Fordham victory, Lafayette would have been alone at the top of the Patriot League standings. But, thanks to Towson's upset of three-time defending champion Lehigh a week earlier, Tavani was still able to find a silver lining in the dark clouds over the Bronx. Speaking at the Leopards' Tuesday media gathering, Tavani said, ''We had some chances, but we weren't able to capitalize. We played well, but all we can take from the game is that we need to play a better to win. But it's like I told the kids before the game: the winner would be unblemished, but the loser would join two others with just one loss. ''It's a very even league. Anything can happen.'' Fordham, of course, is the one team with the unblemished record (3-0). The two others? Lehigh and Colgate. What it all means is that Lafayette (4-4, 2-1), which played its first meaningful game in about seven years last week, will play in another one Saturday against Colgate (5-3, 2-1), at 12:37 p.m. Saturday, at Andy Kerr Stadium in chilly Hamilton, N.Y.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

FOOTBALL: Leopards turn their attention to Colgate after losing to Fordham
The Express-Times/ By John Bruns
Big games, meaningful games haven't been the norm for the Lafayette College football team in recent years, especially since the time a few years ago when the program's very existence appeared in jeopardy. Saturday's game with Fordham in the Bronx was a big game. The Leopards can be proud of their play in that contest, especially on the offensive side of the ball. But they didn't get the win, bowing 33-26 to the Rams (6-1, 3-0) who now are alone at the top of the Patriot League, while the Leopards (4-4, 2-1) fall back into the pack of three teams with one loss along with Lehigh and Colgate. With road games at Colgate and Bucknell before they return home to finish the season against Holy Cross and Lehigh, the Leopards must guard against magnifying the importance of the Fordham loss. As coach Frank Tavani said after the Fordham game, " can't put too much emphasis on any one game. We know we had a tough go with three straight road games starting here (Fordham) ... We know we can play with anybody in the conference. We've just got to keep playing the next play, and now it goes to the next game."

Monday, October 28, 2002

FOOTBALL: Lafayette has proven it can play with anyone
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
Forty-eight hours ago in The Bronx, against Fordham, Lafayette played its first truly meaningful football game in seven years. With first place in the Patriot League on the line, it lost, 33-26. Disappointing? Certainly. Frustrating? You bet. The Leopards outplayed the Rams most of the game, piled up huge chunks of yardage and had plenty of chances to win the game. But they didn't close the deal. Still, third-year head coach Frank Tavani remained upbeat - or reasonably close to it. ''I want to compliment Dave Clawson and his staff,'' Tavani said. ''That was a great football game out there. It was hard-fought all the way, and came out on top. ''From our side, though, I couldn't be prouder of our kids, and I wouldn't want to be associated with any other group.'' Truth be told, Tavani had every right to remain upbeat even though he and his players knew they'd lost a game they probably should have won.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

FOOTBALL: 'Pards fall short at Fordham
The Express-Times/ By John Bruns
NEW YORK -- It was the biggest game that a Lafayette football team has played since Frank Tavani became the coach in 2000 -- and probably since the Leopards battled Lehigh for the Patriot League championship in the final game of the 1995 season. Though the weather was gloomy Saturday at Jack Coffey Field, there was excitement in the air as Lafayette took on Fordham to determine which would end the day unbeaten in the Patriot League. Despite crushing offensive statistics put up by quarterback Marko Glavic, tailback Joe McCourt and wide receiver John Weyrauch, Lafayette came out on the short end of a 33-26 score.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette wins on paper; Fordham wins on field
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
NEW YORK | Fordham coach Dave Clawson walked into the post-game interview room, eyeballed the game summary sheet and told the assembled media, ''Look at these stats, and you'd say there's no way we won the football game.'' But his Rams (6-1, 3-0) did win the football game - 33-26 over Lafayette (4-4, 2-1) - to assume sole possession of first place in the Patriot League. Indeed, a glance at the stats suggested an easy Leopards' win. They ran 91 offensive plays to 58 for the host Rams. They amassed 31 first downs (to 20) and outgained Fordham 460 yards to 395

FOOTBALL: Fordham Stands Alone at the Top
The New York Times/ By Ron Dicker
elcome to the upside-down Patriot League. For the first time since joining the conference in 1989, Fordham is alone in first place in late October, courtesy of a 33-26 victory yesterday over Lafayette, another unlikely contender, at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx. The teams have one winning season between them since 1993. Fordham (6-1, 3-0) is off to its best start since 1988. Its offense and defense were ranked No. 1 before kickoff. But on a muddy field yesterday Fordham needed an extra push from its players who score the points: Javarus Dudley, Kirwin Watson and Kevin Eakin. "They were using one-on-one matchups with our outside receivers, and I knew that was a matchup we had to win," Eakin said.

