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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FOOTBALL: Special-teamer Costanzo feels right at home By Michael C. Wright
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Blake Costanzo certainly appreciates his new team's appreciation for special teams. "If they didn't, I wouldn't have a job," Costanzo said. "So it's awesome to come here and have them put an emphasis on (special teams) and value it the way they do." Knowing they'd potentially lose Pro Bowl special-teams ace Corey Graham in free agency, the Bears targeted Costanzo, who was coming off a strong 2011 campaign with the San Francisco 49ers. In addition to the 17 stops made on special teams, Costanzo made four more in the playoffs, while playing a role (forced fumble and fumble recovery) in San Francisco's victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

FOOTBALL: Patriot League should pick up football expansion, scheduling challenges that lie ahead
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
With the years-long debate over football scholarships finally over, the Patriot League can move ahead toward grander and greater accomplishments. That was the message delivered across the board from league coaches and athletes at the annual media day Wednesday at Green Pond Country Club. League executive director Carolyn Schlie Femovich reviewed Lehigh University's remarkable success in 2011, talked about more TV games for the league and said that "scholarships are a huge step for our league." The question is, steps leading to where? Perhaps a grander and greater football league, for one.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College captains vow to make Patriot League preseason football poll prediction incorrect
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's senior tri-captains didn't much like being picked fifth of six teams in the preseason Patriot League football poll at the league's media day Wednesday at Green Pond Country Club. "I don't read a lot into that stuff," said defensive tackle Rick Lyster with a scowl as fierce as his usual impact on opposition ball carriers. "We still have to play the games, and we're going to prove them wrong." On the other hand, Leopard head coach Frank Tavani was (sort of) flattered. "It's higher than I would have had us, the way we have played the last two seasons," Tavani said. "Bucknell shouldn't be behind us, they beat us last year."

FOOTBALL: Safford, Lafayette motivated by Patriot League preseason balloting
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Darius Safford looked at the press release announcing the Patriot League pre-season all-league selections and noticed immediately that something was missing. His name. The Leopards' senior cornerback and tri-captain isn't likely to forget that. "I try not to get caught up in that, but I feel I'll use that as extra motivation to prove to everybody that I can be the best corner in this league," the 5-10, 185-pound Douglasville, Ga., native said during the league's annual football media day at the Green Pond Country Club on Wednesday. "That's going to be my drive ... to be the best I can be." Lafayette, coming off back-to-back 1-4 league records and winner of just six of 22 games overall in those two seasons, didn't get a lot of respect as the league selected a preseason all-star team for the first time ever.

FOOTBALL: Patriot coaches busier, but happier with scholarships
The Morning Call/ By Keith Groller
Frank Tavani said he hasn't been able to take a vacation, but he's not complaining. That's because for the first time in his 12 years as Lafayette College's football coach, Tavani, like most of his counterparts in the Patriot League, has scholarships to offer to recruits. That has made for an accelerated timetable, increased competition and a more intense workload for the staffs. Ever since the league's Council of Presidents voted in February to allow merit aid beginning with the class entering school in the fall of 2013, coaches have been running around like lottery winners wanting to give money away. But at the same time, they're going the extra mile to make sure the right people are being rewarded. "It's certainly been a different process, one that has consumed my summer," Tavani said. "I've been so busy with it because of the evaluation process. We've had these prospect camps ... two more coming up for a total of six. We've had over 400 kids at those camps.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

FOOTBALL: Penn State's Bill O'Brien brings powerful message to Lauren's First-and-Goal Camp
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Photo Gallery
Bill O'Brien's words rang out louder than the powerful storm that had just swept across Lafayette College's Metzgar Athletic Fields and delayed his talk to the 2,105 young football players attending the annual Lauren's First and Goal camp. Penn State's new football coach hardly talked about the sport per se, quite appropriate at a camp dedicated to raising money for Lauren's First and Goal, a foundation named after Lauren Loose, the daughter of Lafayette defensive coordinator John Loose and his wife Marianne. Lauren, 14, has been fighting brain cancer and related disorders for almost her entire life; the foundation raises money for research and to support families living with pediatric cancer.

FOOTBALL: Lauren's First and Goal enlists football in the fight against pediatric brain cancer
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Mike Donnelly looks at Lauren Loose and doesn't see a fragile, chronically ill 14-year-old girl. He sees a survivor who has inspired thousands of people to help fight pediatric brain cancer at the football camp that bears her name. "Lauren is tougher than all the coaches, all the players at the camp," said Donnelly, the Muhlenberg College head football coach and a longtime friend of the Loose family, of Forks Township. That's an awful lot of toughness, for thousands of scholastic football players and college coaches will flock to Lafayette College's Metzgar Athletic Complex today for the annual Lauren' First and Goal football camp. Lauren Loose, 14, is the daughter of John and Marianne Loose and sister of Grace Loose; John has been the defensive coordinator for Lafayette football for 13 years. Lauren was born with Neurofibromatosis type I, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow along nerves. Since she was 9 months old, she has battled brain tumors and a succession of rare blood diseases, strokes and vision problems -- and fought them cheerfully.

FOOTBALL: Lauren's First and Goal camp strikes personal chord for Penn State's O'Brien
The Morning Call/ By Mark Wogenrich
John Loose and Bill O'Brien met through football but developed their friendship, as many fathers do, talking about their kids. Their stories, though, often were more difficult to tell than most. "In some ways," O'Brien said, "we're kindred spirits." Of all the public appearances O'Brien has made since becoming Penn State's head football coach, the most personal came Sunday at the Lauren's First and Goal Foundation football camp. It also was the first with a bone-marrow registry table alongside a helmet-safety exhibit. Eight years ago, John Loose, defensive coordinator of the Lafayette College football team, and his family began the Lauren's First and Goal Foundation to support brain tumor research and cancer services. Loose and his wife Marianne named the foundation for their now-15-year-old daughter, a pediatric cancer survivor who has undergone surgery and chemotherapy to treat brain tumors much of her life.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

FOOTBALL: Leopards shifting players on the O-line SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
When Lafayette football coach Frank Tavani and I talked about offensive linemen before the start of his team's spring camp, I asked him if there was a three-position guy in the group to take the place of Matt Welch, who started games at center and guard last season and also saw some time at tackle. "I don't think you're going to see another Welch, nor do I want to see a guy do all three," Tavani said, pointing out that when recruiting offensive linemen going forward, coaches will be looking for taller, heavier players -- "more tackle-like, so they can be moved inside rather than taking inside guys and moving them outside (to tackle, creating a possible negative mismatch) like we had to do with Welch." Well, it now seems the Leopards may have another Mr. Versatility in Freedom High product Zack Mazur. He was the second-team center on the pre-camp depth chart. When Andrew Anastor suffered a season-ending knee injury, Mazur was moved to the tackle spot; and when I talked to Tavani on Wednesday, he said there was a good chance that Mazur, who at 6-4, 290 is taller and heavier than Welch, will, indeed, be learning all three positions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

FOOTBALL: An impressionistic look at Lafayette College football from a spring practice
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
A half-dozen impressions from watching a session of Lafayette College spring football practice ... The offensive line is getting a total retooling after left tackle Andrew Anastor's season-ending injury. The right side tandem of Hunterdon Central graduate Brad Bormann, a junior guard, and sophomore left tackle Luke Chiarolanzio is switching to the left side. Experienced depth is in short supply and this is a spot where true freshman will make a difference in the fall.

Friday, April 6, 2012

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football dealing with injuries
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard (Subscription Required)
It was the final play of the first meaningful scrimmage of Lafayette College's spring football "camp," and it provided cause for both celebration and concern. Jared Roberts, a promising rising sophomore safety, leaped into the air and made an acrobatic interception, then ran it back for a defensive touchdown that had the guys in maroon jerseys jumping and screaming. But while trying to chase down Roberts, another rising sophomore, 6-6, 315-pound offensive tackle Garrett McNally, hit the Fisher Stadium surface and writhed in pain. The result: a broken arm. In a moment, all his fellow O-linemen quietly gathered around him in a show of support. That was Saturday morning. On Tuesday, the Leopards reached the halfway point of the 15-session camp, and coach Frank Tavani said that despite several setbacks -- almost all to the offensive line -- they would not be deterred in their effort to pack as much learning and teaching as possible into the into the period that is culminated by the April 21 Maroon and White game.

FOOTBALL: Lots is happening at the Leopards' spring 'camp' SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
A light mist fell; the temperature was 39 degrees. Coach Tavani was wearing gloves - and I should not have left mine in the car. It was spring football, but it felt like November. Where were all those warm days made the end of winter feel more like the beginning of June? Gone. I went over the Fisher on March 31 to gather some information for a halfway-point feature on the Leopards' spring "camp." I talked with the team's three captains - quarterback Andrew Shoop, defensive tackle Rick Lyster and defensive cornerback Darius Safford - but you'll have to wait until later for some of the info I gathered. Too many other things on my plate right now - including some time with my great-grandchildren, Janielle and Jarius, who will probably keep the old guy plenty busy. But because I have a story in the print edition, I thought I'd at least leave you with a couple of random observations based on what was the Leopards' first extended scrimmage of the 15-practice spring camp. So, here goes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football opens spring practice
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard (Subscription Required)
"Leave it like you found it." That may not yet be the Lafayette football team's 2012 official motivational slogan, but don't be surprised if head coach Frank Tavani adopts it because it was he who said earlier this week that that's pretty much the attitude of the Leopards' senior class. The 2009 Leopards were 8-3 and came within one play -- an overtime interception against Lehigh on a play which had touchdown written all over it -- of a possible at-large berth in the FCS playoffs. But the Leopards plummeted from there to 2-9 in 2010 and inched back up to 4-7 in 2011.

FOOTBALL: Are you ready for some Leopard football? SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
In the span of one week, Frank Tavani became a grandfather for the first time, played his first round of golf in two years and stayed away from the office four consecutive evenings. But lest he become too accustomed to a life apart from X's and O's, the Lafayette College football coach returned from "my version of spa week" and was thrust right back into the round-the-clock business of coordinating the Leopards' 15-session spring football "camp" that begins this afternoon on Fisher Field.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

FOOTBALL: Bears sign veteran linebacker Blake Costanzo
Chicago Tribune/ By Brad Biggs
The Chicago Bears targeted Blake Costanzo '06 because they realized Corey Graham would probably not be returning. And they successfully landed the veteran linebacker Tuesday night, adding him to the mix as a top special teams player. He finished second on the San Francisco 49ers with 17 tackles on special teams this past season, and added four more in postseason competition. He came up big in the 49ers' playoff upset of the New Orleans Saints, forcing one fumble on special teams and recovering another.

Friday, March 9, 2012

FENCING: NCAA fencing comes to Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Tim Shoemaker (Subscription Required)
Lafayette fencing coach Tom Gauntner had a simple question when he made a call to an NCAA office asking where this year's Mid-Atlantic South Regional in fencing would be held. He wanted to know because Drew University, the long-time host, was unable to host this year. After a few days, Gauntner received an answer. It wasn't what he was expecting, but he was certainly happy with it. For the first time in 17 years, Lafayette College will host an NCAA event of any kind when the NCAA Fencing Mid-Atlantic South Regional will be held Saturday at Kirby Sports Center. Action starts at 8 a.m.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team loses 79-52 to Bucknell in Patriot League semifinals
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Three games. Three double digit losses. The Lafayette College men's basketball team again proved to be no match for Bucknell today as the Bison received 18 points each from forwards Mike Muscala and Joe Willman and coasted to a 79-52 Patriot League semifinal playoff victory before 3,823 orange-clad fans at Sojka Pavillion.

Friday, March 2, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette-Bucknell Patriot League Tournament men's basketball semifinal fact box
The Express-Times
This is a rematch of last year's final, won by Bucknell 72-57. ... Bison are 13-2 at home this season and 97-31 all-time at Sojka Pavilion. ... Lafayette hit tournament-record 69 percent from 3-point range (13-for-19) in quarterfinal win over Holy Cross.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette in Patriot semis for third year in a row
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick (Subscription Required)
About the Leopards: Advanced with an 84-76 win at Holy Cross in Wednesday's quarterfinal. Senior Rob Delaney scored a career-high 25 points and the club made 23 of 29 FTs to hang on. ... Are trying to make the PL final for a third consecutive season, but haven't won a title since winning back-to-back crowns in 1999-2000. ... Coach Fran O'Hanlon will be coaching in his 30th tournament game, one behind former Bucknell coach Pat Flannery for the league mark. O'Hanlon also has won 15 tournament games, fourth behind Flannery, Jones and former Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard. ... Never trailed against Holy Cross and set a tournament record for 3-point percentage (68.4 percent, 13 of 19). Delaney was 5-for-5 from deep. ... Ryan Willen (14.5 ppg), Jim Mower (13.0) and Delaney (9.6) are the top scorers. Willen is tops in rebounding at 5.3 rpg. ... Are 7-10 on the road this season. ... Are 14-14 all-time in tournament games.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette men's basketball team beats Holy Cross to advance to Patriot League semifinals
The Express-Times/ By Jennifer Toland
Lafayette had knocked Holy Cross out of the last two Patriot League Tournaments, and in Wednesday night's quarterfinal at the Hart Center, the Leopards delivered another blow. Senior Rob Delaney scored a career-high 25 points to lead the fifth-seeded Leopards to an 84-76 win over the fourth-seeded Crusaders. Lafayette (13-17) will play at top-seeded Bucknell in a semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Bucknell defeated eighth-seeded Navy. Holy Cross finished 15-14 for its first winning season since 2008-09. The Leopards, one of only two teams to beat the Crusaders at the Hart Center this season (Harvard was the other), have won three in a row in the building.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Deluge of treys dooms Crusaders
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette/ By Jennifer Toland
WORCESTER -- Riding a six-game win streak, the Holy Cross men's basketball team had a lot of confidence going into the Patriot League Tournament, and good reason to believe it could make some postseason noise. In last night's quarterfinal against Lafayette at the Hart Center, the Crusaders stormed back from a 14-point first-half deficit to tie the game with 11 minutes to play. Then, after falling behind by 10, they staged another furious rally over the last two minutes to close within three, but the Leopards held on for an 84-76 victory. Fifth-seeded Lafayette (13-17) will play at top-seeded Bucknell in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. At 15-14, fourth-seeded Holy Cross finished with a winning record for the first time since 2008-09.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Emily Homan of Lafayette College named Patriot League Women's Basketball Rookie of the Year
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
With the Patriot League playoffs right around the corner, the Lafayette College and Lehigh University women's basketball teams are each reaping the benefits of their hard work during the regular season. Lafayette freshman forward Emily Homan was honored as the league's rookie of the year.

MEN'S & WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette, Lehigh basketball: Hawks seek history while Leopards' Homan is top rookie
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick (Subscription Required)
Lafayette is hoping history repeats itself. The Leopards (12-17) are trying to make a run from back in the pack to a third consecutive championship game appearance. Their journey starts at 7 tonight at Holy Cross (15-13), site of the beginning of last year's improbable run.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette men's basketball teams gears up for Patriot League playoffs
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
It's the time of year when college basketball teams can forget about their past troubles and gear up for league and conference postseason tournaments. The Patriot League men's quarterfinals get under way at 7 p.m. Wednesday night when fifth-seeded Lafayette plays at No. 4 Holy Cross and No. 2 Lehigh hosts seventh seed Colgate. The other first round matchups are sixth seed Army at No. 3 American, and eighth-seeded Navy at top-seed and defending champion Bucknell. For teams like Navy, which went 0-14 in league play, it's a new lease of life.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: All-Patriot League Honors Announced
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Lafayette senior forward Ryan Willen (14.6 ppg, 5.3 rebounds per game) was a first-team league all-star and was named Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Junior forward Gabe Knutson (12.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg) of Lehigh and Lafayette junior point guard Tony Johnson (8 ppg) were named second-team all-stars. Knutson and Lafayette senior guard Rob Delaney (9.1 ppg) joined Willen on the academic all-league team. Guard Seth Hinrichs (8.6 ppg) and forward Dan Trist (5.8 ppg) of Lafayette were named to the all-rookie team.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team falls short in loss at American University
The Express-Times/ By Harvey Valentine
On its first visit to American University's Bender Arena since its last-second win in last year's Patriot League semifinals, the Lafayette men's basketball team appeared as if it might produce another fantastic finish this afternoon. The Leopards fell behind by 20 points late in the first half but slowly chipped away during the game's final 22 minutes. Three times in the final 1:19 the Leopards got to within five, but each time American responded and ultimately held on for a 76-69 Patriot League win. Lafayette finished the regular season in fifth place at 7-7 (12-17 overall) and travels to fourth-place Holy Cross (9-5, 15-13), where it won 54-43 on Jan. 19, for a quarterfinal playoff game Wednesday night. Holy Cross won at Lafayette 70-63 on Feb. 15.

Friday, February 24, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette's Delaney goes from walk-on to captain
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick (Subscription Required)
Rob Delaney was goofing around with some of his friends on the Lawrenceville Prep (N.J.) quad in late May 2008, when a call on his cellphone disrupted the fun. Williams College coach Dave Paulsen was on the other end. By this point, Paulsen was the former Williams coach, but Delaney had no idea about that. Paulsen called to inform Delaney, one of his top recruits, that he accepted a job at Bucknell. Delaney, already uncomfortable with his decision to commit to Williams, saw the call as an opening to go with what his heart and mind had been telling for the last six months. He backed out of Williams and wound up as a summer sign-up at Lafayette. He was offered the chance to walk on for coach Fran O'Hanlon's Leopards, but given no promises.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team ends three-game losing streak by defeating Colgate
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
How dialed in were the Lafayette Leopards from long distance Wednesday night in an 84-67 Patriot League men's basketball win over Colgate? Well, on their way to sinking a season-high 18 3-pointers, senior Nick Petkovich scored a career-high 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc in his final game in Kirby Sports Center.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette beats Colgate from long range in men's basketball
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick (Subscription Required)
First, the good that came from Lafayette's home finale Wednesday night. Freshman Seth Hinrichs scored a career-high 22 points, including the Leopards' first 17 points of the second half, and equaled his career best with four steals. Senior Nick Petkovich had a career-high 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. And senior Jim Mower had his best game in a while with 17 points, making his last six shots from the field. It all added up to a great response to Sunday's players-only meeting as Lafayette ended a three-game losing streak with an 84-67 victory over Colgate at Kirby Sports Center. Now the bad. First, Lafayette (12-16, 7-6) likely is to make the long trek next week to Holy Cross for the Patriot League tournament quarterfinals, regardless of what happens in Saturday's regular-season finale at American.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: C.J. McCollum's 22 points leads Lehigh past Lafayette in Patriot League men's basketball
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Perhaps Brett Reed should have more faith in his team. Coming off its biggest win of the season, the Lehigh University men's basketball coach actually feared a letdown prior to Saturday's Patriot League game against rival Lafayette. Reed's worries quickly subsided as C.J. McCollum scored 22 points and John Adams added a career-high 14 points to go with 10 rebounds to spark the Mountain Hawks to a convincing 72-53 victory before 2,914 fans at Stabler Arena.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lehigh University women's basketball team beats rival Lafayette College
The Express-Times/ By Michael LoRe
Both teams needed to stop the bleeding. The Lehigh University women's basketball team came into today's contest against rival Lafayette College on a three-game losing streak and losers in four of its last five, while the Leopards had lost five straight and seven of eight. The Mountain Hawks were able to temporarily clot their struggles with a 57-47 Patriot League victory in front of 1,108 at Kirby Sports Center.

MEN'S & WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lehigh men, women sweep season series from Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick (Subscription Required)
Justin Maneri and John Adams have had spotty careers at Lehigh, thanks injuries and inconsistency. Contributions in one game, not play the next. Healthy and energetic, the two give coach Brett Reed reliable-effort options every night. Fittingly, on Senior Day at Stabler Arena, Maneri and Adams had performances to remember. Maneri tied his career high with nine points and had a career-best two steals. Adams had a career-high 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for his second career double-double. Their contributions led to Lehigh's convincing 72-53 victory Saturday over rival Lafayette.