FOOTBALL: For Lafayette, close still doesn't count
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
NEW YORK | Lafayette's victory over Columbia a couple of weeks ago in Lawrence A. Wein Stadium was considered a barometer of how far the Leopards have come. Saturday's loss in a Patriot League showdown with Fordham about five miles away on Jack Coffey Field was a perfect example of how far they still have to go. The Leopards talked a lot during the week about controlling their own destiny during the final month of league play. In many different ways, they played with a resolve to walk the walk the same way they talked the talk. And when quarterback Marko Glavic, sacked for an 8-yard loss on a second-and-four at the Fordham 35 with about four minutes left in the game, turned around on the next play and eluded a would-be sacker and scrambled for 17 yards and a first down at the Rams' 26, it seemed that Lafayette had, indeed, turned the corner.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

FOOTBALL: Saturday's big game at Fordham has Lafayette's Glavic pumped up
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
When Lafayette quarterback Marko Glavic takes his first snap from center Chris Royle on Saturday at Fordham, he'll be making his 26th collegiate start and playing in his 28th game. Never since coming to College Hill from St. Mary Catholic in Pickering, Ontario, has ''The Canadian Rifle'' played in a more meaningful game. He knows it. And, since he's a guy who knew nothing but success and important games in high school (he won league titles in three sports as a senior at Pickering and was named the best athlete in the Toronto area by The Toronto Star), he loves it. ''The best way to describe it is that it's exciting,'' Glavic said Tuesday. ''We haven't been in this position, playing a league game to be on top of the league. We're very excited for the opportunity, and we're planning to take full advantage of it. We'll be fired up, for sure. And if we play our game, I believe we'll come out on top.''

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

FOOTBALL: Lafayette coach is sleeping less, enjoying it more
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Lafayette has four victories at the seven-game point of the football season for the first time since 1993. It's no wonder Frank Tavani is sleeping less. Yep, you read it right. The Leopards have their first two-game winning streak of his tenure and are preparing for a battle for first place Saturday at Fordham. Still, Tavani, the third-year head coach, says he may feel more self-inflicted pressure now than when the team was at the bottom of the league - which was not that long ago. But he wouldn't have it any other way. ''I'm excited,'' Tavani said Tuesday. ''I don't want to go to sleep and I can't wait to wake up. It's a great situation.''

Sunday, October 20, 2002

FOOTBALL: Leopards ready for battle of unbeatens
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Lafayette cleared the way for its Patriot League first-place showdown in six days at Fordham by taking care of business against Georgetown on Saturday at Fisher Field. The Leopards improved to 4-3 overall and 2-0 in the league by treating the Homecoming Day crowd to a 35-17 thrashing of Georgetown. "We control our destiny," said Lafayette coach Frank Tavani. "Next week at this time there's only going to be one undefeated team left in the Patriot League, and I fully believe it'll be us. We have three tough road games ahead of us, but we're sitting right where we want to be." Fordham, idle this week, is also 2-0 in the league and 5-1 overall.

FOOTBALL: Leopards Pounce On Visiting Hoyas
The Washington Post/ By Kathy Orton
EASTON, Pa., Oct. 19 -- Energized by their win last week against Davidson, the Georgetown Hoyas entered today's game against Lafayette believing this was one of their better chances to pick up a Patriot League victory. After all, Lafayette hasn't had a winning record in nine years. Instead, the game turned into another Patriot League loss for Georgetown. Unable to contain the Leopards' passing attack, the Hoyas fell, 35-17, before 7,699 at Fisher Field. Georgetown (2-5, 0-4) has lost 10 straight games in the Patriot League since joining the conference last season. Lafayette improved to 4-3, 2-0.