Friday, February 17, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College vs. Lehigh University men's basketball capsule
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
This shapes up as a key battle as both teams are jockeying for playoff position with three regular season games remaining. Lafayette fell into a fourth-place tie with Holy Cross by virtue of Wednesday's 70-63 home loss to the Crusaders. Lehigh pulled into a second-place tie with American on Thursday when C.J. McCollum drained a 3-point buzzer-beater against Bucknell, which was previously unbeaten in league play.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

FOOTBALL: Scheuerman motivated by his Rookie success at Lafayette
Examiner (Monmouth, N.J.)/ By Wayne Witkowski
It's a different experience over the winter months for Ross Scheuerman. The former Allentown football and wrestling star has been doing his off-season conditioning work as a freshman on Lafayette College's football team instead of competing in wrestling as he has the past four years for his high school wrestling team, the last two as a state place-winner. Scheuerman has plenty of motivation behind himas he prepares for spring workouts. Coming off a superb freshman season in which he was moved early in the season from the kickoff return team to the starting backfield, Scheuerman was a candidate receiving votes for the Jerry RiceAward, given by The Sports Network for the Freshman of theYear in the Football Championship Sub- Division.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Holy Cross men's basketball team hangs on for 70-63 Patriot League victory over Lafayette
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Rebounding drills likely will be a focal point in practice today for the Lafayette College men's basketball team. The undersized Leopards were clobbered on the boards Wednesday night and subsequently dropped a 70-63 Patriot League decision to Holy Cross before 2,211 spirited fans at Kirby Sports Center. The backcourt tandem of Devin Brown and Justin Burrell led the Crusaders with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Holy Cross owned a commanding 46-26 margin on the boards, including a 14-8 edge on the offensive glass.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette can't rebound from slow start
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick (Subscription Required)
Nick Petkovich had an open look at a 3-pointer from the right corner with 27 seconds left in Wednesday night's game. The Lafayette senior's attempt went in the cylinder, rolled around, rose up and fell out. Like many of the Leopards' previous attempts from beyond the arc, it was a good shot that needed to go in but didn't. Thanks to cold shooting and a huge rebounding deficit, Lafayette came up short on Senior Night at the Kirby Sports Center, losing 70-63 to Holy Cross. The Leopards (11-15 overall, 6-5 Patriot League) dropped into a fourth-place tie with the Crusaders (12-13, 6-5), who have put together their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College women's basketball team falls to Bucknell, 65-54
The Express-Times/ By Keith Gary
The Lafayette College women's basketball team stormed out to a double-digit first half lead but could not hold on in a 65-54 loss to Bucknell at Kirby Sports Center. The Bison had erased most of a 14-point Leopards' lead in the final seven minutes of the first half and carried that over with a 22-8 run to start the second half. The sequence continued a pattern of offensive droughts coming out of intermission for coach Dianne Nolan's club.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bucknell University downs Lafayette College in men's basketball
The Express-Times
Center Mike Muscala scored 24 points and made all 12 of his free throws to pace Bucknell to its 10th straight Patriot League victory, a 90-78 win over Lafayette tonight. Bucknell (20-6, 10-0) held a 38-32 halftime edge, then scored the first nine points of the second half. The Leopards could get no closer than eight the rest of the way.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Scoring drought stymies Leopards
The Morning Call/ By Mandy Housenick (Subscription Required)
With the officials having missed a media timeout, Lafayette coach Diane Nolan used one of her own at the 14:48 mark of the second half with the hopes of quashing Bucknell's run. Give Nolan credit for trying to get things straightened out early in the second half, a time during which the Leopards have struggled, and on Saturday watched as 14-point first-half lead was trimmed to just one early in the second half. It was the Bison, however, who thrived after the timeout, and rattled off a 15-0 spurt that carried it in its 65-54 win at Kirby Sports Center.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team cruises to win over Navy
The Express-Times/ By Barry Miller
It's about this time most seasons when the Lafayette College men's basketball team begins to work out the kinks and polish its game for a Patriot League run. The Leopards weren't as sharp as coach Fran O'Hanlon might have hoped today but still rolled to a workmanlike 62-41 victory over outmanned Navy at Kirby Sports Center. The bench, in particular senior Nick Petkovich and freshman Seth Hinrichs, provided a big lift for the Leopards (10-13 overall, 5-3 league). One of Lafayette's goals is to earn a home game in the league playoffs, so winning home games, especially the ones the Leopards are expected to win, goes a long way toward that mission.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

FOOTBALL: Is this Leopards' corner-turning football class? SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard (Subscription Required)
Lafayette defensive coordinator John Loose really got my attention on Wednesday afternoon when, during a chat with Matt Panto as part of the college's extensive Leopard coverage of National Letter of Intent Day activities, he said, "Rarely are you ever beaten by a player you didn't get. It's the players you get that beat you." In a flash, my mind went to a Hazleton High kid named Nate Eachus. Lafayette wanted him very badly, but he wound up at Colgate. For three years, he ate the Leopards' lunch on one afternoon each fall, piling up 599 yards rushing against them. Injury kept him out of the Lafayette game in 2011 - and the Leopards won. I figured Loose was giving us that old positive spin on the day when kids are making official the commitments they have verbally made earlier. He really didn't mean that, I thought. Did he? I couldn't get that comment out of my head, and maybe the 71-year-old brain doesn't work as quickly as it used to. But I think I finally got it.

FOOTBALL: Chester's Sakowski ready to sign with Lafayette
Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.)/ By Justin Rodriguez
Kyle Sakowski's visit to Lafayette over last weekend began with a sit-down with defensive backs coach Doug McFadden. McFadden told Sakowski, a star free safety at national powerhouse Don Bosco Prep (N.J.), that he expects a lot of him. On Sakowski's best days, the coach would expect even more from him. At that point, it basically was a done deal -- Sakowski, of Chester, was headed to Lafayette. He verbally committed to the Patriot League school on Tuesday night and will sign his letter of intent on Wednesday.

FOOTBALL: `Difference maker' Crawford signs with Leopards
The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)/ By Jay Monahan
WILKES-BARRE - Lafayette football coach Frank Tavani was as blown away by GAR's Darrell Crawford, as the rest of the Wyoming Valley Conference had been for the past four years. Needless to say, he felt compelled to lure him away from his Patriot League rivals. Crawford announced his intentions to play at Lafayette Wednesday, signing a national letter of intent. "Next year, I'll continue my athletic and academic career at Lafayette College," he announced, in front of an assortment of family and coaches inside the GAR library. The multi-talented athlete chose the Leopards over Patriot League-foes Lehigh and Colgate on a full scholarship. Temple also made an offer for him to play football at the FBS level. Crawford made his decision following an official campus visit to Easton last week.

FOOTBALL: Carrollwood Day School's Deuce Gruden signs to play at Lafayette
The Tampa Tribune
It's still dark outside at this hour but there's a small crowd of family and friends gathered in the school's main lobby for senior quarterback Deuce Gruden. And that family includes his mother, Cindy, and a famous dad, former Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden. Also on hand were grandparents Jim and Kathy Gruden. They were here to see something they all knew would happen one day, the signing of a college scholarship by Deuce. Despite his 5-foot-6, 175-pound frame, the Patriots' quarterback, linebacker and any-other-position-needed Gruden is headed to Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. And mom and dad couldn't be prouder.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College welcomes deep football recruiting class of 30 signees
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
To the casual football fan, one name leaps out from the Lafayette College football class of 2016 announced by head coach Frank Tavani today on national signing day: Jon 'Deuce' Gruden II, son of the Super Bowl-winning coach who is now an ESPN analyst.

FOOTBALL: Northwestern's Ben Snyder among 30 Lafayette recruits
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard (Subscription Required)
Back-to-back losing seasons don't have to be a deterrent to building a successful college football program.

FOOTBALL: Deuce Gruden commits to Lafayette
Tampa Bay Times/ By Joey Knight
Carrollwood Day two-way standout Deuce Gruden has committed to Lafayette following a visit last weekend to the Easton, Pa., school.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FOOTBALL: Triton's Keller opts to play tight end at Lafayette
The Philadelphia Inquirer/ By Phil Anastasia
It wouldn't be quite right to say that Brian Keller changed his mind after sleeping on his decision. He hardly closed his eyes on Monday night. "I could tell you every paint chip on my ceiling," said Keller, a senior at Triton. Keller had committed Monday afternoon to Lehigh on a football scholarship. By Tuesday morning, he had changed his mind and committed to Lafayette. "They are both great schools, great football programs with great coaches," Keller said. "It [going to Lehigh] just didn't feel right. When I decided to switch to Lafayette, it felt like a weight was off my shoulders."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Charles Hinkle's 23 points lead American past Lafayette in men's basketball
The Express-Times/ By David Krauss
Charles Hinkle downplays his go-to status on the American University basketball team. But Eagles' coach Jeff Jones says the senior forward is stepping into his role just fine. "He's doing a great job for us," Jones said after Hinkle scored 23 points in leading American to a 69-61 win over Lafayette on Saturday. "When there's void or a need for someone to step up, he's done it." Hinkle, who came into the game averaging 19.1 points, scored 11 points in the first half as American took a 35-28 lead. Then after Lafayette rallied to go ahead 44-43 six minutes into the second half, Hinkle capped a 12-0 run, first with a jumper, then with his fourth and final trey of the day and the Eagles were up 11. Lafayette never got closer than four the rest of the way.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette shoots poorly in loss to American
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
Charles Hinkle understands that when American needs a basket, the senior swingman is going to be a primary option. With the Eagles clinging to a five-point lead late in Saturday afternoon's Patriot League game at Lafayette, Hinkle worked his way open for a decent look at a 3-pointer in front of the American bench. Hinkle's shot hit the far iron. Perhaps in earlier games this season, that would have signaled the end of the possession. But as the first half of league play is coming to a close, American coach Jeff Jones is seeing that an another option perhaps is developing. Sophomore Tony Wroblicky worked in position to grab Hinkle's miss and put it back to keep Lafayette at bay. American eventually won 69-61, thanks to 23 points from Hinkle and a career-high 13 from Wroblicky.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Fran O'Hanlon becomes winningest men's basketball coach in Patriot League history as Lafayette defeats Colgate
The Express-Times
Ryan Willen scored 18 points and Lafayette used a big edge in free throws to beat Colgate 82-76 tonight in the Patriot League. With the victory, Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon became the winningest coach in Patriot League history. O'Hanlon's 235 wins put him past Bucknell's Pat Flannery (1994-2008) on the league's all-time list.

Monday, January 23, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lehigh University and Lafayette College men's basketball teams could meet in Patriot League semifinals
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
We're slightly more than one-third of the way through the Patriot League's regular season. And here's one unbiased opinion on where the teams will finish. Defending champion Bucknell (15-6 overall, 5-0 league) is a clear-cut favorite to capture the top seed and home court advantage throughout the postseason tournament. The Bison solidified their status as the league's strongest team by knocking off Lehigh 68-61 at Stabler Arena last Wednesday.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: C.J. McCollum leads Lehigh University men's basketball team past Lafayette College, 90-76
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
At some point early in the second half on Sunday afternoon, C.J. McCollum decided to turn on a switch. The junior guard scored 19 of his 26 points in the final 20 minutes to spark Lehigh University's men's basketball team to a 90-76 Patriot League victory over Lafayette before a crowd of 3,124 at Kirby Sports Center. The victory enabled the Mountain Hawks (15-6 overall, 3-2 league) to tie last season's win total and pulled them into a third place tie with Lafayette (8-12, 3-2) in the league standings.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: McCollum, Lehigh put Lafayette on tilt
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
PS3 and Wii players likely don't remember their forefathers -- the Pinball Generation. Instead of being in rec rooms and basements using controllers in front of TVs, pinball wizards walked to bowling alleys and pool halls with a pile of quarters and dollar bills. They pushed buttons and gently nudged the machine in an effort to maneuver a ball around a course of rubber-band scoring areas and gutters. If one nudged too hard, the machine went on tilt and the game was over. The Lehigh men's basketball team plays a modern-day version of pinball. Junior C.J. McCollum plays the role of the bouncing ball. McCollum maneuvers himself all over the floor to find those scoring areas. When the Mountain Hawks are at their best, they force opponents to overcommit defensively to stop McCollum and his teammates get golden scoring chances. Such was the situation Sunday afternoon against rival Lafayette. After the teams bounced back and forth with 11 ties and 13 lead changes for the first 231/2 minutes, McCollum found all the scoring areas during a couple of seven-point spurts. Then, his teammates took advantage when the Leopards paid too close attention to McCollum. The result was a 90-76 victory at Kirby Sports Center.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

FOOTBALL: San Francisco 49ers' Blake Costanzo a fine poster boy for Lafayette College football
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
The Lafayette College football team is in the midst of one of its on-campus recruiting weekends and could coach Frank Tavani ask for better timing? How many other Patriot League programs can point to today's National Football League conference championship games and declare "This can be you!" Blake Costanzo, Lafayette Class of 2006 and San Francisco 49ers reserve linebacker, spearheads the most intense special teams unit in the NFL. Last week, Costanzo forced a fumble and recovered a fumble in the 49ers' victory over New Orleans.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team hosts Lehigh University
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
The Lafayette College men's basketball team has been somewhat of an enigma lately. The Leopards have gotten off to horrific starts in Patriot League road games against Navy and Holy Cross before rallying in the second half for victories. Lafayette (8-11 overall, 3-1 Patriot League) hopes to put two good halves together when it plays arch-rival Lehigh at 2 p.m. today at Kirby Sports Center.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Kelly Peterson's return sparks Lehigh to win over Lafayette in women's basketball
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
One day after being physically cleared to play, Kelly Peterson scored a career-high 17 points to lead the Lehigh women's basketball team past rival Lafayette, 68-55, on Saturday night at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Peterson's return sparks Lehigh women
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
Kelly Peterson thought for a split second as a rebound was coming in her general direction. She wondered, with her left hand wrapped after breaking the same bone that teammate Emily Gratch broke in a scrimmage before the season, if it was worth the risk to fight for that board with Lehigh comfortably ahead against rival Lafayette well into the second half of Saturday night's game. She scored a career-high 17 points, including a 3-pointer during a first-half run that gave Lehigh the lead for good en route to a 68-55 victory at Stabler Arena.

Friday, January 20, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team overcomes shooting woes to beat Holy Cross
The Express-Times/ By Jennifer Toland
Holy Cross has been a pretty tough team at home this season, but on Thursday night Lafayette was a very unwelcome visitor. The Leopards overcame a horrible first half (19 percent shooting from the field) and a 10-point halftime deficit to bury the Crusaders, 54-43, at the Hart Center. The victory was No. 234 for longtime Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon, who tied former Bucknell coach Pat Flannery for all-time wins as a Patriot League coach. O'Hanlon will have a chance to break the mark when the Leopards host rival Lehigh on Sunday. Lafayette (8-11 overall, 3-1 league) remained in a tie with American for second place in the Patriot League standings. Holy Cross (8-10, 2-2) lost for just the second time at home this season. The other defeat was to nationally-ranked Harvard.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

FOOTBALL: Costanzo's intensity epitomizes 49ers
The Morning Call/ By Nick Fierro(Subscription Required)
By all rights, Blake Costanzo should not have a position listed next to his name on the San Francisco 49ers roster, because all the LB label does is typecast him unfairly. In reality, the Lafayette College graduate is every player and all players. "He'll play fullback for you, he'll play linebacker, anything that you need him to do [on the scout teams]," rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh said. "He's been a great addition, just another example of this team, these guys affecting each other." On gamedays, Costanzo is anything but a linebacker. He's simply a special teams ace, one of the best in the league and one of the reasons the 49ers are on the brink of their first Super Bowl berth in nearly two decades. As a Pro Bowl alternate, he anxiously awaits a break for a free trip to Hawaii. But first, he'd like to make a stop in Indianapolis, site of Super Bowl XLVI.

FOOTBALL: Tavani will keep on clawing at Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard(Subscription Required)
I was pretty certain that I would be devoting the top of this update to more on the contract extension for Lafayette College head football coach Frank Tavani, a move I happen to like a lot because I believe the Leopards are on the threshold of contending again for the Patriot League championship and I think Tavani is good for the football program and for the college as a whole. After 13 years as an assistant coach, during which time he accumulated three championship rings, he easily could have elected to look for a brighter pasture when Bill Russo was cut loose following the 1999 season. After all, who would want to be the head coach at Lafayette, where the entire future of the sport was teetering on the brink of either demotion or obliteration? Tavani wanted it. And, he got it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

FOOTBALL: Tavani to stay at Lafayette through 2015
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard(Subscription Required)
Frank Tavani has seen the Lafayette football program go from the bottom to the top of the Patriot League several times over the past quarter-century. After winning only four of 21 games in his first two years at the helm, Tavani coached the Leopards to three straight league titles in 2004-06. If last year's 4-7 record -- following the 2-9 of 2010 -- was an indication that another revival is in the works, news out of Lafayette on Wednesday confirmed that Tavani will again lead the charge. Tavani's contract has been extended by one year, to Dec. 31, 2015, which means he will be the Leopards' head coach throughout the careers of the players he hopes will join him on national signing day, Feb. 1. Reached by cellphone as he and defensive coordinator John Loose were returning to Easton after a busy recruiting day in the Lancaster-Harrisburg area, Tavani admitted that the timing of the announcement couldn't have been better.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Holy Cross clobbers Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Tim Shoemaker(Subscription Required)
Holy Cross women's basketball coach Bill Gibbons said he was not surprised that his team left College Hill with a Patriot League win over Lafayette. But the margin of victory -- a 75-61 win at Kirby Sports Center -- did have the 27-year coaching veteran feeling much better than he thought he would.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College women's basketball team defeats Bucknell University
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Danielle Fiacco had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Emily Homan added 13 points and 14 boards to lead Lafayette to its first Patriot League win. Homan's layup, which broke a 41-41 tie, put the Leopards ahead to stay with 4:42 remaining.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette-Bucknell men's basketball rivalry has withstood the test of time
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
It was great to see the fans show up at Kirby Sports Center on Saturday, wasn't it? The largest crowd of the season, 2,515, was on hand to see a couple longtime rivals, Lafayette and Bucknell, square off in men's basketball. As fate would have it, the partisan Leopards crowd went home disappointed as the defending Patriot League champion Bison walked off the floor with a convincing 79-65 victory. But the Lafayette-Bucknell rivalry in general supersedes wins and losses. It represents the best in collegiate athletics. The programs have a genuine respect for each other that goes back decades.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team drops 79-65 Patriot League decision to Bucknell University
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
The Lafayette College men's basketball team had visions of March Madness dancing through their heads again on Saturday afternoon. The defending Patriot League champion Bucknell Bison stampeded onto College Hill and handed the Leopards an old-fashioned 79-65 butt-kicking before 2,515 energetic fans at Kirby Sports Center. Bucknell (13-6 overall, 3-1 Patriot League) dealt the Leopards (7-11, 2-1) a 72-57 loss in last season's championship game in Lewisburg, Pa. Saturday's game was very similar in nature. Six-foot-11 center Mike Muscala, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Year, tormented the Leopards by scoring a season-high 27 points. Muscala was 9-for-13 from the floor and made all nine of his free throw attempts.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette men have no answer for Muscala, Bucknell
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
Mike Muscala's last visit to Lafayette's Kirby Sports Center wasn't a pleasant memory. The Leopards banged and bruised Bucknell's star center at every turn. Then a sophomore, the 6-foot-11 center didn't take kindly to the contact. The Leopards got under his skin, limiting the All-Patriot League player to just 10 points and eight turnovers in 34 minutes in the Bison's overtime win. A year later, the reigning PL player of the year thrived on the physical style of play. Muscala scored a season-high 27 points and six players scored during a decisive run to start the second half of Bucknell's 79-65 victory Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team beats Army, 75-63
The Express-Times/ By Michael LoRe
Rob Delaney provided the punch. Tony Johnson was the spark. Levi Giese added the dagger. Delaney scored a career-high 19 points, Johnson made his season debut off the bench and Giese was clutch down the stretch as the Lafayette College men's basketball team beat Army 75-63 in a Patriot League game on Wednesday evening at Kirby Sports Center.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette women's basketball team falls late to Army
The Express-Times/ By David Krauss
Baskets by Anna Simmers and Meagan Doucette in the final 14 seconds pushed Army to a 44-43 victory over Lafayette in women's basketball on Wednesday night. Lafayette's Danielle Fiacco scored 11 points and had 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the year. She also had five blocks. Madeline Fahan also had 10 boards for the Leopards.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Johnson makes long awaited debut in Lafayette's win over Army
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
Tony Johnson's first two turnovers weren't sitting well with him. By the time he made his third in what amounted to only eight first-half minutes, he was raging inside. "I was thinking a lot [about it]," Lafayette's point guard said. Regarded as arguably the Patriot League's best point guard, Johnson expects more from himself. The junior pre-season All-league pick, playing his first minutes since missing the first 16 games because of a back injury, took his first step toward looking like his old self in the final seconds of the first half against Army on Wednesday. With just more than 10 seconds left on the clock, Johnson gave the ball away for the third time. But seconds later, Johnson stole it back and had just enough time to race to the basket for his first bucket, one that gave the Leopards all the momentum in what turned out to be a 75-63 Lafayette win at Kirby Sports Center.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette freshmen starting new trend
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
Lafayette men's basketball coach Fran O'Hanlon was asked during a recent media luncheon to talk about the two players seated to his left. Seth Hinrichs was the player closest to O'Hanlon, who is known for his sharp wit. The veteran coach said Hinrichs' defense was real bad when the freshman first started practicing this season. But O'Hanlon said that Hinrichs was making progress, "... his defense now is just bad," the coach said. Laughter erupted in the college's Pfenning Alumni Center conference room. Even Hinrichs managed a closed-mouth smile. The Minnesota native is able to take things in stride a little better these days because he has surpassed his own expectations before Patriot League play began.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Catching Up With: Former Lafayette College basketball standout Tony Duckett
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Tony Duckett earned a reputation as one of the top clutch players in the history of Lafayette College men's basketball. When the game was on the line, the ball routinely wound up in the capable hands of No. 14. More often than not, the talented Leopards guard delivered when he was most needed. Since his graduation in 1985, Duckett hasn't shied away from any of his endeavors in the business world.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team opens league play with win
The Express-Times/ By Rich Dubroff
Fran O'Hanlon doesn't want to depend on one player. Tonight, the Lafayette coach was happy that someone -- Ryan Willen -- took over the game in the final few minutes. Willen scored 10 points in the final 3:02 and lifted Lafayette past Navy, 65-63, before 1,986 at Alumni Hall in the Patriot League opener for both teams. With the game tied at 57, Willen converted a three-point play with 1:55 remaining to give the Leopards (6-10, 1-0 league) the lead and they barely held on.

Friday, January 6, 2012

MEN'S & WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Seth Hinrichs and Emily Homan strong out of the gate for Lafayette men's and women's basketball teams
The Express-Times/ By Keith Gary
To watch Lafayette College freshman guard Seth Hinrichs play the first 15 games of his collegiate basketball career one would be hard-pressed to reconcile it with the self-described young Minnesota lad with a slight temper. Playing with composure that blends nicely with the senior-laden Leopards' starting lineup, Hinrichs is averaging 11 points and 3.4 rebounds as Fran O'Hanlon's squad prepares to begin Patriot League play Saturday at Navy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College women's basketball team rallies late in first half to turn back Columbia
The Express-Times/ By Bruce Buratti
Back to back baskets by reserve Kristan Liddle led a 20-7 run over the final eight minutes of the first half, wiping out a nine-point deficit and propelling Lafayette to a 53-45 win over Columbia this evening in a collegiate women's basketball game in Easton. The game was the final one before the Leopards (6-9) enter Patriot League play.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team drops 78-73 decision to University of Pennsylvania
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Fran O'Hanlon took a backseat to one of his former pupils on Wednesday night. University of Pennsylvania men's basketball coach Jerome Allen and his scrappy Quakers invaded Kirby Sports Center and walked away with a hard-fought 78-73 victory over O'Hanlon's Lafayette Leopards before an announced crowd of 2,037. Allen was a star player at Penn when O'Hanlon was an assistant there under former coach Fran Dunphy.

MEN'S & WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Penn bench comes to the rescue; Liddle helps women storm back to beat Columbia
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
Penn coach Jerome Allen learned a long time ago, maybe from Lafayette counterpart Fran O'Hanlon, who was at Penn when Allen starred from 1991-95, that you're in trouble if you keep doing the same things and expecting different results. Allen called that the definition of insanity. For a large chunk of Wednesday's game at Lafayette, Allen's starters were driving him crazy with an inconsistent defensive effort.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

MEN'S & WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Patriot picks: Lehigh men, American women
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
On its side: Excellent perimeter shooting, led by Jim Mower.
Working against it: Rebounding.
Keys to success: The health of Tony Johnson, the league's premier point guard. Back problems have kept him out all season. Getting something from fellow junior Levi Giese also would help.
Predicted finish: Fifth.

On its side: Front court play.
Working against it: Outside shooting, inexperienced guards.
Key to success: Perimeter play.
Predicted finish: Sixth.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Forty years of progress
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
Dianne Nolan and several of her fifth-grade friends stormed into the monsignor's rectory at St. Mary's Grammar School in Gloucester City, N.J., and demanded they be allowed to form a girls basketball team -- something almost unheard of 50 years ago. The monsignor relented, but said the practices would be at 6 a.m. Sunday mornings in the basement on a tile floor area used for bingo and musical performances. Sleeved tunics and wool kilts with belts were the standard girls uniforms of that time. The rules of the game in the early 1960s were different from the boys game. It was 6-on-6, with two rovers, two stationary guards who couldn't move past half court and two stationary forwards who could just shoot and rebound. Players were allowed to take only three dribbles at a time.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Panthers attack to win in OT
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/ By Paul Zeise
Pitt played host to Lafayette in a non-conference game Saturday that was expected to be nothing but a tuneup for the start of the Big East schedule. Instead, the Panthers found themselves in a fight with the Leopards, one Pitt almost didn't survive. The Panthers trailed by as many as 15 points but showed a lot of character in battling back for 74-69 victory in overtime in front of a crowd of 1,531 at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt coach Agnus Berenato said it wasn't exactly how she had things scripted, but it was another teaching moment for her young team.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

GENERAL: Lauren's First and Goal gives another $143,000 to pediatric cancer research, support of families
The Express-Times/ By Tony Rhodin
Lauren's First and Goal Foundation, an Easton-based charity, is giving more than $143,000 this year to pediatric cancer research, patient services and families living with the disease, according to a news release this morning. The charity, which raises money via a summer football camp at Lafayette College's Metzgar Fields among other events, has given away more than $1 million since 2004.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette Women's Basketball team beats East Carolina 64-57
The Express-Times
Freshman Emily Homan got her first career double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds, to lead Lafayette past East Carolina 64-57 in the consolation game of the Terrapin Classic at the University of Maryland.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team defeats Monmouth University 69-54
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Levi Giese is slowly working his way back into the rotation for the Lafayette College men's basketball team. The junior forward re-injured his ailing ankle in the season opener against LaSalle and didn't suit up again until playing one minute against Vanderbilt on Dec. 21. The 6-foot-9 Giese saw much more extensive action in Wednesday's 69-54 victory over Monmouth at Kirby Sports Center. Giese made a 3-pointer, grabbed three rebounds, had one block and one steal in 13 minutes.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette men get healthy with rout of Monmouth
The Morning Call/ By Tom Housenick(Subscription Required)
Tony Johnson remains in street clothes on game days and fellow junior Levi Giese has played a total of just five minutes before Wednesday night. Most of Lafayette's pain at this point in the season is physical. For Monmouth, Lafayette's opponent, much of its anguish is mental. "Our guys don't believe they should win," Hawks first-year coach King Rice, a former North Carolina standout guard, admitted. "They just don't. I feel bad for them in some areas, because as 20-year-old guys you should be confident just as guys." The Leopards didn't feel bad for the Hawks, scoring the game's first seven points and never trailing in an easy 69-54 victory at the Kirby Sports Center.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FOOTBALL: Costanzo not crazy, but he plays with screw loose
The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)/ By Lowell Cohn
Blake Costanzo and I are both so proud. Costanzo was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl. He is the only NFL player from little Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. And, to the best of my knowledge, I am the only sports columnist from Lafayette College -- certainly the only one in the Bay Area. So, this semi-honor to my homie is highly exciting to both of us Lafayette Leopards. Maybe they should put up a statute on campus of Costanzo tackling someone right next to the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette -- or maybe tackling the old Marquis himself. I caught up with Costanzo, a special-teams player supreme, Wednesday in the Niners locker room.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette's Fiacco sees fur in her future
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Tom Housenick
A cat was brought into Hopewell Animal Hospital in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., last summer after a fight with another animal. The feline's fat became so infected that the foul odor was enough to knock out a horse. It didn't bother Danielle Fiacco one bit. She stood in the corner of the operating room eating an apple as Dr. Jerry Scheck worked on the injured cat.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

FOOTBALL: Costanzo -- A special guy from Jersey
San Francisco Chronicle/ By Eric Branch
Last year, when he played with the Browns, Blake Costanzo furnished his apartment with a futon mattress, a television and ... nothing else. This season, the 49ers' special team standout has splurged. He's rented a recliner for the place he shares with practice-squad wide receiver Joe Hastings. "Yeah, he still just has a mattress on the floor," Hastings said. "For a couple weeks, we had no furniture. No dinner plates. Literally, nothing. If you look at our apartment, you wouldn't think we played in the NFL." The bare-bones lifestyle is fitting. Costanzo is now making a $700,000-a-year living thanks to his ability to get by on very little. Not blessed with eye-popping size or speed, Costanzo, 27, a thrice-waived, five-year veteran from non-scholarship Lafayette College, has improbably become one of the NFL's top special-teams players. Two years after he was selected to's All-Pro team, Costanzo is bidding to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl in Honolulu this season. Entering today's game at Arizona, Costanzo leads the 49ers with 13 special-teams tackles and has 21 "knockdowns," according to special-teams statistics compiled by the coaching staff. No other Niner has flattened the opponent more than 10 times.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team shocks Penn State on the road, 61-57
The Express-Times
Seth Hinrichs and Jim Mower tallied 14 points each and Lafayette held off a late surge to beat Penn State 61-57 tonight. Nick Petkovich added 13 points off the bench for the Leopards (4-5), who hit nine 3's and stymied Penn State's offense.

Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)/ By Jeff Rice
UNIVERSITY PARK -- For one of the first times this season, Penn State men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers talked about his former Boston University squads after the game. "When we missed shots, we grinded," Chambers said. "We didn't let missed shots affect our effort, our free-throw shooting." The implication was that his current squad wasn't able to shake off a night of dismal shooting like the Nittany Lions had Wednesday. Chambers confirmed as much in his next breath. "We've got to get there," he said. "We're just not there yet." That was evident throughout in a 61-57 loss to Lafayette in the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State (6-4) dropped its second straight home game and lost to a Patriot League team for the first time in 26 games by shooting 29 percent in the second half and 33 percent for the evening. The Nittany Lions buried only three of their 23 3-point attempts. Leading scorer Tim Frazier missed all 12 of his shots from the field and finished with three points.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lions fall to Lafayette 61-57
The Daily Collegian (State College, Pa.)/ By Stephen Pianovich
Jermaine Marshall grabbed a rebound and looked up the floor, wanting to make a play with Penn State trailing by two with 20 seconds left. But Lafayette's Nick Petkovich snuck behind Marshall and stole the ball, and the Leopards (4-5) stole a win on the road, downing Penn State 61-57 on Wednesday night in the Bryce Jordan Center. Tim Frazier, the Lions' leading scorer, was held to just three points and went 0-for-12 from the field in the loss. Penn State also shot 13 percent from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 13 times.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette women's basketball team hangs tough in 65-57 loss to St. Joseph's
The Express-Times/ By Keith Gary
The growth and development of the Lafayette College women's basketball team is occurring in direct proportion to the emergence of the Leopards' young players. Freshman point guard Brya Freeland is the latest star to begin shining brightly and the Pasadena, Md. native scored a career-high 21 points to help Dianne Nolan's squad hang tough against Atlantic 10 foe St. Joseph's tonight. In the end, the Hawks' quickness and balanced attack were too much as the guests walked away with a 65-57 victory at the Kirby Sports Center.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette holds off Penn State 61-57
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Seth Hinrich and Jim Mower tallied 14 points each and Lafayette held off a late surge to beat Penn State 61-57 on Wednesday night. Nick Petkovick added 13 points off the bench for the Leopards (4-5), who hit nine 3's and stymied Penn State's offense. The Leopards led by as many as 10 in the second.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team stymied by Princeton University's size, defense in second half
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
The one thing that Lafayette College couldn't do against Princeton University in Wednesday night's men's basketball game was get too far behind. "Against Princeton, when you fall behind by 10 it feels like you're behind by 20," Leopards' coach Fran O'Hanlon said. "You have to keep the score tight." So when impressive 6-foot-8 Tiger freshman Denton Koon stole the ball and went in for a dunk to give Princeton an 11-point lead with 7:28 left in the game, the Leopards were pretty much done. The Tigers wound up winning 69-54 in front of 1,542 fans at Jadwin Gym, scoring a startling 43 points in the second half, a most un-Princeton-like number.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Tigers cruise by Leopards
The Trentonian/ By Joe O'Gorman
PRINCETON -- During the preseason, if there was one definite Mitch Henderson liked about his team it was the way it played defense. Looking to shake the effects of a slow start to the season, Princeton used its defensive intensity as the catalyst for a very potent offense. Princeton turned up the heat on the defense and erupted in the second half to take a 69-54 win over Lafayette last night on Carril Court at Jadwin Gymnasium in a non-conference game. The win lifts the Tigers, who are not home again until January 8, to 3-5 on the season. Lafayette falls to 3-4. It is the Tigers' third straight win over the Leopards.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Hummer leads 2nd-half charge
The Daily Princetonian/ By Luc Cohen
With a 43-point second half due to nine Lafayette turnovers, the men's basketball team overcame a poor shooting performance in the first half to blow out the Leopards 69-54. After defeating the Leopards (3-4) by double digits in each of their past three meetings, the struggling Tigers (3-5) passed a litmus test of sorts with the win, suggesting that perhaps they are not so far behind where they would like to be at this point.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette men's basketball team can't pull off comeback win against Delaware
The Express-Times/ By Rich Dubroff
Jim Mower always wants the ball at the end of the game. With Lafayette down by three and a second left, Mower had a clean look at the basket and let it fly from 40 feet. Off the rim it went, and Leopards' chance for a comeback ended. With 12 minutes to play, and Lafayette down by 14, a comeback looked unlikely. But, the Leopards rallied for a tie with just under a minute left. It wasn't good enough, and Delaware escaped with an 81-78 win before 1,609 at Bob Carpenter Center on Saturday in Newark, Del.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Saddler's pass keys Hens' win over Lafayette
The News Journal (Delaware)/ By Kevin Tresolini
NEWARK -- Devon Saddler scored a career-high 32 points, and Delaware needed all of them Saturday afternoon at the Carpenter Center. But as Saddler rehashed a hard-fought 81-78 nonconference basketball win over Lafayette, the last of his three assists brought the biggest smile to the sophomore guard's expressive face. Saddler's many offensive talents require defensive attention, and when he had the ball in a tie game in the final minute, Leopard defenders did the smart thing and collapsed on him. Saddler also had the right idea, passing to true freshman sharpshooter Kyle Anderson, whose 3-pointer with 30 seconds left gave Delaware a lead it never relinquished in a win that brought relief and satisfaction.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Mower's career night leads Lafayette
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Jim Mower missed a 3-point shot less than two minutes into the second half and committed a turnover with 5:35 left. That's all the Lafayette senior did wrong in the final 20 minutes of Tuesday's game against visiting Farleigh Dickinson. It will take a lot more than one sentence to summarize all that he did right. Mower scored a career-high 37 points, including a school-record 10 3-pointers, to lead the Leopards to an 85-74 come-from-behind victory at the Kirby Sports Center. His trey from the left wing at the 15:23 mark of the second half gave him 1,000 career points. Mower scored 28 of his 37 in the second half as Lafayette rallied from eight down with 16:25 left to improve to 3-2 this season.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Jim Mower scores 1,000th career point to lead Lafayette College men's basketball team to 85-74 win over Fairleigh Dickinson
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
It was a night to remember for Jim Mower. The senior guard exploded for a career-high 37 points, including the 1,000th of his career, tonight to lead the Lafayette College men's basketball team to an 85-74 victory over Fairleigh-Dickinson at Kirby Sports Center. Mower set a school record by draining 10 3-pointers, breaking the previous mark of nine held by Andrew Brown. He was 10-for-13 from behind the arc and 12-for-16 overall. Mower became the 38th player in Lafayette's history to score his 1,000th point when he hit a 3-pointer to pull the Leopards (3-2) within 51-49 with 15:23 left in the game.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette wastes no time getting back to work
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
A 6 a.m. workout session for a college football team whose next game is more than nine months away may seem unnecessary -- unless your name happens to be Frank Tavani. "I'm sure we've got some kids who will be [complaining] and moaning, but those are the kids I want to identify," the Lafayette College coach said Sunday about the strength and conditioning session his Leopards will have in Fisher Stadium Monday with coach Brad Potts. "It'll be an evaluation session as much anything and it's also a wakeup call that we're not wasting any time. Plus, we want to see who's with us and who isn't. I want the guys who are 100 percent with the program. Guys that aren't and have issues and complaints, the malcontents, can go do something else; don't come around." For Tavani, Monday marks the start of the 2012 season; and after losing to archrival Lehigh for the fourth straight year on Saturday to finish 2011 at 4-7, putting that aside can't happen soon enough. Tavani will be there at 6 o'clock, too, on the treadmill in the Bourger Varsity Football House and looking out the window as his players get back to work.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette FB notebook: The season ends SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Just a couple of quotes from a chat with Coach Tavani this afternoon. While the senior class on the 2012 football team currently has just 15 players, Coach T said three other players have been cleared for possible medical red-shirts. They are linebacker-co-captain Ben Eaton, wide receiver Rodney Gould and defensive tackle Andrew Holmes. "It's an option they have; whether or not they use it, we probably won't know until mid-January," Coach Tavani said. "Right now they are working on lining up internships. That's all part of it. The league is very clear; they are not just taking a semester off train for football and come back for a redshirt year. The rules and regulations of it are that you have to have a plan that is going to better you academically. Most times they're able to get a paid internship, which obviously generates a little bit of income while they are on personal absence from school for a semester. More importantly, the job experience is good for the resume. In spring, they re-notify the school that they are coming back for their eighth semester of financial aid. We aid for eight semesters, so they have to drop out of school for the spring semester (of 2012).

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team drops 76-70 decision to Wagner College
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
The Lafayette College men's basketball team had more than enough opportunities to take control of Saturday's night's game against visiting Wagner. The Leopards never quite recovered from a dreadful start, however, and subsequently dropped a 76-70 decision before 1,846 supportive fans at Kirby Sports Center. The Leopards and Seahawks have met in each of the last six seasons with each team winning three. Lafayette leads the overall series 5-3.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College football notebook: Ross Scheuerman says he knows what the rivalry's all about now
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Ross Scheuerman, meet the most-played rivalry in college football. Scheuerman, Lafayette College's promising freshman tailback, earned the honor of starting in the backfield in Saturday's 147th renewal of the Leopards' ferocious battle with archrival Lehigh University. "At the beginning of the game my nerves were locked in, and I was pumped up to play in the rivalry," said Scheuerman, who ended an impressive first campaign for Lafayette with 539 rushing yards and 1,402 all-purpose yards after rushing for 51 yards in Saturday's 37-13 loss to the Mountain Hawks. "Then it became just like another football game. It was a great experience. All the older guys were telling me what it would be like and I figured out what (the rivalry) is all about today." The 6-foot-1, 190-pound frosh is a leading contender for Freshman of the Year in the Patriot League, and he said Saturday was a learning experience.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

FOOTBALL: Rivers heats up to spark Wagner College past Lafayette, 76-70
Los Angeles Times/ By Mike Hiserman
Harvard and Yale have "The Game," and Stanford and California tried to take it a step further by calling theirs "The Big Game." Bigger still -- at least in terms of longevity -- is a series called simply "The Rivalry." Saturday in Bethlehem, Pa., Lehigh and Lafayette universities played football for the 147th time, college football's most-played and longest uninterrupted series.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Rivers heats up to spark Wagner College past Lafayette, 76-70
Staten Island Advance/ By Cormac Gordon
EASTON, Pa. -- Much has been made of the five new players on Wagner's roster this season, and there's no doubt the added depth has made a measurable difference even this early in the season. But when a double-digit Seahawk lead had melted to one slim point late in the second half Saturday night at Lafayette, it was last season's Mr. Clutch, Latif Rivers, who came to the rescue in a 76-70 win that lifted Wagner to 3-1 on the season.

FOOTBALL: O'Neil, other seniors lose the game, but leave with pride in tact
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
When Ryan O'Neil trotted onto the Goodman Stadium turf midway through the third quarter Saturday afternoon, I knew it was not just for one or two plays, as he had done earlier in the game. I knew - and I know he knew, too - that this time, the game was his the rest of the way. I don't know how he felt, but I know I felt terrible for him. "What a shame for the senior to have to play under these circumstances," I wrote in my running blog on the game. This was not the way a career should end for a guy who has put in as much blood sweat and tears as O'Neil has, only to have his starting spot wrested from him and having to be a leader-cocaptain from the sidelines.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Lehigh game day: The 147th SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
I'm not sure there is anything left worth say in advance of this game, so we'll keep it brief. You couldn't have a better November day than this one ... temperature in the 40s, sun shining, a pretty good wind from the south. The most surprising thing to me to this point is that no Lafayette player showed his face on the Goodman Stadium turf until one hour before game time. That seemed considerably later than usual.But we don't want to make too much of that in a game like this, where the least difference in approach can be construed to be motivational. These players don't need motivation. Even though they talk about one game at a time, I'll bet they've been reading about each other for about three months. Lafayette is wearing silver pants today, a first for them -- Coach Tavani called them "a throwback." Maybe a throwback to a year in which the Leopards posted a big victory over Lehigh? Who knows?

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Lehigh football notebook: Mountain Hawks not looking past Leopards
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette head coach Frank Tavani looked at last week's agonizing loss at Holy Cross, a 29-24 defeat where the ups and downs of the Leopards summed up their 4-6 season so far and saw positives coming into what he called the Leopards' bowl game. "Despite the frustration of that game, I am proud of these young men," Tavani said. "We came back from 13 points down to take the lead. I don't think I have ever been involved with a team that has this much fight, fighting down to the end, right to the wire again and again. Our seniors have held the team together and I think things are going in the right direction, we just have to play a little better."

Friday, November 18, 2011

FOOTBALL: Difficult, but not impossible for Lafayette
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
When I told my tennis buddies I had to write about how Lafayette could defeat Lehigh today, they had some quick answers. Send Chris Lum on vacation. Quarantine the Lehigh defense. Hire the official who made that controversial overtime call in the New Hampshire game. Not a single sign points to the Leopards winning. The No. 1 total offense in the Football Championship Subdivision vs. the No. 75 total defense. The No. 7 rushing defense in the FCS vs. the No. 99 rushing offense. The disparity between the two teams goes on and on. So, why suggest Lafayette can win? Because in 1999, a Lafayette team with a 4-6 record faced a Lehigh team that was 9-1 en route to a Patriot League title. Down by just two points, the Leopards drove from their own 17 to the Lehigh 36, where Matt Salvaterra saved the 14-12 victory with an interception with 80 second left.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football notebook: Stats, quotes, etc. SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
It's hard to believe it has been more than three months since I sat in the Fargodome as Lafayette opened the football season against a team that would go on to become No. 1 in the country for a couple of weeks. The Leopards' defense played toe-to-toe with the North Dakota State offense for nearly all of the first half, but the Bison flexed its muscles in the second half and pulled away for a 42-6 victory. As far as I'm concerned, that game was the only one all year in which Lafayette was totally outclassed. Sure, there were a couple of other lopsided games, but they were not as much a matter of the opponents' strength as they were Lafayette's own stumbles - three turnovers and 16 penalties against Harvard and seven turnovers against Bucknell, for example.

FOOTBALL: Why the Lafayette College football team beats Lehigh University in the teams' 147th meeting
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
I enjoy a real challenge. Which is good, because I'm the one that is here to make the case the Lafayette College Leopards can pull off one of the most startling upsets in the entire FCS this season against sixth-ranked Lehigh University at Goodman Stadium on Saturday. Talk about a challenge; what I face is nothing compared to what Lafayette does. But my friend and colleague Michael LoRe, writing next door to me here, has the considerably easier task of telling why an 9-1 team loaded with a galaxy's worth of stars and stacked with the most impressive set of statistics since Bill James and Billy Beane invented 'Moneyball' will defeat a 4-6 Lafayette team that has lost three straight games to the Mountain Hawks. I am sure Michael will do a terrific job, but where's the challenge in that? It's much more fun to say why the Leopards will emerge from Goodman Stadium with a shocking, season-making triumph that will go down in history, as Lafayette coach Frank Tavani likes to tell his players happens every time the arch-rivals meet.