FOOTBALL: Glavic, Leopards strong-arm Hoyas
The Morning Call/ By Tim Shoemaker
Lafayette flanker John Weyrauch knew quarterback Marko Glavic was feeling good long before the Leopards' 35-17 homecoming win over Georgetown on Saturday at Fisher Field. Weyrauch knew a day ahead of time. ''Yesterday (Saturday), we do this little thing where we throw a couple passes,'' Weyrauch said. ''I don't have any gloves on or any equipment on. And he's zipping it 100 miles an hour. I have a jammed finger as it is. I told him to tone it down a little bit.'' Glavic refused to tone it down against Georgetown. He completed his first eight passes and finished with 275 passing yards and four touchdowns. Weyrauch had nine catches for 162 yards, and Joe McCourt rushed for 108 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown rushing and one receiving. More importantly, Lafayette (4-3, 2-0 Patriot League) is now tied with Fordham (5-1, 2-0) for first place in the league. Lafayette's next game will be at Fordham on Saturday.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Stocker stares down his fear
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
The flashbacks began long before Bill Stocker ever walked into Lawrence A. Wein Stadium last Saturday. First, it was a fleeting thought before the start of spring football practice. Then another one when he first looked at the schedule. Oct. 12 - at Columbia. Two weeks prior to the date, the events of Oct. 7, 2000 became more vivid to Stocker, and the fact that Lafayette lost to Columbia 47-22 on that date had nothing to do with it. And last week, try as he might, he could not shake the feeling of uncertainty that came over him when he thought about returning to Wein Stadium. Especially if he woke up with a pain in his back. Stocker was Lafayette's leading rusher in 2000, a sophomore with all kinds of potential. While trying to help a teammate gain yardage, he threw a block and felt the pain immediately.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

FOOTBALL: Lafayette might have turned the corner
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Frank Tavani was formulating his halftime address, and it was going to be ugly. Strong words. Perhaps a flying object. ''He threw a chair at Princeton,'' Joe McCourt said. ''Shhhh,'' Tavani said. ''I've been around a little longer; no comment,'' Bill Stocker said. Tavani quipped Tuesday that he was having ''thoughts about a new career in lawn care and landscaping,'' but you can be assured that he found nothing funny in the situation confronting him Saturday afternoon. The Italian fire in him was burning hot. McCourt was on the bench wondering what was going on. Stocker was on the field, but wondering the same thing. Columbia, already leading 21-0, was at the Lafayette 4-yard line. First down.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

FOOTBALL: Leading by Three Touchdowns, Lions Still Cannot Hold On
The New York Times/ By Sophia Hollander
Lafayette, which trailed by 21 points in the first half, scored two touchdowns in the final eight and a half minutes to defeat Columbia, 28-21, yesterday at Wien Stadium. Joe McCourt scored both late touchdowns for Lafayette, which overcame a 21-0 deficit and snapped a three-game losing streak. After McCourt's first touchdown, from 4 yards, the Lafayette Leopards (3-3) tried a 2-point conversion. Quarterback Marko Glavic circled the Columbia defense, waiting to spot a weakness, drifting toward the left, sideline and lofted a pass squarely into the arms John Rickets. That tied the score at 21-21 with 8 minutes 10 seconds remaining.

FOOTBALL: Stocker walks off this time -- a winner
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
NEW YORK -- Bill Stocker didn't sleep much this week, and for good reason. "All week I was scared," said Stocker, Lafayette College's senior safety from Wilson Area High School. "At night I'd lay there thinking about this game. I wanted this game more than anything." A little more than two years ago Stocker left Columbia's Wien Stadium by ambulance, fearful he'd never walk again. On Saturday, Stocker walked off triumphantly, helping the Leopards to a dramatic 28-21 comeback victory over the Lions.

FOOTBALL: Leaping Leopard leads Lafayette over Columbia
The Morning Call/ By Brett Tomlinson
Lafayette's three games against Ivy League schools this year have followed the same script. Each time, the Leopards spotted the opposition a few early touchdowns before clawing back in the second half. In the first two games, the Lafayette comebacks fell well short. On Saturday, Joe McCourt and the Leopards rewrote the ending on the rain-soaked carpet at Columbia's Lawrence A. Wein Stadium. McCourt ran six straight times before leaping into the end zone for the decisive touchdown as Lafayette beat the Lions, 28-21.

Friday, October 11, 2002

FOOTBALL: Hunsberger makes Columbia hum
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Lafayette College football coach Frank Tavani doesn't need film to know the capabilities of Steve Hunsberger, Columbia University's junior quarterback. "We recruited Hunsberger and offered him (financial aid package)," Tavani said. "He's a tough kid and it doesn't surprise me what he's doing there." The Leopards' defense will spend most of its time Saturday afternoon at Wien Stadium trying to corral Hunsberger, who starred under Bob Stem at Bethlehem Catholic High School. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. The Leopards are 2-3 and in the midst of a three-game losing streak. The Lions are 1-2, having lost their last two after an opening 13-11 win over Fordham.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

FOOTBALL: Leopards look to make leap to 'next level' by beating Columbia
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
''Taking it to the next level'' has become a sports clich?. For the Eagles, that means advancing to the Super Bowl. For the Phillies it means breaking the Braves' 11-year stranglehold on the National League East.

Tuesday, October 8, 2002

FOOTBALL: Leopards search for KO punch
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Lafayette blocked two punts and returned one for a touchdown. The Leopards intercepted three passes. And they still lost 23-22 to Duquesne on Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh for their third straight defeat. Lafayette will try to get back to .500 this Saturday in New York City against Columbia, which is led by junior quarterback Steve Hunsberger of Bethlehem Catholic. The Leopards didn't lose to the Dukes on Earl Bellisario's 24-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining -- after they taken a 22-20 lead on Marty Brecht's 20-yard field goal 53 seconds earlier. No. The Leopards lost to Duquesne because they had to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Brecht in the second quarter and a Brecht 26-yarder late in the third after gaining great field position.

Sunday, October 6, 2002

FOOTBALL: Lafayette lets one get away late on the road
The Express-Times
PITTSBURGH -- What appeared to be a Lafayette College comeback victory dissipated in the final minute Saturday afternoon against unbeaten Duquesne. Duquesne drove from its 21-yard line to set up Earl Bellisario's 24-yard field goal with 10 seconds left for a dramatic 23-22 non-league win. The Leopards (2-3) had regained the lead, 22-20, on Marty Brecht's 20-yard field goal with 1:03 remaining. But sophomore quarterback Niel Loebig, under siege all game from Lafayette's blitzing defense, picked apart the Leopards to keep the Dukes perfect. Brecht's 60-yard field goal attempt with one second left landed a couple yards short.

FOOTBALL: Leopards come close to upsetting Dukes
The Morning Call
PITTSBURGH | Earl Bellisario's 24-yard field goal with 10 seconds left lifted Duquesne to a 23-22 victory over Lafayette, likely preserving the Dukes' No. 1 ranking in the NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major poll. Lafayette (2-3) took a 22-20 lead on Martin Brecht's 20-yard field goal with 1:03 left in the game, before Duquesne (5-0) answered with its game-winning eight-play, 71-yard scoring drive.

FOOTBALL: Duquesne boots Lafayette, 23-22
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/ By Phil Axelrod
On a day when Duquesne kept kicking itself in the teeth, a kicker rescued the Dukes. Earl Bellisario's 24-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining lifted Duquesne to a 23-22 victory against Lafayette before a homecoming crowd of 4,905 at Rooney Field yesterday. Bellisario completed a frantic 71-yard drive in the final 53 seconds as Niel Loebig completed passes of 25 and 22 yards to Michel Warfield and 16 yards to Yardon Brantley. Loebig, a sophomore from South Fayette, set school records with 54 attempts and 29 completions. They were good for 349 yards and two touchdowns against a blitzing Lafayette defense. "They went into a prevent that last drive," Loebig said. "Our receivers know how to get open." Jeremy Conley, a senior from Allderdice, had a school-record 13 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown. "His routes are starting to get to perfection," said Loebig, who left the game briefly with a shoulder injury in the second quarter. "I don't see anybody stopping him."

Thursday, October 3, 2002

FOOTBALL: No rest ahead for Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Ted Meixell
For the weary - Lafayette's football team - there will be no rest. No breather for a team sorely in need of one. Following back-to-back losses to Penn and Princeton, the 2-2 Leopards face a long bus ride to Pittsburgh and a 1:30 p.m. game Saturday against Duquesne. Coach Greg Gattuso's Dukes have won the last three Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships and five in eight years. They are unbeaten (4-0) and, following a 35-28 road win over Dayton, are ranked No. 1 in Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major poll. They are also No. 1 nationally in total defense (159.0 yards per game), No. 2 in pass defense (82.75) and No. 11 in scoring defense (12.25 points).

Tuesday, October 1, 2002

FOOTBALL: McCourt not to blame for Leopard loss
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Props to Joe McCourt. The Lafayette College sophomore tailback, written off for dead earlier in the week, made a Lazarus-like recovery to start against Princeton on Saturday night. McCourt responded with two touchdown runs, 149 yards rushing on 22 carries, and five pass receptions for 37 yards. The Leopards lost 34-19 but at least they know they have the "old" Joe McCourt at tailback, the one that earned Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors in 2001. Clearly, McCourt didn't see the big deal in playing against the Tigers. So what if he was trying to rehab from a bruised thigh and hip flexor. They were "only" leg injuries and how important can healthy legs be to a running back? "I was pretty banged up and it was a non-league game so I could see where coach (Frank) Tavani was coming from," McCourt said. "Every day I kept reading where I was listed as doubtful and I'm saying 'what are you doing to me?'