FOOTBALL: Lehigh University hosts Lafayette College in college football's most-played game
The Express-Times/ By Michael LoRe
Colin Newton has a 2007 Express-Times article hanging on his refrigerator. The headline in big, bold letters reads: "4-Peat." While the Lehigh University Class of 2008 went 0-4 against rival Lafayette College, Newton, a senior outside linebacker, and his classmates have yet to lose to the Leopards and they look to keep it that way. The No. 6 Mountain Hawks host Lafayette in the 147th meeting of college's most-played game at 12:30 p.m. at Goodman Stadium on Saturday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

FOOTBALL: Second half of season salvaged respectability
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Lafayette lost its top two running backs within five days of the football season opener at North Dakota State. One of them, Jerome Rudolph, decided to retire because of recurring issues with concussions suffered last season. The other, Pat Mputu, was suspended for four games for violating team rules. He returned to play three games, but was suspended again, this time for a violation of class attendance rules. The Leopards' top returning wide receiver, Mitch Bennett, has not played since being hospitalized with a staph infection in his abdomen on the team's bye week.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Liberty High School and Lafayette College graduate Pete Carril receives Joe Lapchick Character Award
The Express-Times/ from the Associated Press
Pete Carril was working the room, shaking hands like he was running for office. It wasn't about politics. It was about coaching. Carril, Jim Phelan and Debbie Ryan -- all longtime college basketball coaches -- were presented today with the fourth annual Joe Lapchick Character Awards. The banquet room at Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River was packed with those who played for, worked with or just admired the recipients of an award named for the Hall of Fame coach from St. John's and the New York Knicks who has always been considered one of coaching's great examples of character. Almost 40 years after his death, Lapchick is still someone who is praised for what he did decades ago.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball team defeats St. Francis (N.Y.) College 79-73
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Former Marquette University basketball coach Al McGuire always said the best thing about freshmen is they become sophomores. Three freshmen on the Lafayette College men's basketball team have had their minutes increased because of injuries to juniors Tony Johnson and Levi Giese. One of the first year players, Joey Ptasinski, scored 12 points Wednesday night to spark the Leopards to a hard-fought 79-73 victory over St. Francis (N.Y.) before a crowd of 1,924 at Kirby Sports Center. Senior forward Ryan Willen led Lafayette with 20 points followed by seniors Rob Delaney with 14 and Jim Mower with 13. St. Francis (0-2) was coming off a 75-71 overtime loss to Big East representative Seton Hall on Saturday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

FOOTBALL: Freshmen, vets working well for Lafayetter
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Tom Housenick
Lafayette missed its first nine shots to start the second half of Wednesday night's game against visiting St. Francis (N.Y.). Who broke the streak? Freshman Joey Ptasinski stepped up with a 3-pointer. After St. Francis took its biggest lead of the game (five points) a few minutes later, who hit the shot to give Lafayette the lead again? Freshman Seth Hinrichs with a 3-pointer. Usually, freshmen and Leopards coach Fran O'Hanlon usually don't mix. But this year is shaping up to be an exception for the 17th-year coach. With two injured starters out indefinitely and graduation hits, O'Hanlon has had to turn to a trio of freshmen. It's early, but Ptasinski, Hinrichs and Australian Dan Trist have shown flashes of upperclassman brilliance. But with the game hanging in the balance, it was a more familiar formula. Senior captain Rob Delaney hit the third of three consecutive 3-pointers with less than six minutes left that allowed the Leopards to regain the lead. Senior captain Ryan Willen's 3-point play with 3:39 showing gave the hosts the lead for good en route to a 79-73 victory at the Kirby Sports Center.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Brandon Ellis set to face challenge of Lehigh University's powerful passing game
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Brandon Ellis will be flying into the face of the storm Saturday afternoon. The Lafayette College senior plays cornerback and that means he will be in the first line of defense against sixth-ranked Lehigh University's awe-inspiring passing game Saturday at Goodman Stadium as the rivals meet for the 147th time in college football's most-played rivalry.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football notebook: Nov. 15 SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
SIBLING RIVALRY - When you listen to Kyle Hayes talk about his sister, Meghan, the first thing you sense is an immense family pride. Meghan is a talented soccer player, a four-time all-league performer in high school. Kyle says Meghan was looking to continue her career at a college like Lafayette, but Lafayette didn't pursue her. So, she is now a sophomore defender on the women's soccer team at Seton Hall and she's having a great career.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Hayes wants to go out a winner
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Kyle Hayes doesn't need a game film. The moment is etched in his mind and he can bring it back at will. Lafayette quarterback Rob Curley is kneeling on the Goodman Stadium turf, his head in his hands after he threw an interception in overtime, allowing Lehigh to steal a 27-21 victory over the Leopards in 2009. Curley's worst moment -- and the finest for Lehigh linebacker Al Pierce.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette comes up short against Holy Cross
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Lafayette football coach Frank Tavani didn't leave his team any leeway for excuses after Holy Cross rallied for a 29-24 victory in Saturday's Patriot League game. The Lafayette College women fell victim to a clinic in Ivy League basketball on Monday night. Princeton, the two-time defending Ivy League champions, got 22 points from Niveen Rasheed and gradually pulled away for an 87-47 romp at Kirby Sports Center. The Tigers hold a 23-17 lead in the all-time series over Lafayette. Nicole Hung added 11 points for the Tigers (2-0) followed by Lauren Edwards and Alex Rodgers with 10 points each. Edwards, a senior guard, became the 19th member of Princeton's 1,000th point club on a 3-pointer with 12:46 left in the first half.

Monday, November 14, 2011

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Princeton turns it on to blast Lafayette in women's basketball
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Tim Shoemaker
Lafayette led by two points on an Emily Homan jumper 50 seconds into the game. The Leopards still led Princeton by a point with 13:50 left in the first half Monday night at Kirby Sports Center. But in the final 34 minutes of play, Princeton, the two-time defending Ivy League champion, played basketball the way Lafayette aspires to. The Tigers wound up leading by 20 points at halftime and continued to run, trap and shoot on the way to an 87-47 non-league win. Lafayette (0-2) is still getting adjusted to the system of second-year head coach Dianne Nolan, but Princeton (2-0) is playing like it wants much more than Ivy League recognition.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette now focuses on rivalry game with Lehigh
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Lafayette did not punt the ball Saturday afternoon at Holy Cross' Fitton Field. Corey Page of the Crusaders punted just once. Points were scored on seven of the eight possessions in the first half -- the only other one ended on a pass interception. Holy Cross executed successful fourth-and-one gambles on a pair of touchdown drives in the first half, and Lafayette scored on a fourth-down play with five seconds remaining in the half. Lafayette had 13-play and 11-play drives that produced no points; and Holy Cross had a 12-play drive that ended without a score. But in the end, a 15-play drive that included a pair of pass interference calls against the Leopards and a whole bunch of plays by Crusader quarterback Ryan Taggart added another bizarre chapter to the Lafayette-Holy Cross series.

FOOTBALL: Leopards' "out for the season" list is long SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
"Out for the season" can be one of the most discouraging phrases in sports. It doesn't matter whether the reason is something routine like a hamstring or a broken hand ... something more complicated like a torn ACL or chronic back problems ... something out of the blue like a staph infection in the abdomen or the discovery of a heart problem ... or a totally unexpected decision to retire. When an athlete is declared "out for the season" or, even worse, when a situation is deemed to be career-ending, it leaves a hole that is often not easily filled. No coach or team expects to get through a season with having players miss games for a variety of reasons. When those on the "out" list are starters, the problem grows. I have to wonder how many college football teams have been hit as hard as Lafayette has been hit this season.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette comes up short against Holy Cross
The Express-Times/ By Mike Scandura, Special to The Express-Times
Lafayette football coach Frank Tavani didn't leave his team any leeway for excuses after Holy Cross rallied for a 29-24 victory in Saturday's Patriot League game. "I told our team and our staff I don't want to hear anybody talking about officials," Tavani said. "You start doing that and it's just making excuses. "What I want to hear about are the opportunities we had that we didn't take care of. You have to live with it. We've got a long ride home to get over it as best we can." Lafayette (4-6, 1-3) led 24-23 with 5:39 left in the game when Holy Cross (6-5, 3-2) commenced a 15-play, 97-yard drive that culminated with a seven-yard touchdown run by Eddie Houghton. When Ryan Taggart's two-point conversion pass was incomplete, Lafayette regained possession with 1:06 left. But the Leopards' drive ended when Ben Coffaro intercepted Andrew Shoop's pass in the end zone with 18 seconds left on the clock. What transpired during the Crusaders' game-winning drive is what prompted Tavani's post-game comments:

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Crusaders right ship with home stand
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette/ By Jennifer Toland
WORCESTER -- Holy Cross' hopes of winning the Patriot League title ended with last week's loss at Lehigh, but don't think the Crusaders didn't have plenty to play for in yesterday's home finale against Lafayette. "We wanted to play for a winning season," HC senior linebacker C.J. Martin said. "We wanted to play our best and we talked about it all week -- we want to finish the season strong." Martin's fourth-quarter interception gave the Crusaders possession at their own 3-yard line and senior quarterback Ryan Taggart took over from there, leading HC on a 97-yard winning drive. Junior running back Eddie Houghton scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:06 left and the Crusaders held on for an exciting 29-24 win.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Chandler Fraser-Pauls to join Lafayette College men's basketball team
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Chandler Fraser-Pauls, a scholarship soccer player for the Lafayette men's soccer team, will join the Leopards men's basketball squad, SID Phil Labella confirmed. Fraser-Pauls did not dress in Friday's season-opening loss at LaSalle but should be available for coach Fran O'Hanlon in the coming weeks. Pauls, who was a 1,000 point scorer for The Pennington School, averaged nearly 20 points and 7 assists per game as a senior. His addition should provide some depth at point guard complementing to Rob Delaney and Les Smith. Pre-season All-Patriot League guard Tony Johnson is currently being held out of practices and games with a lingering back problem.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette comes up short against Holy Cross
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
WORCESTER, Mass. -- The heartbreaking blow didn't come with six seconds to play -- it was a whole minute earlier than in 2008. It wasn't delivered by some desperation heave; it was the product of an old-fashioned power football play right up the middle. There was no missed extra point, but a wide-left field goal led to a later decision that also backfired. There was one pass interference call that probably should have been made but wasn't, and at least other one that maybe should not have been called but was. In the end, it was another wild and wacky Holy Cross victory over Lafayette, this time by a 29-24 score on a touchdown with 1:06 remaining Saturday that gave the Crusaders four Patriot League wins in a row over the Leopards by a total of 18 points.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Holy Cross: The game-day report SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
This is the new definition of beautiful: A near-50-degree day in Worcester, Mass., on Nov. 12. We have a pretty nice wind, but we'll take it. The wind is not wet. No snow, and an amazing-looking surface for this time of the year. And given the fact that my most recent momery of Fitton Field was a cold, rainy, muddy Saturday in 2009, this is almost too good to be true. It's an hour to game time and I'm watching Lafayette Coach Frank Tavani chat with Holy Cross head coach Tom Gilmore and Lafayette Sports Network sideline guy John Leone.The bus ride from Easton took four hours, and it was a piece of cake. I chatted with Mitch Bennett, who was just along for the ride. The fifth-year senior wide receiver and cocaptain, who is sidelined while recovering from an abdominal cyst surgery, told me he is now taking antibiotics orally rather than through an intravenous tube.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Slow start dooms Lafayette College in men's basketball opener at La Salle
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
The best way for Lafayette College's men's basketball team -- a team without its point guard and depending heavily on three freshmen -- to get going in its challenging season opener at La Salle University would have been to keep the tempo reasonable, make good decisions with the ball and not let the athletic, aggressive Explorers get rolling early. The worst way would have looked pretty close to what actually happened as the Leopards struggled through a dreadful start and never really recovered in a 79-53 loss to La Salle in front of 2,322 fans at Tom Gola Arena. Lafayette turned the ball over on its first two possessions -- leading directly to La Salle (1-0) points -- and then missed two free throws. The hosts led 13-2 with 3:10 gone in the game, and the Leopards had a 4 to 1 ratio of turnovers to field goals.

Friday, November 11, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Holy Cross scouting report SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Who said it? "Everybody takes those things for granted like it's 1-2-3 kick and it's not." A: Lafayette Coach Frank Tavani talking about Davis Rodriguez's first PAT miss of the 2008 season - a point that became the difference in the Leopards' 27-26 loss to Holy Cross. Who said it? "There were missed coverages, missed blocks, missed tackles ... you can never blame a football game on one person." A: Coach Tavani again a year later after Rodriguez missed two PATs and Lafayette dropped a 28-26 decision to Holy Cross. Who said it? "I agree the style wasn't there, but this was one of those games where both teams were going to gut it out. I'm just glad we came through and made a couple of really, really big plays." A: Cross Coach Tom Gilmore speaking of his Crusaders' 37-27 win over Lafayette in a game that was dominated in so many ways by the Leopards. I picked Lafayette to win every one of those games, and I could have just as easily been 3-0 instead of 0-3 because the Leopards were right there every time.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Greg Kessel shows there's still a role for fullbacks in college football
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
The fullback may be going out of style in college football, with the game's increasing emphasis on showy passing games, 37 or so receivers split to the right and one-back sets. But there's no danger of the fullback disappearing from Lafayette College's lineup any time soon -- even if the spot has a fancy name and a new role. "We look at (fullbacks) as H-backs, a new-fangled term, referring to part tight end/part fullback," Lafayette coach Frank Tavani said. "We use them as part tight ends, part offensive linemen, part wide receivers, sometimes on the wing. They have to be able to run the ball up the gut and then line up and put their hands down and block. We have three (Greg Kessel, Pat Creahan and Jake McTighe), all with good size and all very physical." So meet one of them: Greg Kessel, a 6-foot-1, 240-pound sophomore from East Stroudsburg South High School. Kessel has excelled in all the roles required of him and has become known to Leopards fans for his leaping over piles carrying the ball for first downs and touchdowns.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Former Lafayette College basketball player Deirunas Visockas resurfaces at Boston College
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
After an injury-plagued career on College Hill, Deirunas Visockas has resurfaced in the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference. Visockas spent the past four seasons as a guard on the Lafayette College men's basketball team. He graduated last spring but still had a year of eligibility remaining and transferred to Boston College.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College graduate Joe McCourt has his Roman Catholic High School football team on the verge of a title
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Coaching football at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia presents some unique challenges. And Lafayette College alum Joe McCourt is mastering them just fine -- well enough to have his team in Friday night's Philadelphia Catholic League Class AAAA championship against La Salle College High School.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College tight end Brandon Hall brings enthusiasm to the Leopards
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Brandon Hall has come off the Fisher Stadium turf feeling some pain the last several times Lafayette College has played football. But the 6-foot-7, 235-pound sophomore tight end has been perfectly healthy to play.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FOOTBALL: Kessel makes the most of his chances
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
When Lafayette coaches send Greg Kessel and Pat Creahan into the game together, the two Lafayette sophomores invariably announce their arrival. "When we get to the huddle, we tell the linemen, 'OK, the fullbacks are here,'" Kessel said Tuesday. "They get a kick out of that." What they mean is, it's time to get to work. Usually grunt work. Fullback is never going to be a glamour position at Lafayette. But Kessel and Creahan have played in every game, and they are like American Express: Coach Frank Tavani would not leave home without them. They are physical bookends -- both are listed at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds. And it doesn't take a lot to make them happy.

FOOTBALL: Scanning the Lafayette luncheon notebook SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Here are some of the highlight's of this week's Lafayette football luncheon WHO'S NEXT AT SAFETY? - Coach Frank Tavani would not rule out the possibility of Kyle Simmons playing this week at his strong safety spot, but he didn't sound all that positive, either. And Shane Black, who started in Simmons' place last week, is definitely out. "Shane Brady came in and I thought played very well," Tavani said. "He came up and tackled as well as anyone I've seen all year long. He's been chomping at the bit, playing his role on special teams and waiting for his opportunity. Evan (McGovern) has already had his game off so he can't take any more games off. I think we're pretty solid right now."

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Rob Delaney has climbed the depth chart during his men's basketball career at Lafayette College
The Express-Times/ By Keith Gary
Had Bucknell University not hired Dave Paulsen to be the Bison head basketball coach in May 2008, Rob Delaney likely would not be a senior captain at Lafayette College today. Delaney was set to join Paulsen at Williams College in Massachusetts and play for the Ephs' successful Division III program, but the coaching change persuaded Delaney to re-open his recruitment. "My high school coach called around and Coach O (Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon) needed another guy because they had some injuries in the program," Delaney said, referring to injury-plagued Deirunas Visockas. Delaney decided to join the Leopards as a walk-on. Minutes were sparse over the first two seasons, but the self-described late-bloomer tried to make the most of his limited opportunities. Hard work on and off the court -- coupled with the graduation of guards Jeff Kari and Michael Gruner in 2010 -- opened the door for increased playing time. Delaney kicked down that door with a strong showing in the preseason.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette women in Phase 2 of Nolan's rebuilding project
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Tom Housenick
Senior tri-captains Melissa Downey and Sarah McGorry have spent large parts of their Lafayette careers in the starting lineup. Even fellow tri-captain Alexandra Serowoky, when healthy, has started nearly a third of the time. But in Year 2 of the Dianne Nolan Project, these tri-captains could be asked to be mentors more than players. Though a lot has to be worked out before Patriot League play rolls around in January, only one (Downey) is a projected starter. McGorry is going to play behind sophomore Danielle Fiacco and freshman Emily Homan. And, Serowoky, who hasn't played in a game since midway through the 2009-10 season because of knee problems, is a little further down on the front court depth chart.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette to start season without key starter
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Tom Housenick
Tony Johnson rarely saw snow growing up in Folsom, Calif., but the Lafayette junior has seen plenty in his first two-plus years on the Easton campus. If he wanted to see as much on the West Coast as he saw late last month, he had to go to Reno, Nev., or Lake Tahoe, Calif. "It's fun the first couple of times I was here," Johnson said of the snow. "But then it turns into slush, mud and it's kind of gross. Johnson rarely got hurt playing basketball at Folsom High, only in the summer leading into his senior year. The point guard is hoping he sees more snowstorms than Lafayette games from the bench while wearing street clothes. But it's starting to look like the latter. Left ankle and shin injuries were on-and-off issues during his first two seasons for the Leopards. Now an off-the-court workout led to a lower back problem that has Johnson sidelined for the first 4 to 6 weeks of the 2011-12 season.

Monday, November 7, 2011

FOOTBALL: 2 from Lafayette, 1 from Lehigh honored by league SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Lafayette may not have had as much success on the football field as players and coaches were hoping for at the start of the season, but when they win, the Leopards impress the people in the Patriot League. For second second time in three weeks, quarterback Andrew Shoop and running back-kick returner Ross Scheuerman have earned offensive player and rookie of the week honors, respectively, in the league.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College showed remarkable heart to come back against Colgate University
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
The last two weeks of football on College Hill show perfectly why men who make their living coaching 18-to-22-year-olds boast more gray hairs and stomach upsets than the average. Lafayette College's football team offered almost nothing sustaining hope for the immediate future in a disastrous loss two weeks ago to Bucknell. "That was a night to forget," Leopard coach Frank Tavani said. But then, a week later, Lafayette's players showed worlds of heart and guts to battle from behind after blowing a lead to knock off Colgate 37-24 in overtime on an emotional Senior Night. "Not many Lafayette alumni get to celebrate a win over Colgate," said Tavani, and he's right; the Leopards have beaten the Raiders only a dozen times in 55 years dating to 1906. "We kept telling the kids, it's not how you start, it's how you finish."

FOOTBALL: Lafayette coach Tavani not happy with Mputu
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
I violated a basic journalistic principle Saturday night. In the last paragraph of my Lafayette-Colgate story, I included a sentence I didn't want to see wind up on the proverbial cutting room floor. "Lafayette's Pat Mputu was suspended for the game for violating team rules pertaining to class attendance," I wrote. It was cut. Because the Leopards' 37-24 overtime victory over the Raiders got so hectic, words about players who did participate became far more important than dealing with one who did not. Make no mistake about it, however, the latest Mputu infraction is significant both to Lafayette coach Frank Tavani, whose integrity is being severely tested by the 19-year-old, and to Mputu, who is in serious jeopardy of seeing a college education that is certainly worth between $100,000 and $150,000 -- maybe even more -- go down the drain.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

FOOTBALL: Leftover notes from Lafayette-Colgate SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Cleaning out the notebook from Lafayette's 37-24 overtime victory over Colgate. LEOPARDS RUSH DEFENSE - Colgate rushed for 234 yards, with Jordan McCord, who filled in for injured Nate Eachus, getting 172 on 37 carries. Before you think what a poor job the Lafayette defense must have done, consider that 18 of McCord's plays gained 2 yards or less - five were for losses and four for no gain. His longest run was a meaningless 32-yarder on the final play of the first half. His next best was 16 yards. He was listed as the starting strong safety for the Raiders, but playing running back is nothing new. He rushed for 930 yards as a sophomore. He apparently did not play at all last season.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football team tops Colgate with dramatic finish, 37-24
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
As Mark Ross watched his Lafayette College teammate Darius Safford race down the far sideline with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown to clinch a 37-24 overtime win over Colgate University on Saturday night, he began to pile up the superlatives.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

FIELD HOCKEY: Lafayette field hockey team defeats Bucknell to win the Patriot League Championship
The Express-Times
Deanna DiCroce scored two goals and Kristin Heaney broke a tie in the 40th minute as Lafayette defeated Bucknell 3-1 today in Washington, D.C., for its first Patriot League field hockey championship since 2002. Heaney's winning goal came less than three minutes after Mallory Smith of Bucknell tied the game at 1-1. Carolyn Cabrey, who assisted on Heaney's goal, was named tournament MVP. DiCroce, Emily Valeo and Brittany Blass of Lafayette were selected to the all-tournament team.

FOOTBALL: Leopards explosive in overtime win over Colgate
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Saturday night in Fisher Stadium began with a power outage that had nothing to do with the weather. An injured Nate Eachus, who has energized Colgate offenses for four years, did not make the trip from Hamilton, N.Y. The night ended with an explosion of power -- first a touchdown catch by a player who had been knocked out of the game twice, then a 100-yard interception return by another guy who had been burned earlier. When the smoke cleared, it was Lafayette 37, Colgate 24 in overtime -- a game that was every bit as wild as the 56-49 shootout the same two teams put on in the same stadium in 2009.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College, Colgate University both missing standout running backs tonight
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Both Lafayette College and Colgate University are missing key running backs for tonight's Patriot League game at Fisher Stadium. The Leopards' sophomore Pat Mputu, who has 212 yards this season and 2 TDs on 46 carries, has been suspended for violating team rules about class attendance. Junior Vaughn Hebron and freshman Ross Scheuerman will carry the load in the backfield for the Leopards (3-5, 0-2).

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Colgate: Eachus, P.Mputu, Simmons are out SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
That was then. This is now. I wonder if the Lafayette football team that plays here tonight will have as dramatic a turnaround as the field on which it plays. The Leopards were a frigid bunch a week ago in a 39-13 loss to Bucknell. Do I have to remind you of those seven turnovers, that non-existent running game that produced only 26 yards and that invisible defense that allowed Bison Tyler Smith to gain 212 yards rushing? Oops, I just did it. I hope the Leopards have been reminded of that performance over and over again this week, if not by a coaching staff that applies a 24-hour rule to such things, then by recurring nightmares of pass interceptions, fumbles and Smith yards after contact.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FOOTBALL: Final 3 games are precious to Leopards' Hayes SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Had the play taken place in a Big Ten or SEC game, we would still be watching it on ESPN highlights of last week's college football games. Lafayette wide receiver Kyle Hayes is on the ground, trying to make a difficult catch, and the ball bounces off his foot. An alert Bryce Robertson of Bucknell dives in and cradles the ball in his two hands just before it hits the Fisher Stadium FieldTurf surface. Instead of being a first down for Lafayette at when the game was still in doubt, it was Bucknell ball at the Lafayette 33-yard line. On the first play, Tyler Smith of the Bison runs off the left side, gets the corner and gallops the 33 yards into the end zone to give Bucknell a three-score lead.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Jason Marshalek faces the run-stopping challenge of the year Saturday
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Jason Marshalek knows what his job as a Lafayette College defensive tackle means this week: stop Nate Eachus. "He's gashed us the last few years," said the Leopards junior of Colgate University's powerhouse senior tailback. "A lot of our defenders have taken that personally. He's done it against us three years in a row and we'd like to stop him one time." Stopping Eachus can often mean stopping Colgate, which the Leopards (3-5, 0-2 league) need to do in Saturday night's Patriot League game and home finale at Fisher Stadium if they are to have any chance at a winning season in 2011.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette women's basketball picked for sixth in the Patriot League
The Express-Times/ By Keith Gary
The Lafayette College women's basketball team is picked to finish sixth in the Patriot League this season, according to a poll of coaches and sports information directors. American received 94 points and 11 first place votes followed by Lehigh with 83 points and three first place votes. Navy, the defending league champion, Bucknell and Holy Cross round out the top five. The Leopards, under second-year head coach Dianne Nolan, enter the 2011-12 season embracing the role of underdog and eager to set out to prove the doubters wrong.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

FOOTBALL: Leopards have toughest NCAA FCS schedule SportsTalk Blog (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Nine of the 11 teams on the Lafayette College football schedule this year have records of .500 or better at this point of the season. That's why an NCAA listing shows that, through games of Oct. 29, the Leopards are tied with Rhode Island for the toughest schedule among Football Championship Subdivision teams with at least nine inter-division games when sorted on cumulative opposition.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Kyle Hayes hopes for positive highlights from this week
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Kyle Hayes likely will find himself on a highlight reel for one play from Saturday night's 39-13 Lafayette College loss to Bucknell. Unfortunately for Hayes, a Leopard senior wide receiver, he'll be featured on the Bison highlights. Hayes' part in Bucknell's Bryce Robertson's ninth interception of the season had to be seen to be believed. Had the play come in an Alabama, Stanford or Michigan game it would have been replayed for days on cable wrap-up shows. It's fine with Hayes that it's not getting a lot of air time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College cornerback Kyni Scott will apply for medical redshirt
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College junior cornerback Kyni Scott will apply for a medical redshirt season after a persistent ankle injury refused to heal properly this fall, Leopards' head coach Frank Tavani said at today's weekly football media luncheon. "His ankle is just not right," Tavani said. Scott started seven games in 2010 for Lafayette and was being counted on as a key member of the secondary this season. In better news on the injury front, the Leopards may get senior offensive lineman Anthony Buffolino back for Saturday night's home finale with Colgate (6:06 p.m.) at Fisher Stadium.

FOOTBALL: Butler, Leopards focus on Colgate's Eachus
The Morning Call (Subscription Required)/ By Paul Reinhard
Leroy Butler's eyes lit up and a broad smile came across his face Tuesday when he was asked about his immediate reaction to the name Nate Eachus. "I want to hit him," the senior linebacker from Lafayette said about the record-setting Colgate running back who will make the final Lehigh Valley appearance of his storied career on Saturday night in Fisher Stadium. "That's the first thing I think of," Butler said. "He's an all-star. He's a competitor, and I'm pretty sure that he knows that, because he's Nate Eachus, a lot of people want to hit him." A lot of people have had a chance in the four years the Hazleton High School graduate has been in Hamilton, N.Y. And, a lot of people have not had a lot of success.

FOOTBALL: An upside down season in the Patriot League SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Frank Tavani had an 8-1 record against Georgetown and had won its last nine games against Bucknell going into this season, and we all know, don't we, how things turned out for the Leopards in 2011?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

FOOTBALL: Tavani calls on Lafayette seniors to provide leadership in final three games
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Frank Tavani used a very uncharacteristic phrase -- "I don't know" -- five times in less than a minute during his meeting with the media following Saturday night's devastating 39-13 loss to Bucknell. It wasn't that he really didn't know, because he was an eye witness to every one of the seven turnovers, every one of the six dropped passes by two of his best receivers, every one of the missed tackles and every one of the crazy bounces that combined to make the game one of the worst he can remember in his 35 years on College Hill. He wasn't aware Sunday how often he had used that phrase of utter bewilderment, but he said, "I'm not a magician. I don't think I've ever felt that way in my 12 years as head coach, and I'm not sure ever. It's just hard to explain."

FOOTBALL: The lows got lower for the Leopards SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
I thought the Leopards hit bottom with the way the Harvard game ended, but I think they dug a little deeper into the hole of disappointment on Saturday night when they seemed to want to get things over with in the fourth quarter. It looked like they might be able to play themselves back into the game after scoring on Mark Ross' second touchdown pass of the night to pull within 12 points with more than 10 minutes remaining. And when the defense chipped in with a rare three-and-out, I was ready to see some more of that overcoming that Frank Tavani talked so much about in the past couple of weeks. But on the second play from the Lafayette 23, a Ryan O'Neil pass was intercepted by Bryce Robertson - his ninth of the season - at the Lafayette 33-yard line.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Ryan Willen hoping for healthy senior season at Lafayette College
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Ryan Willen must feel like the Bionic Man. A senior forward on the Lafayette College men's basketball team, Willen is healthy for the first time since his freshman season. Willen persevered through foot injuries his sophomore and junior seasons and also played with a herniated disk in his back last season. "Ryan couldn't play the way he's capable last year," Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon said. The 6-foot-8 Willen, a native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, still averaged 10.4 points per game last season and scored his 1,000th career point in the Patriot League championship game loss to Bucknell. Willen talked to a few back surgeons and a neurosurgeon before deciding to hold off on surgery.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

FOOTBALL: Bucknell University football team rushes past Lafayette College
The Express-Times/ By Keith Gary
Lafayette College coach Frank Tavani knew all about Bucknell's opportunistic defense, which ranked second in the NCAA FCS in turnover margin at plus 2.13 per game. Tavani also was aware of the Bison's rushing defense, which was also second nationally at 72.6 yards per game. It was a surprise, however, that the Bison -- who averaged less than 92 yards rushing per game -- broke out a ground attack, led by junior tailback Tyler Smith, in a 39-13 Patriot league win tonight at snowy Fisher Stadium. Smith, who entered the game averaging a modest 46.5 yards per game, broke loose for a career-high 212 yards on 42 carries and two touchdowns. The Bison's trademark defensive attributes were on display as well. They recovered four fumbles -- two on special teams -- and also returned an Andrew Shoop interception 12 yards for a defensive score.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette Leopards fall in the snow
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
On a night that looked like something out of "White Christmas," Lafayette played a football game that wound up looking more like "Nightmare on Elm Street." The Leopards came off what coach Frank Tavani thought might have been their best practice week of the season and turned the ball over seven times. Bucknell, which got just two field goals out of six turnovers last week while losing to Holy Cross, got five touchdowns off the Leopards' gifts Saturday night and turned a close game into a 39-13 Patriot League rout. In its last two games, Lafayette began to show signs of improvement, but you might have to go a long time before you find another game in which the Leopards took so many steps backward.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Bucknell report -- a snow version SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
I'm still sitting in my family room, watching the snow pile up outside and wondering when I want to head for Easton. I called Coach Tavani's office a couple of minutes ago. He's watching the Lehigh-Colgate game and waiting for a company named SportCare to arrive at Fisher Stadium to begin preparing the surface for the Bucknell game, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. SportCare is located in Bridgewater, NJ, and in Barnesville, and the company services Fisher Field several times a year to freshen the surface. "They do a great job," Coach T said. Coach T told me SportCare sprayed the FieldTurf surface on Friday with liquid calcium, but the snow started so early and has been so intense that the field is now covered.

Friday, October 28, 2011

FOOTBALL: Hebron ready to do his part for the Leopards SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Vaughn Hebron knows that running back by committee doesn't have to be a negative thing. He saw it work nicely during his freshman year at Lafayette. Maurice White was the main guy, but fellow seniors DeAndre Morrow and Tyrell Coon - and even sophomore Jerome Rudolph - took their turns making things happen as the Leopards put together an 8-4 2009 season. The situation isn't exactly the same this season because the Lafayette running back corps consists of a pair of juniors (Hebron and Alan Elder), a sophomore (Pat Mputu) and a freshman (Ross Scheuerman). But right now, it appears that Hebron is, at best, No. 3 on the list.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Vaughn Hebron helps Leopards ground game get into gear
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Vaughn Hebron's second debut of his Lafayette College football season did not come on the most promising of stages. But Hebron hit a high note right away -- and kept on doing so. Hebron, a junior running back, jogged on to the Fisher Stadium turf last Saturday afternoon against Fordham with the game tied at 14 and the Leopards taking over on downs at their 2-yard line. Getting out from under their own goalpost was imperative to keep Fordham from taking over in superb field position. The Leopards turned to Hebron. One play and 18 huge yards later Lafayette was on its way with a 98-yard drive that gave the Leopards the lead for good in a 45-24 win.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College facing an unusual challenge from turnover-minded Bucknell University Saturday
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College faces a football statistical anomaly when Bucknell University visits Fisher Stadium Saturday night in a key Patriot League for the Leopards. The Bison (4-4) have lost three games in a row despite owning a plus-17 turnover margin. They have 15 interceptions -- senior cornerback Bryce Robertson leads the FCS in picks with eight -- and have recovered 11 fumbles. Bucknell forced six turnovers last week against Holy Cross -- and lost 16-13.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bucknell University men's basketball team favored to repeat as Patriot League champion
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
The defending champion Bucknell University men's basketball team is a unanimous preseason choice to repeat as Patriot League champion. The Bison, who return four starters, received 98 points in the voting done by the league's coaches and sports information directors. Lehigh, the 2009-10 league champion, was second with 82 points followed by Holy Cross (73), Lafayette (55), American (47), Colgate (44), Navy (34) and Army (15).

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Nate Dixon hoping to pump up the pass rush
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Nate Dixon will be starting in the injured Mike Grimaldi's place at defensive end Saturday night when Lafayette College hosts Bucknell University in a Patriot League football showdown. But Dixon's already walked in Grimaldi's shoes. "I feel badly for Mike; I know what it's like to have a season-ending injury," said the 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior, who saw his 2009 and 2010 seasons end with ACL tears in his knee in the sixth game (2009) and first game of 2010. He also missed his freshman season in 2007 with a head injury. "But all that's behind me now. Mentally it's tough to have missed all those games."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Andrew Anastor settling in just fine in new home
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Life was treating Andrew Anastor just the way he liked in the fall of 2009. Anastor was a football player at a Division I-AA (FCS) program at Northeastern University. He was living in a city, Boston, that he loved. The Vineland, N.J. resident liked his dorm mates, teammates and had become a fan of the Huskies' legendary hockey team. What could go wrong? Just his whole world.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College loses starting defensive lineman Mike Grimaldi for season
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
While the last couple of weeks haven't been the worst of the football season for injuries for Lafayette College, the Leopards did suffer a significant blow this week. Two-year starting defensive end senior Mike Grimaldi suffered a season-ending knee injury in the win over Fordham Saturday. Senior Nate Dixon -- himself a survivor of two serious injuries -- will take Grimaldi's place.

Monday, October 24, 2011

FOOTBALL: 2 Leopards get Patriot League honors SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
When Lafayette football coach Frank Tavani talked about quarterback Andrew Shoop on Sunday, his first mention was not about his strong arm or his ability to scramble out of trouble. "He's a gamer, a winner," Tavani said of the Berwick High product who led the Leopards to a 45-24 victory over Fordham on Saturday. "He generates energy on the field and on the sidelines. He has great enthusiasm, and that's what your quarterback has to bring into the huddle. But he also has to bring that to the team on the sideline, and Andrew does it in practice the same way." Shoop, who started the season as the backup to Ryan O'Neil but got his chance when O'Neil suffered a concussion against Georgetown, was named the Patriot League's Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Rams.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's resilience serving it well on the football field
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College does not have a perfect football team -- yet. It does not have a championship football team -- yet. It doesn't even have a football team over .500 -- yet. But what the 3-4 Leopards do have is a resilient football team, and that ability to bounce back from debacles and disasters has served Frank Tavani's team well. Lafayette has flaws -- shaky special teams, lack of depth, a too-generous defense at times. But The Leopards are still in a position accomplish their goals for 2011 -- and not every college football team can say that heading into the final week of October.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

FOOTBALL: Practice pays off for Leopards' Hebron, Padia
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Pat Mputu had a 33-yard run on his second carry of Saturday's Lafayette-Fordham football game. Ross Scheuerman gained 29 and 16 yards during a series that led to a Lafayette touchdown early in the second quarter. To Vaughn Hebron, it probably looked like another long day on the sidelines while the two younger guys got all the work at tailback. That's how it was a week earlier against Yale. But when the Leopards were faced with a first down at their own 2-yard line, it was Hebron who lined up at tailback. He got the ball, too -- and broke through the left side for an 18-yard gain that got the Leopards out of the deep hole. Five plays later, at the other end of Fisher Stadium, Hebron got the ball again on second-and-goal from the Fordham 5. He bounced off a Ram defender and continued into the end zone to cap a 98-yard drive that gave Lafayette a 20-14 lead en route to a 45-24 victory.

FOOTBALL: Browsing through a Lafayette-Fordham notebook SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Cleaning out the Lafayette-Fordham notebook before moving on to the meat of the Patriot League schedule. WIDE OPEN SPACES - Lafayette got wide receivers behind the Fordham secondary three times Saturday, and quarterback Andrew Shoop called that "the scariest throw in football." He connected with both Mark Ross and Kyle Hayes on 49-yard passes on plays where the Rams were completely fooled. "You drop back and see someone wide open and it's the one you don't want to miss," Shoop said. "Give credit to the guys on the outside; they get open, get to the spot. The guys up front protected me. I had the easy job putting it out there. I might have underthrown some balls, but at the same time you let the guys on the outside make plays for you. When you see a situation like that you have to want to make the big play." The third wide open pass was a gadget play on which Hayes, a former QB, took a lateral pass from Shoop and tossed to Greg Stripe, who lost the handle on it. "It's hard when you're wide open, harder on the receiving end, but as I said to Greg, he's made a lot of great plays for us here," Coach Tavani said. "I said, `You have to overcome that. Can't get you head down. You have to come back. Keep playing through it.'"

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College makes it all add up in win over Fordham University
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Three big drives. Three big stops. It all added up to one very nice and very big homecoming win for Lafayette College, which piled up 523 total yards of offense en route to a come-from-behind 45-24 conquest of Fordham University in front of 5,567 fans at Fisher Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette defense stifles Fordham
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Many defensive coaches would be pulling out their hair after a game in which their troops gave an opposing team 565 yards. But when Lafayette assesses Saturday's 45-24 Homecoming victory over Fordham at Fisher Stadium, it will be the 12 yards the defense did not give up that count the most. Fordham gambled on fourth down four times in Lafayette territory - including at the 2 and 8-yard lines - and was turned away every time by the Leopards.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Fordham -- Leopards win 45-24 SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Sorry to anyone reading this. I lost an entire game post -- but Lafayette wins this game 45-24 with 524 yards of offense -- and Fordham loses with 565 yards. The defense was fabulous, if you can say such a thing after giving up so much yardage. But three critical red-zone stops on fourth-down plays were the difference in this game, when Lafayette missed an extra point and a short field goal but also had great performances from Pat Mputu, 116 rushing yards; Andrew Shoop with 259 passing on 16-for-24. Ross 6 catches for 99, Hayes 4 catches for 98. Vaughn Hebron had 65 yards and two touchdowns in a game that put him right in the mix down the stretch. Fordham's Higgins passes for 413 yards on 32-for-52. Some leftover thoughts about the first winning streak since October-November of 2009 - and including the first 98-yard touchdown drive since the second possession of the 2009 Lehigh game, which was a 98-yard, 7:39 drive that ended with as Curley-to-Bennett pass:

Friday, October 21, 2011

FOOTBALL: Thinking out loud about Leopards-Rams SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
As Lafayette gets ready to go looking for its first winning streak of the season, here are some things to think about. A year ago, Blake Wayne was listed as the starting quarterback for Fordham coming into the Lafayette game, but he did not play because of an injury. For the year, he threw for 1,614 yards and six touchdowns. Now he's listed as the starter at Fordham's "S" position on offense. I won't be at all surprised if sometime during the game, the Rams run a reverse to Wayne, who then throws the ball deep down field. He has not thrown a pass this year, but that means nothing. He has 14 receptions for 124 yards.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Luke Chiarolanzio tackles early success on offensive line
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
It's not typical for a freshman to start as an offensive lineman in the Patriot League, or indeed any level of college football. The physical demands coupled with the mental toughness usually need time to develop. So it could be considered highly unusual that freshman Luke Chiarolanzio has held down the right tackle spot for Lafayette College since early in the season opener. But Brian Bowers isn't surprised.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's deep passing game to challenge struggling Fordham University defense Saturday
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Fordham University comes into Fisher Stadium for Lafayette College's Homecoming game Saturday (1:06 p.m.) trailing an inglorious cloud of statistics. The 1-5 Rams are near in the bottom of the Patriot League in all kinds of numbers, but one bothers Fordham coach Tom Masella the most. "We've been in some games but we couldn't get off the field on defense," said the sixth-year head coach. "We have not been able to make stops when we need them." Indeed, the Rams have allowed by far the highest percentage of third-down conversions -- 53.5 -- in the league. This comes as welcome news for a Leopard offense that has struggled to stay on the field -- Lafayette ranks just sixth in the league in third-down conversions (36.0).

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Blake Costanzo in middle of 'Handshake-gate' controversy
The Express-Times/ By Barry Miller
Ever since he strapped on his first football helmet, Blake Costanzo has had a knack for getting in the middle of the action. The former Lafayette College linebacker who is playing his first season with the San Francisco 49ers found himself in the middle of the NFL's biggest story last weekend -- labeled by some Handshake-gate. Controversy arose after 49ers first-year coach Jim Harbaugh celebrated a victory over the Lions by giving Detroit coach Jim Schwartz a hearty handshake and a slap on the back. Schwartz took exception to it, chasing and bumping Harbaugh as the teams headed for the locker rooms. The two had to be separated. At the postgame press conference, Harbaugh pulled Costanzo into the discussion. "I was just really revved up," Harbaugh said. "It was totally on me. I just shook his hand too hard. It was a kind of strong, slap kind of handshake. It's like what I've done with Costanzo and a few of the other guys." Costanzo, who is a dynamic special teams player, backed his coach 100 percent.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Rodney Gould finally healthy, on the field and loving every moment of it
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Rodney Gould's career statistics as a wide receiver for Lafayette College are also his 2011 statistics. Given that Gould is a senior, he might lead the team in patience, if not receptions. "Rodney waited his turn," Leopards coach Frank Tavani said. "We talk all the time about making the most of your opportunity when you get it. Rodney waited his turn for two years and it would have been easy to say this is not going to happen. But he stayed ready, didn't cry 'woe is me' and waited for his opportunity." And right now, Gould's making the most of it. He's caught three passes this season and enjoyed a breakout game in the 28-19 win over Yale on Saturday. Gould's two catches for 46 yards helped set up two Lafayette second-quarter touchdowns.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FOOTBALL: Chiarolanzio leads young guns on Lafayette's offensive line
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Luke Chiarolanzio says his position coach "rags on me sometimes because he thinks I'm getting skinny," and when he tells his friends he weighs between 295 and 300 pounds, they often don't believe it, either. But to understand what Lafayette offensive line coach Stan Clayton really thinks, you need only know that he moved a 22-year-old, 325-pound senior three-year starter to a new position to make room for Chiarolanzio, who celebrated his 18th birthday 16 days before the start of summer camp and still looks, facially, at least, very much like a high school kid. He does not play like a high school kid, however. The Lafayette coaches noticed that immediately, and on the second offensive series of the season opener, Chiarolanzio trotted onto the field at right guard.

FOOTBALL: Rodney Gould: the true meaning of perseverance SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
You want to talk about perseverance? Consider Rodney Gould. Gould is a senior wide receiver on the Lafayette football team. Before this season, he did not play in a single varsity game. He suffered injuries to both shoulders -- one in practice, the other in an automobile accident. Before the Harvard game of this season, he did not have one catch for his career. He finally ended that drought with a five-yarder -- on the next-to-last play of the 31-3 Lafayette loss. But he never quit. Never even thought about quitting.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College used bye week effectively to prepare for key win over Yale University
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's football team may have had a bye from competition the week of Oct. 8, but not from work. "For three days we went back into preseason camp mode," Leopard coach Frank Tavani said. "That really helped us mentally. I think the two-week bye served us well." That surely appeared to be the truth after Saturday's 28-19 Leopard defeat of Yale. Lafayette looked to be a team revived after what, by universal consensus among veteran Leopards fans and observers, was one of the team's worst defeats in recent memory two weeks earlier to Harvard.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Costanzo: What's big deal with Harbaugh's passion?
The Morning Call/ By Michael Blouse
Blake Costanzo is a passionate person. "Life's all about being passionate about what you love," Costanzo said with passion, of course. His enthusiasm is easy to see when he plays football. It is also easy to hear during a phone call. A former All-Patriot League linebacker at Lafayette College who is now a special-teams ace for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, Costanzo wonders "what's the big deal" about rookie coach Jim Harbaugh letting loose with his emotions after San Francisco's intense 25-19 road victory over the previously unbeaten Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette: A tale of two quarterbacks
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Andrew Shoop says wide receiver Mark Ross "never ceases to amaze me with the kind of balls he can catch." Shoop, Lafayette's junior quarterback, was talking about a play on which Ross, a 6-foot-3-inch sophomore, had to turn almost completely around while looking for the first-down marker and also staying inbounds Saturday night at Fisher Stadium. It was fourth-and-eight and Lafayette was trying to answer a Yale touchdown and regain momentum in the game after its lead over the Bulldogs dwindled to two points with still lots of time remaining. Ross snagged Shoop's pass for a critical first down at the Yale 21-yard line. Three plays later, Shoop tried to find Ross - or anyone else - on a third-and-five play. With no one open, Shoop took off on a scramble and dove forward at the end of the run to gain six yards and a first down at the Bulldog 6. Shoop seemed to be on a bit of a roll, but when the Leopards lined up for the next play, he was not at quarterback. Ryan O'Neil was.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

FOOTBALL: Catching Up With: Former Lafayette College football player and SID, Doug Elgin
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
It's been a long and enjoyable journey for Doug Elgin. After several stops as a Sports Information Director, the 1973 Lafayette College graduate has spent the past 23 years as commissioner of the St. Louis-based Missouri Valley Conference. The MVC was founded in 1907 and is the second oldest conference in the nation. Only the Big 10, which was established in 1894, has been around longer.

FOOTBALL: Mitch, Pat and other Leopard FB notes SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
leaning out the Yale notebook and starting one on Fordham: THE MITCH BENNETT STORY - It started out as back pain the day after the Harvard game. Instead of getting better, the pain got worse, despite pain pill and shots. He was examined by several doctors, even had an MRI that showed nothing. It appeared to be a muscular problem, spasms perhaps. Then a week ago, when all the mysteriouos symptoms persisted, a group of doctors conferred; and on Tuesday of last week, Bennett was admitted to the hospital, where he was to undergo a battery of tests. A pelvic MRI finally revealed an abscess between his hip and his pelvis. A big one that had developed a staph infection.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College football team bounces back with solid win over Yale
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Perhaps Lafayette College should change its football mascot to Cerberus, the three-headed dog of mythology. Because on Saturday night, the Leopards sprouted multiple heads at several key positions to baffle the one-headed Bulldogs of Yale University for a 28-19 non-league win in front of 4,872 fans at Fisher Stadium.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College dominates Yale University for second win of football season
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette's College's two quarterbacks, two running backs and horde of receivers proved too much for Yale University tonight at Fisher Stadium as the Leopards ran past the Bulldogs 28-19 to improve to 2-4 on the season. Andrew Shoop threw two touchdown passes, while Ryan O'Neil ran for one as Lafayette used both effectively at quarterback. At running back, Pat Mputu and Ross Scheuerman combined for 123 yards and a touchdown on a six-yard jaunt by Mputu, Lafayette's first rushing touchdown of the season.

FOOTBALL: Leopards return to winning ways
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
The Lafayette football team managed to get just 31 yards of offense in the third quarter Saturday night, and you could almost see a familiar black cloud forming again over Fisher Stadium in Easton. Yale scored on a 50-yard touchdown pass early in the final period, and a storm appeared imminent. But on the sidelines, coach Frank Tavani continued to preach the same sermon. "I must have said a hundred or 200 times [during then game], 'We're going to overcome it, no matter what happens,' " Tavani said after the Leopards hung together and weathered the storm to emerge with a well-earned 28-19 victory over Yale before a slim, but satisfied, crowd of 4,872. And overcome it the Leopards did.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Yale game day report SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
A couple of pregame observations -- but first, the bad news. WHAT NEXT? -- As though this Lafayette team has not already been hit with virtually every conceivable football malady known to man, now this: the Leopards lost two starters during a BYE WEEK, and neither of them while even practicing. Wide receiver Mitch Bennett, who seemed poised to achieve all he expected from his fifth-year decision, is out because of a staph infection that was detected in his abdomen when he was given an MRI after a number of other reasons for his pain were ruled out. He spent some time in the hospital, and I don't really really have other details because I have not spoken with Coach Tavani. That will come later, but let's be thankful that he didn't play and sustain a hit that might have resulted in even bigger problems. The other starter out today is safety Evan McGovern, who was in an automobile accident while at home during the bye week. Greg Stripe and Mark Ross will get morew action in Bennett's absence, and sophomore DeOliver Davis replaces McGovern.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College missing two key starters for game with Yale University
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College will be without senior starters Mitchell Bennett and Evan McGovern for tonight's game at Fisher Stadium against Yale. Bennett, the team's leading receiver (25 catches, 334 yards, 3 TDs) will miss the game with a staph infection that caused a cyst in his abdomen. McGovern, fifth on the team with 28 tackles, suffered injuries in an auto accident this week near his Harrisburg home. Senior Greg Stripe will replace Bennett and sophomore DeOliver Davis will start for McGovern.

Friday, October 14, 2011

FOOTBALL: Leopards' Basil: Where faith, football coexist SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
As I watched Tahir Basil at work during the Lafayette football team's spring game, jumping around wildly every time he made a big play, I predicted that he would be whistled for his share of celebration and taunting penalties during the regular season. His energy was amazing - his sack dance was over the top sometimes. Well, we're five games into the season, and the 265-pound defensive end has yet to be guilty of over-exuberance even once. He has only seven solo tackles and five assists, and his only recorded tackle for loss was for just one yard. When I talked to him earlier in the week, my first question was: Where is that guy who was all over the place in the spring? What happened?

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Tahir Basil hopes for better week on field than as fan
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Tahir Basil hopes the team he plays for has a better week than the ones he cheers for. The Lafayette College junior defensive end is a proud native of Philadelphia, and he's frustrated the Phillies are finished and the Eagles are struggling. "I cheer for every team we have and they were all talking about winning titles," said Basil at this week's Lafayette football media luncheon. "I almost went to the Phillies game (game 5 of the NLDS against St. Louis). I couldn't believe they couldn't score, and I couldn't believe Ryan Howard swung at that 3-0 pitch; he didn't need to swing at that." Lafayette finds itself at 1-4 entering Saturday's final non-league game of the season when it hosts Yale in no small part because of self-inflicted mistakes like swinging at a 3-0 pitch trailing by a run.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College facing Yale University team coming off 'best game in three years'
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Any Lafayette College football fan who went to Goodman Stadium on Oct. 1 to get an early view of this week's Leopards opponent, Yale University, didn't see the real Bulldogs, according to both Yale coach Tom Williams and Leopards boss Frank Tavani. "Any time you turn the ball over five times, you're going to lose the North Haven High School if you do that," said Williams of his team's 37-7 loss to the now-No. 8-ranked Lehigh University Mountain Hawks during a conference call with area media. "We did everything we could to lose the football game." Williams, whose team will meet Lafayette Saturday night (6:06) at Fisher Stadium, thinks Yale's most recent result -- a 30-0 whitewash of Dartmouth last Saturday -- is what his team really looks like.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Matt Welch moving around again on offensive line
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Matt Welch is on the move again. The Lafayette College senior offensive lineman started the Leopards' first five games at left tackle. He started six games in 2010 at right tackle. He played right guard as well. Now, when Yale University comes to College Hill on Saturday night for Lafayette's final non-league game, Welch will be the center of attention on the offensive line -- at center. If you're scoring at home, that leaves only one spot on the Leopards line the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder from Newtown, Pa. hasn't played. So, Matt, want to take a shot at left guard, just to complete the set?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's football team struggling with run of injuries
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
There's good news and bad news on the injury front for Lafayette College's football team this week. The good news, according to coach Frank Tavani, is that senior wide receiver Kyle Hayes is healthy and should start Saturday night against Yale University at Fisher Stadium. Hayes has been sidelined since the season opener against North Dakota State with a shoulder injury, The bad news is that seniors center Jake Crooks (knee) and tackle Anthony Buffolino (surgery) will miss the Bulldogs, and Tavani said junior cornerback Kyni Scott was likely done for the season.

FOOTBALL: Leopards seeing red in the red zone
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Frank Tavani doesn't subscribe to the notion that his Lafayette football team is opening a "second season" on Saturday when it plays host to Yale. The losses the Leopards suffered in four of the five games before last week's bye cannot be erased. "But I do know we blanked everything out, including our goal boards and everything else that's happened in the past [five games], and we're moving forward," Tavani said at Tuesday's media luncheon. "We have more games to play than we've played already and there are plenty of opportunities out there. We're only looking at one game. Not anything about having shot at the league; there's no mention of that. It's all about preparation for Yale and the improvement in areas we've had some issues with." A 1-4 team is bound to have its share of issues, and the one that stands out immediately when you look at the earlier part of the Lafayette schedule is all-around play within the red zone -- that area of the field from the 20-yard line to the goal line that owes its name to then-Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who supposedly coined the phrase during the strike-shortened 1982 NFL season.

FOOTBALL: Issues ... injuries... running backs ... etc. SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Looking back and looking ahead: Where do the Leopards go from here? Let Coach Tavani tell you. ISSUES--I: MISTAKES -- "It's a variety of issues; it's never just one thing.. Penalties, particularly presnap penalties, those things are always a killer, one of my all-time pet peeves. Some of that is frustration and a lack of focus due to frustration. Turning the ball over because of assignment mistakes, quarterback throws an interception in the red zone and everybody's wondering, 'Why did he throw the ball there?' It would be nice if the receiver ran the right route based on the (position of the) safeties ... should have been a post and he runs a corner and the ball has to be thrown and (the QB) doesn't have time to wait and see which way he's cutting."

GENERAL: Five Questions: Lafayette College's 'golden voice' Jim Finnen discusses career, recalls big games
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Jim Finnen, the golden voice of Lafayette College athletics, recently sat down with sportswriter Tom Hinkel. They discussed Finnen's own athletic career, how he came to be the Leopards' public address announcer and some of the most memorable games of his career.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

WOMEN'S SOCCER: Gallery: Lafayette-American women's soccer
The Express-Times
Lafayette faced American for a Patriot League match up at Metzgar Fields.

Monday, October 3, 2011

FOOTBALL: Cleaning out the Lafayette notebook SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Cleaning out the Lafayette football notebook before taking my own bye week: THE BUTLER DID IT -- Coach Frank Tavani, commenting on Leroy Butler's ejection Saturday against Harvard: "He got called on two late hits, which he argued, but there was no argument. He led with his head, helmet to helmet, and the official made the right call. On the last one, he was timing up his charge, the o-line twitched, he jumped and came through and said he didn't hear the whistle. He went into the unprotected holder head first; it could easily have bern a bad play where somebody got hurt and that's not the way we play. I think Leroy understands that now. It all means so much to him, and he was so frustrated. He just lost his poise. That's young people. It's more learning experience." THE APOLOGY -- Butler and cornerback Darius Safford will have a writing assignment to complete today. Coach Tavani said that Butler, who was ejecting in the fourth quarter on Saturday, and Safford, who came close to following Butler to the sidelines, "both will write letters of apology to the officials. That's part of my plan, along with some other things I won't mention. Some of that frustration came out in the end, but the two guys acted inappropriately, which is intolerable." Tavani said Safford "said something to the referee that was not very nice."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

FOOTBALL: Back to the drawing board for Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Harvard football coach Tim Murphy had high praise for his defensive unit following the Crimson's 31-3 victory over Lafayette on Saturday. The offense? "Sporadic," he said ... "did what we had to do ... wasn't pretty all the time." The Crimson had only four more total yards of offense than Lafayette, but in at least one situational statistic, it was thoroughly dominating. Harvard had five offensive possessions that led to points against the Leopards. On one of them, the Crimson never faced a third down.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College football team loses 31-3 to Harvard University
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
The Lafayette College football team will not be making any luxurious trips to the Caribbean Islands over the next two weeks. Instead, the Leopards will go back to square one after a listless 31-3 loss to Harvard this afternoon before a crowd of 4,512 at Fisher Stadium.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette coach apologizes in wake of ugly, 'unclassy' loss to Harvard
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
When people think about the low points in the Frank Tavani era of Lafayette football, they often go back to Sept. 22, 2001, and a 37-0 loss at home to the University of Pennsylvania. The loss came en route to a 2-8 season that followed Tavani's 2-9 first year on College Hill. The Leopards were not shut out Saturday in Fisher Stadium, but the 31-3 embarrassment at the hands of longtime nemesis Harvard was enough to cause Tavani to say, "As far as I'm concerned, this is worse than my first two years when we took the program over and before we built it up."

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Harvard game-aftermath report SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
I have some dandy comments from Coach Tavani that will not get into my story in the print edition of The Morning Call. Suffice it to say that while he was calm and collected during the postgame interview, he will not be that way when he gets with his team during the upcoming bye week. Below the postgame comments, you will see the blog I put together from the beginning of the day. Coach Tavani promised us on Tuesday that his team would play with some emotion on the day Fred M. Kirby's jersey was officially retired. With some exceptions, that did not happen. My story in the paper in the morning will not say much about the game, but more about Tavani's feelings going forward. So, here are a couple of comments about the game. I smelled trouble immediately when the Leopards opened the game by using almost six minutes of clock and then missing a 45-yard field goal wide right. And then on the first Harvard play, Leroy Butler was hit with a roughing the passer penalty, adding 15 yards on to the end of a five-yard gain.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College to retire first football number today in honor of Fred Kirby '42
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College has been playing football for 129 years -- since 1882, to be precise -- and has never retired a single jersey number. That will change today, when the school retires the number 53 worn by Fred Morgan Kirby '42 at its home opener with Harvard at Fisher Stadium (1 p.m.)

Friday, September 30, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Harvard: Watch out for Stripe SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Welcome back, Greg Stripe. After spending a season as Mr. Special Teams for Lafayette and admittedly falling far short of his own expectations, the senior wide receiver is showing his tough side again, and people are taking notice. Last week at Stony Brook, Stripe matched his career high with seven catches for a career-best 83 yards. When I said to him that it looked like vintage Stripe - virtually every catch was made in traffic - he said, "That's what everybody keeps saying, `The Old Stripe is back.'

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Ross Scheuerman making the most of his opportunities
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College barely registered on Ross Scheuerman's radar as a football destination during his recruitment at Allentown (N.J.) High School. "I had heard very little about Lafayette and it definitely wasn't one of my top schools before (Leopard assistant coach Stan) Clayton came to my school," said the Leopards freshman running back. Just a month into his first collegiate football season, Scheuerman comes up as perhaps the biggest blip opposing defenses face on their radar when they prepare for the Leopards. In four games, Scheuerman, a 6-foot, 190-pound resident of Creamridge, N.J., has piled up 647 yards all-purpose yards (247 rushing, 141 receiving, 259 on kickoff returns). He averages 6.2 yards per carry and 15.7 per reception. He has been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week twice in four weeks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College football players looking forward to playing home opener Saturday
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Perhaps the most remarkable game of Lafayette College's football season will come Saturday. A home game. "No more getting nauseated on the bus," senior wide receiver Mitchell Bennett said. "You get to sleep in your own bed, get a little extra time to do everything." The Leopards were one of three FCS teams who played four straight away games to start the season, the first time Lafayette has done so since 1889. Saturday's 1 p.m. tilt with the Crimson. The Leopards went 1-3, winning at Penn but losing at North Dakota State, Georgetown, and Stony Brook.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Greg Stripe back to making plays
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
For most Lafayette College football players, the 2010 loss to Harvard was one to forget, a dismal 35-10 defeat that coach Frank Tavani called "a good old-fashioned butt-kicking." But for senior wide receiver Greg Stripe it wasn't just the Harvard game but almost the whole 2010 season that wasn't worth remembering.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College freshman Ross Scheuerman named Patriot League rookie of the week -- again
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
For the second straight week, Lafayette College freshman running back Ross Scheuerman was named the Rookie of the Week by the Patriot League. Scheuerman, a 6-foot, 190-pound Creamridge, N.J. native, totaled 303 yards of all-purpose yards Saturday in a 37-20 loss to Stony Brook. He ran for 90 yards (long of 44), caught four passes for 69 yards and piled up 144 yards in kickoff returns (long of 38).

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College offense getting reinforcements as players return
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's offense could look different for its long-awaited home opener against Harvard at Fisher Stadium Saturday (1 p.m.). Coach Frank Tavani confirmed at today's weekly media luncheon that sophomore tailback Pat Mputu has been reinstated from suspension, along with sophomore wide receiver Matt Grant and quarterback Patrick McCain. The latter two do not figure immediately in the Leopards' plans but Mputu, who ran ran for 373 yards (4.3 yards-per-carry) and caught 19 passes for 231 yards as a freshman, could see action in a backfield down to two tailbacks, senior Alan Elder and freshman Ross Scheuerman.

FOOTBALL: Freshman running back Scheuerman a fast learner
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
In Frank Tavani's perfect world, a freshman football player at Lafayette would spend his first year getting acclimated to being away from home for the first time, getting accustomed to the college's academic demands and learning what Division I football is all about. Sometimes, however, it doesn't work that way for any number of reasons -- injuries, lack of depth, etc. Sometimes, an athlete is just too good to deny. Ross Scheuerman is a perfect example of a player who arrived at college ready to challenge for playing time. And when injuries and lack of depth also came into play, he moved up the depth chart in a hurry. Four games into his first season at Lafayette, the 6-0, 190-pound tailback from Allentown (N.J.) High School has been named the Patriot League's rookie of the week twice and leads the Leopards in carries, yards rushing, kickoff returns and all-purpose yards.

FOOTBALL: Was Lafayette-Harvard 2010 an aberration? SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
When Harvard Coach Tim Murphy, speaking to Lehigh Valley media on a conference call, called last year's Lafayette-Harvard game "an aberration," I knew immediately that he didn't fool at least one person in the room. "He's just being savvy," the Leopards' Frank Tavani said later when asked about the comment. "It was a good old fashioned butt-kicking regardless of what situation we were in, and from what we did to them the year before up there, it was payback time. The year before, we went up there and stunned them ... and hopefully we'll have that same attitude going this Saturday." The question asked of Murphy wa, given the total domination his team showed last year against the Leopards, what did he think about this year.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's offense seeking an improvement in efficiency
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's offense needs an efficiency expert. The Leopards wasted far too many yards in Saturday's entertaining, if ultimately frustrating, 37-20 loss to Stony Brook. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the yardage quarterback Andrew Shoop and his cohorts produced. They amassed 486 total yards -- 400 through the air -- and that is more than enough to win most football games. While coach Frank Tavani would ideally want more balance with a stronger rushing game, the Leopards' offensive production over the last two weeks has been sufficient, yardage-wise, to produce wins.

FOOTBALL: Three Lafayette football players reinstated
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Three Lafayette College football players who were suspended prior to the season opener for a violation of team rules were officially reinstated Monday by head coach Frank Tavani, The Morning Call has learned. The three sophomores - running back Pat Mputu, quarterback Patrick McCain and wide receiver Matt Grant - were originally suspended "indefinitely," and Tavani said, "They served their imposed punishment, and more is yet to come, and they've earned their way to be back and be eligible." The three will be eligible to play on Saturday when Lafayette faces Harvard in the Leopards' first home game of the year.

Monday, September 26, 2011

FOOTBALL: Ends at 4: Stiff, fair penalties lifted at Lafayette SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Three Lafayette College football players who were suspended prior to the season opener for a violation of team rules were officially reinstated Monday by head coach Frank Tavani, The Morning Call has learned. The three sophomores - running back Pat Mputu, quarterback Patrick McCain and wide receiver Matt Grant - were originally suspended "indefinitely," and Tavani said, "They served their imposed punishment, and more is yet to come, and they've earned their way to be back and be eligible." The three will be eligible to play on Saturday when Lafayette faces Harvard in the Leopards' first home game of the year.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

FOOTBALL: Squandered opportunities abound in Lafayette loss
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Multiple choice: Lafayette's 37-20 defeat at the hands of Stony Brook on Saturday night was due to: A. Seven trips into the red zone and only one touchdown (and two field goals) to show for them. B. Five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles) and only one takeaway. C. Stony Brook, limited to 63 yards rushing in the first half, exploded for 237 and four Miguel Maysonet touchdowns in the second half. D. Lafayette quarterback Andrew Shoop passed for 400 yards on 32-of-56 attempts. E. All of the above. F. All but D. If you went with answer E, you can probably understand why Coach Frank Tavani's favorite phrases Sunday in the aftermath of the almost surreal non-league game in Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium might be "squandered opportunities" and "mind-boggling."

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-SB recap: more passes not always best SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
When I spoke with Frank Tavani today, one thing he said in the course of our conversation was, "We haven't won too many football games here throwing it 56 times." Some people who follow the Leopards have no problem with the big number of passing attempts. They want to see Tavani, the former running back who has, with tongue in cheek (I hope), been labeled "The Frankausaurus" on the Lafayette Sports Fan Forum, to give in to former quarterback Mickey Fein, who has yet to be given a nickname, when it comes to the direction of the offense. The last two Lafayette games, in which backup quarterback Andrew Shoop has put up some big numbers - even though they could not prevent a loss on Saturday night, have boosted the stock of the junior from Danville, who got the starting job when Ryan O'Neil, the starter all last season, went down with a concussion against Georgetown.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College football team fails to take advantage of opportunities in 37-20 loss to Stony Brook
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Stony Brook gave Lafayette a chance to win Saturday night's football game. After the Leopards graciously declined their opportunity to do so, perhaps as not to ruin the Seawolves' homecoming, the Seawolves took up the opportunity and ran with it -- quite literally -- to a 37-20 non-league win in front of 8,278 fans at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Lafayette made five trips to the Seawolves' 21-yard-line or deeper in the first half and wound up with all of six points. With Stony Brook's offense stuck in neutral (98 first-half yards), the Leopards could easily have led 24-0 -- or more -- at the half instead of being tied at 6.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette falls to Stony Brook, 37-20
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
STONY BROOK, N.Y.--- In just 4 minutes, 23 seconds of the second half Saturday night, Lafayette got an old-fashioned lesson in how to make a team pay for its mistakes. Stony Brook was on the ropes for most of the first 30 minutes but escaped with a 6-6 tie when it kicked a field goal as the half ended. The Seawolves scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half and never gave the Leopards a chance to think about getting control again, using their speed to great advantage en route to a 37-20 victory before an announced sellout Homecoming crowd of 8,278 in LaValle Stadium.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Stony Brook in-game report SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- This may be the last time Lafayette and Stony Brook play one another in a long time -- unless, of course, it happens in a postseason game. Right now, the two schools operate under differewnt sets of rules and academic standards, but this is a good test of the resolve of the Leopards, who can even their season and match last year's victory total if they can overcome the Seawolves. It will not be easy. The recruitment of junior college and Division I-A transfers will continue to be an important part of the philosophy here. I'm told only four former Hofstra players are still on the Stony Brook roster. This university has become the pride of Long Island since the dissolution of the Hostra program. Stony Brook has done a good job of going after "local" players, and that flavor will continue, too.

FOOTBALL: Welcome to Stony Brook University SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- I made one serious mistake in preparing to come out here today. Well, make that two mistakes. First, I didn't include a spare battery for my camera, so when I went to begin taking some photos of LaValle Stadium, the camera was dead. My second mistake was bringing an umbrella, which, at the present time, it does not appear I will need, and not bringing a winter coat. Seems the air conditioning is run by computer and they tell me nothing can be done to make things different. So, it must be in the low 50s in the press box and the air just continues to blow. I have opened a couple of windows to let some of the warm air in, and I'm probably going to cool the fans who will occupy the seats in front of and beneath the box. I'm not the only one who has done this. Windows are open all over the place. Meanwhile, Stony Brook is racmking up some mean electric bill.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Stony Brook scouting report SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
The thing I remember most about last year's game with Stony Brook was that Seawolves coach Chuck Priore was either so angry or so embarrassed -- maybe a little of both -- that he did not show up for the postgame press conference. He sent a statement through a spokesman from the sports information office. "We played undisciplined football," the statement said. It really was understatement.

Friday, September 23, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Darius Safford celebrating his return to the field with all-around excellence
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Darius Safford is an African History major at Lafayette College for a reason. "I think everyone should know their own history," said Safford, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound starting cornerback for the Leopards. Safford's own history with the Lafayette football team is certainly a little unusual. The native of Douglasville, Ga. (near Atlanta) arrived on College Hill and played in nine games and lettered as a freshman. His toughest adjustment was to the weather, he recalled with a laugh. This season, as a junior, his coverage skills, ability to break on the ball and close down opposing ballcarriers has been obvious from the first defensive play of the year. He has 14 tackles and leads the Leopards with four pass breakups.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FOOTBALL: Stony Brook makes an unusual foe for Lafayette College's football team
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Stony Brook is not the typical football opponent for Lafayette College. The Seawolves, who host the Leopards 6 p.m. Saturday night on the last stop on the Leopards' four-city season-opening tour, present an unusual profile. Despite being located on the North Shore of Long Island, the Seawolves, who lost to Lafayette 28-21 in 2010, are members of the Big South Conference in football. Their closest conference rival is Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., 465 miles away. Imagine Lafayette in an Ohio-based league for comparison. Stony Brook started football in 1984. Most of Lafayette's usual foes have been playing football since at least 1884. Stony Brook gives scholarships. Lafayette does not. This season alone, the Seawolves welcomed five transfers from FBS programs -- all from BCS conference-schools: Boston College, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Washington State. Lafayette has none.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College getting boost from improved special teams
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
How times have changed on College Hill in the kicking game. Lafayette College freshman Austin O'Brien won the Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week award this week. O'Brien, a Medford, N.J. resident, made a 48-yard field goal and four of five extra points (one was blocked) in the 37-12 win over Penn. A well-deserved award -- and one that shows how far the Leopard special teams have come. In 2010, Lafayette's special teams were dangerous alright -- mostly to themselves. Head coach Frank Tavani rightly called them "terrible" -- and kicking follies played a direct role in several defeats. This year, the win over Penn came in no small part to special teams -- O'Brien's efforts and a momentum-swinging blocked punt by Mike Boles were critical in defeating the Quakers.

FOOTBALL: 2 Leopard frosh honored by Patriot League SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
When Lafayette opened its summer football camp, 61 of the 98 players on the roster were either sophomores or freshmen. Clearly, that signifies a move to make up for what was an unusually small recruiting class of 19 in 2009 -- the players who are juniors this year. Coach Frank Tavani said before the season began that he hoped he would not have to letter 19 freshman this year, as he did last year, but it has become quickly evident that the newest class has a solid group of players who cannot be allowed to sit back and watch. Two of those newcomers, running back Ross Scheuerman and kicker Austin O'Brien, were honored this week by the Patriot League -- Scheuerman as the Rookie of the Week and O'Brien as the Special Teams Player of the Week. I realized we had not said anything earlier in the week about these awards, although we had written about senior safety Kyle Simmons, who was the league's Defensive Player of the Week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Kyle Simmons goes from the sideline to the national stage
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Maybe Frank Tavani should bench every one of his starters this week when his Lafayette College Leopards travel to Stony Brook. After all, his benchings seem pretty effective. Tavani sent senior safety Kyle Simmons to the sideline last Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania and started freshman Shane Black instead. It was the first time in 13 games that Simmons, a Plum, Pa., native, didn't figure in the Leopards' starting lineup. So all Simmons did once he got in the game was intercept two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and make 15 tackles to lead Lafayette to a 37-12 beatdown of the preseason Ivy League favorites.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Simmons coming off career-best performance
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Kyle Simmons admitted on Tuesday that he was sometimes "a little bit more cautious" in live practice sessions, stopping short of colliding with an oncoming teammate -- not out of a fear of getting hurt, but knowing that, in the past, most of his injuries have occurred in practice. The senior free safety changed that line of thinking last week after being told that the Lafayette coaches had decided to replace him in the starting lineup with freshman Shane Black for the Leopards' game with the University of Pennsylvania.

FOOTBALL: Leopards' Mark Ross is a stranger no more SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
The first time I went over to Fisher Stadium to watch Lafayette during the spring practice period last April, Coach Frank Tavani, in talking about some of the pleasant surprises, said, "Watch that No. 10." I had to look at the roster sheet he had given me, and when I saw the name Mark Ross, it didn't mean much to me. It does now. Following Lafayette's 37-12 victory over Penn on Saturday night, in which Ross caught a pair of touchdown passes from Andrew Shoop, Tavani said, "Ross isn't a guy who's going to burn somebody or blow it by him, but he is a huge target. He and Mitch (Bennett) both; they are two ungodly players."

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette College men's basketball announces 2011-12 nonconference schedule
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's 2011-12 nonconference men's basketball schedule includes opponents from seven different conferences. The Leopards open with road contests against Atlantic 10 member LaSalle on Nov. 11 and Saint Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 14, the first of seven games against Northeast Conference opponents. The Leopards will play Saint Francis (N.Y.) in their home opener on Nov. 16. Lafayette also hosts Wagner on Nov. 19 and Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 22. The Leopards travel to Delaware of the Colonial Athletic Association for a Nov. 26 game before closing out the month with a contest at Ivy League champion Princeton on Nov. 30.

Monday, September 19, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Kyle Simmons heads list of award-winning athletes
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Lafayette College senior strong safety Kyle Simmons was honored as the The Sports Network's FCS (Division I-AA) National Defensive Player of the Week. Simmons sparked Lafayette to a 37-12 upset win of defending Ivy League champion Penn with a career-high 15 tackles and two interceptions. He returned his first interception 31 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. His second pick, in the fourth quarter, set up Lafayette's final score. Simmons also was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Ross Scheuerman could be next in long string of impressive Leopard running backs
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
In its recent history Lafayette College's football program has spawned a plethora of superb running backs. Tom Costello, Jonathan Hurt, Erik Marsh, Joe McCourt, Leonard Moore -- all 1,000-yard rushers, five of the top six all-time running backs by yardage produced in the Leopards' long history -- and all coached by Frank Tavani, either as a position coach or the Lafayette head coach. That makes a lot of sense. Tavani himself was a outstanding ball carrier, earning All-American honors in 1974 at Lebanon Valley when he ran for over 1,000 yards. And after Saturday's gloriously impressive 37-12 rout of Penn -- what 20-year Quaker coach Al Bagnoli called "an old-fashioned rear-end kicking, the kind we haven't had here in a real long time" -- one of the most intriguing questions to come from the game involves running backs. Is freshman Ross Scheuerman the next great back of the Tavani era?

FOOTBALL: Clutch plays pave the way for Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
A bad snap from center results in an eight-yard loss that turns a second-and-five into a third-and-13. A blocked extra-point attempt results in a 92-yard return for a two-point conversion by the opposing team. Those two drive- or momentum-changing plays might have had disastrous effects on the Lafayette football team during the 2010 season and the first two games of this year. On Saturday night, those two exact plays took place on one Leopard possession in the second quarter against the University of Pennsylvania -- but with dramatically different results.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FOOTBALL: O'Neil, injuries and much, much more SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Clearing the tape recorder: TAVANI ABOUT RYAN O'NEIL - "Normal protocol, regardless of degree and symptoms, they do a lot of evaluating and we take the test thing on the computer. That was done last week, and the doc will have that in front of him, along with what he's seeing and hearing from Ryan. You don't want to raise blood pressure the whole first week, let the healing take place. And with Ryan having had (a concussion) last year, if he would get an additional one now behind the other one, that could be it for season. That could factor in. That's a medical decision. The kid says, `I took the computer test on Thursday and it was all normal, so can I get cleared for the (Penn) game?' They U-turned him out of the room faster than he went in. He's frustrated; he's a competitor, a great kid, a leader, a captain, regardless. He wants to get back on the field. If we're preparing all week and we don't know until Thursday or Friday, we have to prepare the other guy. We can't just assume anything. It's a good situation to be in because they both bring something to the table. It's like anything, you are only as good as the guy who's competing with you for the position."

FOOTBALL: Andrew Shoop, Lafayette College football team blow away Penn, 37-12
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
The University of Pennsylvania put on a fireworks show after its football game with Lafayette College at Franklin Field Saturday night. But the Leopards didn't wait for their incandescent display of the night -- they set off their explosions during the game. Lafayette used a dazzling succession of big plays to drop a massive 37-12 bomb on the stunned Quakers in front of 9,438 fans -- a healthy percentage of them in Leopard maroon and white -- Saturday night.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette stuns Penn, 37-12
The Philadelphia Inquirer/ By Matt Breen
If you have a good enough eraser and a little forearm strength, you can easily eliminate Lafayette's big-play scores from your score- book, so Penn's defensive stat line won't look as poor. But on a brisk Saturday night at Franklin Field the Quakers learned in their season opener that it's not quite as easy to wipe those points off the scoreboard as the visiting Leopards rocked Penn, 37-12.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

FOOTBALL: Leopards knock off Ivy League champs
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
PHILADELPHIA - If Lafayette was looking for a reason to play the rest of the 2011 football season, it found one Saturday night in a place where ghosts of champions past still wander around. The Leopards exorcised demons galore and took apart the two-time Ivy League champion Penn Quakers behind quarterback Andrew Shoop and a large supporting cast that produced a rousing 37-12 victory that made the postgame fireworks show seem more like a bunch of fizzling firecrackers. This was not the same team that was beaten last week by Georgetown, or the one that lost nine of 11 games last year and came into this one with a five-game losing streak. With Shoop taking charge of a passing attack that was intent on going north and south, rather than east and west, the Leopards scored touchdowns on pass plays of 44, 37, 73 and 28 yards. Freshman Ross Scheuerman, whose fumble last week cost the Leopards a chance for a win at Georgetown, repaid his teammates when he opened the scoring with a 44-yard TD reception from Shoop. He also contributed a couple of long runs and finished the game with 89 yards on 13 carries.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Penn game day report SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
PHILADELPHIA -- It is overcast and cool and there's almost no one in the place. We are about 17 minutes from the scheduled start but you'd never know it. Vaughn Hebron is not here; neither are Kyni Scott or Kyvory Henderson. This is not the kind of news Lafayette needs before the start of this game, but it is pretty much what we have come to expect in the past 13 months. I have to admit I wonder what I was thinking when I came up with the final`score of Lafayette 23, Penn 21. No one I have spoken to today has thought I was making any good sense. maybe a couple of the people sitting in front of me in Section NE would be in my corner. They are, after all, parents, siblings and friends of Lafayette players.

Friday, September 16, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lunch, and more, with the Leopards SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
The six false-start penalties that disrupted the Lafayette offense time and time again on Saturday night at Georgetown got lots of attention. Coach Tavani - "Those are things that are unthinkable, that they would happen in the second game that didn't happen in the first game. It had nothing to do wth (Georgetown) moving around. We had some issues. Some of it is on the quarterback, some is on the center and some of it on who knows what, things we haven't done. Things we don't see in practice and didn't see in the first game. I don't know and that's what makes it frustrating. All I know is that will be a point of emphasis, and there will be numerous, and I mean numerous, reps over and over and over and over and over again to make it right."

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Kyvory Henderson engineers a fine football career
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Most times a college recruits the football player. In Kyvory Henderson's case it was other way around. "I wanted to come to Lafayette mainly for the engineering program and the academics," Henderson said. And Henderson, a Glen Burnie, Md. resident, wanted to continue a successful football career. He had been an All-Anne Arundel County selection playing tight end, outside linebacker and defensive end his junior season. "I tore my ACL in the third game of my senior season, and schools that recruited me backed off," he said. One of them was not Lafayette -- because Henderson wasn't even on the Leopards' radar screen. "We didn't recruit him at all," Lafayette coach Frank Tavani said. "We didn't know him." Now the Leopards do -- and so does the rest of the Patriot League.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Andrew Shoop will make his first start at quarterback in a tough spot
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Andrew Shoop will make his first start as a college quarterback Saturday night against the University of Pennsylvania, the defending Ivy League champion and odds-on pick for the 2011 Ancient Eight title, at Franklin Field. But the Lafayette College junior said his routine on this very non-routine week will largely stay the same.

FOOTBALL: Shoop swoops in for Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
"It's his football team," Lafayette's backup quarterback, Andrew Shoop, said about starter Ryan O'Neil at the completion of an intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 21. On Tuesday, less than a month later, Shoop said, "Right now, it's my team; it has to be my team." Things changed early in the third quarter Saturday night at Georgetown when O'Neil, in coach Frank Tavani's words, "took a pretty vicious blow to the back of the head, his helmet popped off and then he got hit again in the middle of that pile, which gave him a pretty nice lump on the back of his head." The result was predictable: a concussion. Shoop rushed in and completed three passes on his first four plays, the last one for a 38-yard touchdown to wide receiver Mitch Bennett. Lafayette suffered a heartbreaking 14-13 loss when the Hoyas scored a fourth-quarter touchdown; and the Leopards take an 0-2 record and a five-game losing streak to Franklin Field at 6 p.m. Saturday for a meeting with defending Ivy League champion Penn.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's false starts a true handicap for struggling offense
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
While Georgetown University's defense had a lot to do with Lafayette College's football team amassing only 13 points and 296 yards of total offense in Saturday's 14-13 Hoya win, something else helped hold the Leopards back: Themselves. Lafayette was flagged six times for false starts on the night.

FOOTBALL: Lunch, and more, with the Leopards SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
The six false-start penalties that disrupted the Lafayette offense time and time again on Saturday night at Georgetown got lots of attention. Coach Tavani - "Those are things that are unthinkable, that they would happen in the second game that didn't happen in the first game. It had nothing to do wth (Georgetown) moving around. We had some issues. Some of it is on the quarterback, some is on the center and some of it on who knows what, things we haven't done. Things we don't see in practice and didn't see in the first game. I don't know and that's what makes it frustrating. All I know is that will be a point of emphasis, and there will be numerous, and I mean numerous, reps over and over and over and over and over again to make it right."

Monday, September 12, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College staring into an abyss of disaster after heartbreaking loss at Georgetown University
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's football team needs to find an answer. Now. Saturday's horrifying 14-13 loss to Georgetown leaves the Leopards staring at another lost season after 2010's 2-9 debacle. By virtually anybody's standards, the Hoyas represented the best chance for a Leopard win amid an insanely crazy early schedule. Georgetown is improving -- its talent level, especially on defense, increases each season -- but the Hoyas aren't North Dakota State (last week's Lafayette foe) or Penn (next week's). With 27 seniors on the team facing a Patriot League opener against a team that had stung Lafayette badly in 2010's first game, there was every reason to think the Leopards would come out roaring Saturday night.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

FOOTBALL: Injuries, errors cost Lafayette College football team in loss to Georgetown
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
It looked like maroon-and-white zombies had taken over the Lafayette College locker room after a heart-breaking, disastrous and dispiriting 14-13 loss to Georgetown University Saturday night. Players wandered, seemingly led by the eyes of the dead. Many sat with head in hands in shock. A grim silence hung over the area. This wasn't the agony of defeat; this was the torture of a loss that should have been a win over Georgetown (2-0) in the Patriot League opener for both teams in front of 2,435 fans at Multi-Sport Field.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette needs more rushing yards, fewer penalties
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
A one-man, eight-item brainstorming session following Lafayette's 14-13 Patriot League loss at Georgetown on Saturday night: THE RUNNING GAME DILEMMA: The Leopards have now accumulated a grand total of 173 yards -- 86.5 average -- for the two games. Things are on a disturbing downward trend. Even in the 8-3 2009 season, the average was just 130; and last year it dropped off to 109 a game. This does not sit well for a head coach who is a former running back. Lafayette badly needs a heady, hard-running power guy. Vaughn Hebron gave the offense a welcome jolt in the third quarter before getting hurt again. Ross Scheuerman will be fine, but he IS only a rookie. The guys up front have bulk and strength, but they aren't winning nearly enough battles in the trenches. That is disappointing.

FOOTBALL: Bennett, Shoop say they could have done more SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Mitch Bennett was on the receiving end of the longest Lafayette pass play of the season - a 38-yard third-quarter touchdown from Andrew Shoop - Saturday night at Georgetown. He also juggled a ball that would have produced a first down on the opening series of the second half, finally catching it, but out of bounds. As he sat outside the Lafayette locker room, his head hung low following the Leopards' 14-13 loss to Georgetown, guess which pass he was thinking about.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

FOOTBALL: Hapless Leopards find another way to lose
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Apparently, Lafayette didn't use up all the ways to lose a game a year ago, because it found another one Saturday night. With the Leopards down by a point and driving to within field goal range with less than two minutes to go, freshman Ross Scheuerman's fumble was recovered by the Hoyas, who escaped with the 14-13 victory in the Patriot League opener for both teams. All this came after Lafayette, which looked anything but inspired in the first half, came out with fire for the first time this season. A long bomb from backup quarterback Andrew Shoop went for a touchdown; some excellent defensive play by Leroy Butler and Tyler McFarlane slowed the Hoyas, and the second field goal of the night by freshman kicker Austin O'Brien added a bit of a cushion. It appeared maybe the dark cloud that has been following this team was about to dissipate. But, as happens so often with teams that have lost the winning touch, the fire went out too soon.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Georgetown game day SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
WASHINGTON, DC -- Well, we're sitting here and we're already somewhat shocked. Holy Cross 37, Colgate 7. What a start to the Patriot League season. Ryan Taggart throws for two TDs and runs for one, and Colgate's Nate Eachus doesn't score until the Raiders are trailing 37-0 in the fourth quarter. Big day for Tom Gillmore's defense. Eachus gets 96 yards, but it means nothing. Meanwhile, it's a hot and sunny afternoon here, quite a different from the Fargodome a week ago. With 35 minutes to game time thr Lafayette crowd outnumbers the Georgetown following. Frank Tavani and Kevin Kelly are chatting at midfield; Lafayette defensive coordinator John Loose is chatting with a Georgetown coach; offensive coordinator Mickey Fein talked with one of his buddies from Georgetowen earlier. In many ways, this Patriot League thing is about family. But beginning at 6:05 or so, that will change for about three hours.

Friday, September 9, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College facing a shortage at tailback
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Frank Tavani ran for over 1,000 yards and was an All-American running back at Lebanon Valley in 1975. Lafayette College football fans may wonder soon if their coach has any eligibility left. Running back seemed to be a strong point for the Leopards entering the season. But coming into Saturday's Patriot League League at Georgetown (6 p.m.) Lafayette is running out of running backs.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette-Georgetown: a scouting report SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
The Lafayette offense averaged 71 plays per game during the 2010 season, when it won just two of 11 games. The high was 90 in the opener against Georgetown. The low was 51 in the loss to Columbia. The Leopards had just 48 offensive plays last week in their 42-6 loss at North Dakota State, and Frank Tavani said he couldn't remember a game in his career on College Hill that a Lafayette team had fewer plays. It was a tough day for the offense all around. Too many three-and-outs, too few third-down conversions and way too few points. But it was the worst for the running game, which produced only 54 net yards - the least in 101 years. The last time the Leopards had fewer rushing yards in a game was against Penn State (19) in 1910. To a guy like Tavani, who has never shied away from his love for the ground game, it had to be particularly difficult.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Mike Grimaldi leaving memories of opening loss behind
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College senior defensive end Mike Grimaldi has developed a short memory after a season-opening 42-6 loss to North Dakota State. "On Sunday, that game was in the past," said the 6-foot-2, 255-pounder from Aberdeen, N.J. "We have to move on from that. There were a lot of things to learn from that game but we have to learn fast." That's because, as coach Frank Tavani said, it's title-game time for Lafayette.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

FOOTBALL: This Rudy story has an unhappy ending SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Jerome Rudolph's first carry as a Lafayette tailback resulted in a one-yard gain. His second went for no gain. It was hardly an auspicious start. The only thing that made it noteworthy was the fact that Rudolph was just a freshmen in 2008 but he was injected into a game when it was still anybody's to win -- and in hostile territory, too ...against Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Before that game, a 35-21 victory for the Leopards over the 14th-ranked Flames, ended, Rudolph contributed to one touchdown drive with runs of five and seven yards and he wound up with 23 yards on six carries. Still nothing to make headlines, but a promising beginning.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's football scheduling philosophy to be put to the test against Georgetown
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's Patriot League football opener Saturday night at Georgetown offers a fascinating and rare case to test a theory: is it better to prepare for your league season with a game against a chump or a champ? The Leopards took the latter route, opening against No. 11-ranked North Dakota State on the road. Lafayette hung with a bigger and faster team, in a dome, for one half beforel a combination of big plays and bad breaks did the Leopards in, 42-6.

FOOTBALL: Tyler McFarlane and a bad Georgetown decision SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Tucked in among the sea of gold in the Fargodome last Saturday night, nine people screamed their lungs out when the Lafayette football field came out moments before the start of the game. They also held up pieces of cardboard with the letters: M-C-F-A-R-L-A-N-E. The nine sign-holders were parents Charles and Vanessa, brother Jason, a couple of uncles and friends who have been waiting a long time to see Tyler McFarlane play a college football game for the Leopards. Their wait, however, has been nothing compared to what McFarlane, a senior linebacker, has been through since showing all kinds of promise in his freshman season at Bucknell in 2007, when he started six games and earned Patriot League Rookie of the Week for his play against Colgate.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FOOTBALL: Hoyas a better match for Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
So, which is more beneficial in a season opener, to play up in class and lose, or play down in class and win? Georgetown football coach Kevin Kelly did not have to answer that question Tuesday during his teleconference call with Lehigh Valley media, but he did offer one salient comment when he was asked what indication he had that Lafayette is a better team in 2011 than it was in 2010.

FOOTBALL: Ross Scheuerman expected to see increased time at running back for Lafayette College
The Express-Times/ By Keith Gary
Freshman football players often have to wait their turn and bide their time on scout teams or be satisfied with special teams contributions. For Ross Scheuerman, who rushed for 3,842 yards and scored 49 TDs for Allentown (NJ) High School, a sequence of events that has played out in the Lafayette College program has led to an earlier-than-expected debut.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

FOOTBALL: Loss in Fargo doesn't change Leopards' vision
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Lafayette football coach Frank Tavani said Sunday that the last-minute absence of the Leopards' top two running backs did not dramatically change the game plan going into Saturday night's season opener against North Dakota State. And while admitting "we were outclassed, but we knew that when we went in there ... we didn't catch up to the speed of the game on that surface ...," he also thought "we were in it and had our shot, at least to make it a better game than" the Leopards' 42-6 defeat at the hands of the No. 11-ranked Bison. In the days leading up to the game, the indefinite suspension of sophomore Pat Mputu and a late request by senior Jerome Rudolph to be excused from the game put junior Alan Elder into the starting slot, with freshman Ross Scheuerman as the backup. Elder gained only eight yards on 12 carries; and while Scheuerman had 46 yards on eight carries, the vast majority came in the game's closing minutes and against NDSU's deep reserves.

FOOTBALL: Sizing up Lafayette's opening-game loss SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
They take their Bison football seriously in Fargo, N.D. Some businesses closed at 4 p.m. on Saturday to allow folks to get ready for the North Dakota State game against Lafayette. It was Labor Day weekend, and I was told more than once that a lot of people were out of town. The rest of them must have been in the Fargodome. Well, at least 17,023 of them. And the majority wore gold T-shirts.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette stomped by North Dakota
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
FARGO, N.D. - If D.J. McNorton's bid for the Walter Payton Award as the best running back in the Football Championship Subdivision loses its steam, it may just be because of the competition from Sam Ojuri. The interesting thing about that is that Ojuri is McNorton's teammate in the North Dakota State backfield. McNorton opened his senior season with a pedestrian 80 yards and scored three touchdowns, but Ojuri, who missed all of last season after being suspended for a violation of team rules, had more carries (15-13) and gained 75 yards as the No. 11 Bison handled outmanned Lafayette 42-6 in the season opener for both teams. And as much damage as those two NDSU tailbacks may have done, the back-breaking plays in the game were touchdown passes of 67 and 57 yards from Brock Jensen to Warren Holloway, who had six catches for 147 yards. While the game sounds like a huge blowout, Lafayette can take some positive things from it.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football team loses opener 42-6 at North Dakota State
The Express-Times
D.J. McNorton rushed for three touchdowns and Brock Jensen threw two more to Warren Holloway as North Dakota State made Lafayette's longest trip ever a nightmare by routing the Leopards 42-6 tonight in Fargo, N.D. The Leopards, playing west of the Mississippi for the first time in their history, fell behind 28-0 before finally breaking through against the Bison on the first play of the fourth quarter. Quarterback Ryan O'Neil threw a six-yard scoring pass to Mitchell Bennett on a fourth-and-2 to get Lafayette on the board.

FOOTBALL: Leopards-NDSU Game Day SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Well, I'm going to try this as a Twitter thing in case anyone is following. It's 72 minutes to game time and the student section is already filing in -- right behind the Lafayette bench. A couple of kids from NDSU tell me six sections will be for the students -- and "they'll be the loud, obnoxious ones." He was smiling when he said it. Frank and NDSU's Craig Bohl are chatting at the 45-yard line. The NDSU kids continue to come in, and their boos are, I'm sure, unlike anything since the Liberty game down there. Remember how that turned out? Question: In what way are the Fargodome and Lehigh's Goodman Stadium similar? Neither has a rest room in the press box area. NDSU has an elevator though.

FOOTBALL: Getting set for football in the Fargodome SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
FARGO, N.D. -- This is going to be an interesting day for the Lafayette football team. I'm really not sure what to expect when the Leopards line up tonight against North Dakota State, a scholarship school that on paper appears to have way too many weapons for them. I know that in the newspaper I picked NDSU to win by a couple of points, and I really do think it could be that close. Watch out for the first couple of series in the game. If the Lafayette defense has a handle on Bison running back D.J. McNorton, the chances of a Leopard upset go way up. He is a 5-foot, 9 1/2-inch bomb waiting to explode at any moment, and if that vhappens early, the huge crowd that is expected for this game will become as much of a force as anything the Bison might throw at the Leopards.

Friday, September 2, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Ryan O'Neil has a come a long way on and off the football field
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
When John O'Neil thinks of his brother Ryan, his thoughts go back to scholastic days when John starred as the quarterback at Iona Prep in suburban New York and Ryan was in junior high. "He was the water boy for the football team," said John O'Neil, who went on to play quarterback for three years at Holy Cross. "People always thought of him as my kid brother." Now, though, years later, that little water boy has become Lafayette College's starting quarterback, and John, older by six years, is "Ryan's older brother." And the water boy has grown up - big.

FOOTBALL: Leopards lose again without playing SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
FARGO, N.D. - At the end of the spring practice period at Lafayette, running back and quarterback looked like two of the deepest positions on the team. Well, the first kickoff of the season is scheduled for 7 o'clock tonight (ET), and those two key offensive positions are reeling before ever being hit by an opposing player. The Leopards flew here Friday morning and took an early-afternoon workout in the Fargodome, which is a pretty amazing place in its own right. While the players did not wear uniforms, it became obvious in a hurry that someone was missing. That someone is Jerome Rudolph.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Mitchell Bennett has learned to be a leader by example
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Mitchell Bennett will get a rare opportunity at Lafayette College this fall, one that comes to very few college football captains. He'll get a "do-over." Most football captains are seniors and graduate after their captaincy. But Bennett, a tall, lean 6-foot-4, 205-pound wide receiver with soft hands and a warm smile that can light up a room, was a Leopards captain as a junior -- and his teammates have returned him to that place of honor for 2011 along with quarterback Ryan O'Neil and linebacker Ben Eaton. Given that 2010 was not too successful on College Hill -- 2-9, the first losing season since 2003 for Lafayette -- Bennett's teammates must have figured his leadership wasn't the reason for the Leopards' problems.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College suspends three football players 'indefinitely'
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's football team will head to its season opener at North Dakota State Saturday night without three sophomores suspended today by coach Frank Tavani for "a violation of team rules", according to a statement issued by the Leopards' Sports Information Director, Phil LaBella.

FOOTBALL: Leopards face challenging opener
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
If you love to travel, the offer of an all-expenses-paid trip to someplace you've never been before might be too much to resist. Frank Tavani loves coaching football games, and the prospect of taking his Lafayette football team to a new destination to meet a new and nationally ranked opponent at no cost to the Leopards' budget left him with only one option. Even if the destination was Fargo, N.D.

FOOTBALL: Leopard suspensions: A punch in the gut SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Frank Tavani had to walk the talk on Tuesday. He did it without hesitation The Lafayette head football coach was beaming when he walked into the weekly media luncheon. He came over to our table, shook hands with everyone and made some light banter. When he left, we commented about how loose he seemed to be. Bet he wasn't a little bit loose later when he had to take some drastic action against three promising sophomore players, suspending running back Pat Mputu, quarterback Patrick McCain and wide receiver Matt Grant "indefinitely for a violation of team rules." This was the exact statement that came out of the sports information office at 4:13 p.m., about the time practice was beginning - and probably coinciding with the time Tavani told his team of the matter.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's Kyle Hayes to play very visible role in Leopards' passing attack
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Just call Kyle Hayes the invisible man. At Lafayette College's recent football media day, coach Frank Tavani introduced every one of his 27 seniors but one, paused, asked if he forgot anybody, and Hayes sheepishly stood up. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Kittatinny High School graduate and Newton, N.J., native must have been equally invisible to opposing defenses last fall. At least once in every Leopards game Hayes was running alone deep in the opposition's secondary as defensive coordinators asked where he came from.

Monday, August 29, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette hopes to rebound with experience, solidarity
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
A staff sergeant from Fort Indiantown Gap who said he told the families of nine of his soldiers who were killed in the war in Afghanistan that it was his fault because he did not prepare them well enough got the attention of every member of the Lafayette contingent during the opening week of preseason football camp earlier this month. "He was deployed nine times," said Leopard Coach Frank Tavani, who added that Sgt. Daub's talk was "off the charts." "Our kids will remember it forever," Tavani said. "I know it hit me. He took total responsibility ... the ultimate responsibility." Tavani wasn't inferring that the 11-game war his team will begin Saturday night in Fargo, N.D., can in any way rival the real-life example of the battle on the front lines overseas. But asking players to accept the responsibility for their actions -- and doing the same himself -- is an integral part of Tavani's philosophy.

The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Do we really want quarterback Ryan O'Neil to be another Brad Maurer, and if so, which one? When it was first mentioned that the Lafayette coaches might put in some designed runs to take advantage of O'Neil's legs, longtime followers of the Leopards immediately conjured up flashbacks of Maurer leading the team to three consecutive Patriot League championships. In 2004, Maurer the sophomore ran for 838 yards and nine TDs, but he also lost 195 yards, for a 643 net. He passed for only 109 yards per game. In 2005, Maurer the junior had 271 net yards rushing and 1,562 passing; and in 2006, he ran for 295 yards and passed for 2,239 yards. O'Neil has only 54 net rushing yards for his college career, so we really don't know what he's capable of. But he did pass for 2,183 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, and he has a talented receiver corps. So, a keep-'em-honest-run now and then might make him even more effective as a passer in 2011.

FOOTBALL: Schedule and starting lineups
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
All games televised on the Lafayette Sports Network. Sept. 3: at North Dakota State (7 p.m. EDT) Sept. 10: at Georgetown (6) Sept. 17: at Penn (6) Sept. 24: at Stony Brook (6)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College 2011 football preview
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Looks like most pieces have fallen into place for Lafayette College football to forget a miserable 2010 and move ahead to 2011. "We have got a bad taste in our mouths from last season," senior linebacker Ben Eaton said. "We're trying to set things right." To do so the Leopards return 17 starters and 37 lettermen from last year's 2-9 (1-4 Patriot League) team, the first losing season on College Hill since 2003. In quarterback Ryan O'Neil, Lafayette has a tested senior who threw for 2,183 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2010. O'Neil, who enjoyed an impressive spring practice, has an array of productive skill position players to work with and will be sheltered behind a veteran line.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College linebacker Tyler McFarlane can't wait to hit someone
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Tyler McFarlane plans to make a very powerful impact on the Lafayette College football program this fall. But perhaps not nearly as strong as the impact McFarlane wants the first North Dakota State player to feel as the Leopards' senior linebacker makes his first competitive tackle since 2007. "It's going to really good to hit somebody from another team," said McFarlane with a broad smile. Pity the first Bison ballcarrier who winds up in McFarlane's path when the Leopards open their season Saturday in Fargo, N.D. His stored-up desire to tackle dates to 2007, when he played for Bucknell. A combination of injuries, transfers, one dropped program (Hofstra) and entanglements with obscure NCAA rules followed McFarlane on a path fromLewisburg to Long Island to Lafayette.

Friday, August 26, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette names Mitchell Bennett, Ben Eaton and Ryan O'Neil as football captains
The Express-Times/ By David Krauss
Seniors Mitchell Bennett, Ben Eaton and Ryan O'Neil have been named as the Lafayette football captains for 2011. Wide receiver Bennett, playing in his fifth year of eligibility after a medical redshirt, caught 33 passes for 394 yards and four TDs last fall. He is the first Lafayette player since Ryan Priest to serve as captain in two straight seasons (1985-86). Eaton made 70 tackles from his middle linebacker slot, also had a forced fumble and blocked a kick. He will be eligible to return to the squad next year due to a medical redshirt. Quarterback O'Neil completed 67 percent of his passes and threw for 2,183 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College senior Jake Crooks center of attention for veteran offensive line
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Jake Crooks has played football most of his life. But he's never played with the football. "Never had it in my hands before," the Lafayette College senior said. In 2011, Crooks will have the ball in his hands more than anyone save for quarterback Ryan O'Neil. Crooks, a longtime offensive tackle, has shifted to center this season to anchor a veteran Leopards' offensive line.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's hopes for 2011 success rest largely with bunch of improved, hungry seniors
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College isn't picked to win the Patriot League in football this fall. And that's fine with head coach Frank Tavani. "I think there's only been one time the league preseason pick has ended up winning the league," said Tavani said at the Leopards' annual Media Day Monday. "This league is much-improved and it's getting tougher and tougher." That all means Lafayette will have to be much-improved for a 2-9 mark (1-4 league) in 2010 to have any chance of contending for its first Patriot championship since 2006. With 17 starters back, Tavani's crew looks much more like a veteran team than in 2010.

Monday, August 22, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College's seniors want to make final season of football one to remember
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Speaking at Lafayette College's annual football media day today, with his senior class assembled in the room in front of him, head football coach Frank Tavani said that 2011 would be the year the seniors never forget. "This will be the year, win, lose or draw, or whatever, that you'll remember the most," Tavani said. Lafayette's seniors will certainly want to erase memories of a 2-9 2010 season.

FOOTBALL: Here's a case for the Leopard defense SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Ryan O'Neil might have a career year. Mitch Bennett might set a record for receiving yards. Anthony Buffolino and Scott Biel might make all the blocks to open great holes for Jerome Rudolph, Patrick Mputu and Co. But the fact is, unless the Leopard defense is dramatically improved in several areas, it will be difficult to make a significant difference in the bottom line. So, at Monday's Media Day luncheon, I decided to be sure to focus on the defensive guys. It seems I've spent so much time talking about the quarterback situation and other aspects of the offense that I have neglected the phase of the game that was so instrumental in Lafayette championship runs in 2004-2006. None of the players on this team was connected with that, but the orchestrator of the defense, John Loose, was. And it appears that, in the aftermath of last season's 2-9 disaster, Loose has gone back to the drawing board. And, according to some of the key guys on the defense, Lafayette will be attacking its opponents with a scheme that has been, as veteran safety Evan McGovern said, "thinned down."

FOOTBALL: Lafayette expecting improvement this fall
At Lafayette, the Leopards hosted their annual football media day today. After a tough 2010 season they had a lot of guys that stuck around this summer to work out in preparation for this fall. That's not a huge surprise because the Leopards are determined to be better than they were last season.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

FOOTBALL: Leopards sorting out the backup QB spot
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Early in the week, when Lafayette offensive coordinator Mickey Fein called for his second-string quarterback, he stunned everyone on the field by pointing to freshman Zach Zweizig, not Andrew Shoop. "I don't know if that was the catalyst for Andrew or what, but I do know that since that day, he has really come on," Leopard head coach Frank Tavani said Saturday following an 87-play intrasquad scrimmage on Fisher Field that marked the halfway point of summer training camp. "It was like a light bulb went on for him," offensive assistant coach Bob Lockhart said prior to the scrimmage. "Whether it was a light bulb or whatever you want to call it, it was one of those things where right now I have the confidence that I can make the right reads and make the right plays to put our team into the position to score points and win games," Shoop said when it was over.

FOOTBALL: Catching Up With: Former Lafayette All-American quarterback Frank Baur
The Express-Times/ By Michael LoRe
In 1989, Frank Baur graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. The highly touted Lafayette College quarterback holds a football in his right hand with both arms raised, highlighting the magazine's College Football Preview issue. Most recently, Baur has been in magazines, but not for his achievements on the gridiron. The 45-year-old licensed audiologist in Pennsylvania has published articles in The Hearing Review regarding excessive noise exposure. He was honored at the American Academy of Audiology Conference in 2008 and his article was named to The Hearing Review's Top Ten Best Article Submissions of 2008.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

FOOTBALL: Freshmen big hit in Lafayette scrimmage SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Frank Tavani, John Loose and Mickey Fein having been preaching for months about the strength of this year's recruiting class. And just Saturday morning, before Lafayette's intrasquad scrimmage, Loose said again that when you combine this year's class with last year's class, you have a better two-year crop than at any time in the previous 10 years. Lafayette has had some pretty talented football players during the Tavani era, I thought it was a bit premature to make such a dramatic comparison by using one group that has the experience of a 2-9 season and another that has no experience at all. Saturday morning changed my thinking.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

FOOTBALL: A practice day with the Leopards SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
For lots of wide receivers, 33 catches, 394 yards and three touchdowns would be a respectable season, but everyone connected with the Lafayette program, including Mitchell Bennett himself, expected so much more from 2010. His teammates thought so much of him that they elected him a co-captain. Coaches throughout the Patriot League, who voted him as a second team all-star following the 2009 season, mentioned him almost every week, knowing he would be a determining factor in the Leopards' success or failure. He tried. He tried like crazy. He played in every game, although he started only eight of the 11. But he was unable to take the pressure off fellow senior Mark Layton. "You really want to be there to make the plays and sometimes you don't feel like yourself," Bennett said prior to the Lehigh game. The torn ligament in his right ankle was repaired less than a week after the season ended; and while Bennett was not permitted to take part in spring practice, the extra healing time may have been a good thing because now, quarterback Ryan O'Neil said recently, "he's catching everything" and looking like the Bennett of 2009.

Friday, August 12, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College football team releases preseason depth chart
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's football depth chart features nine returning starters listed as first team on offense and seven on defense heading into preseason camp. Coach Frank Tavani's Leopards, coming off a 2-9 season in 2010, spent this week opening camp at an off-site location that, due to NCAA rules, cannot be disclosed until their return to College Hill, which comes today. On offense, as expected, senior Ryan O'Neil is listed as the No. 1 quarterback. O'Neil threw for 2,183 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2010. Senior Jerome Rudolph is listed as the No. 1 tailback; he ran for 207 yards last year before a concussion ended his season. Junior Alan Elder (450 yards), sophomore Pat Mputu (373), junior Vaughn Hebron (65) and sophomore Marcellus Irving (77), who all saw action in 2010, are co-listed at No. 2. This likely will be one of the major battles in preseason camp.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lafayette College has opened preseason football practice - but good luck finding them
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Lafayette College's preseason football camp is under way. And that's about all we can tell you about it. Don't look for the Leopards around College Hill or on the Fisher Stadium turf. Coach Frank Tavani has taken his team to an off-site location through Thursday. NCAA rules prohibit the college from discussing even the location of the camp and the players are off-limits from interviews.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Catching Up With: Former Lafayette College basketball player, Beth Mowins
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
Beth Mowins has set no boundaries in her rise to fame as an ESPN sportscaster. Over the past two decades, the 1989 Lafayette College graduate has ascended to the top of her profession. Mowins, who does play-by-play, has called a seemingly endless string of events including the NCAA Women's College Cup, NCAA men's basketball tournament, WNBA, NCAA Women's College World Series, USA Softball, USA women's hockey and NCAA women's college basketball tournament. Mowins, who starred on the Leopards women's basketball team under former coach Pat Fisher, went on to earn a degree in communications from Syracuse University in 1990.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

FOOTBALL: Patriot League aware of increasing concern on head injuries and limiting football contact, but no new rules yet
The Express-Times/ By Brad Wilson
Back in the late 1970s when Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo played football at Texas A&I, rules about limiting contact would have been considered hilarious. Now, after years of study and observation of the long-term effects of the kind of hitting Castillo knew in college, and finding it's no more laughing matter, rules on contact are a serious business. The Ivy League in July passed rules limiting contact practices to twice a week. The NFL has tossed full-contact two-a-days and restricted hitting at its training camps. And at Patriot League media day Tuesday at Green Pond Country Club, league coordinator of officials Jim Maconaghy stressed that his officials are being told if there's any doubt about a blow to the head, a penalty should be called. "Err on the side of calling it," he said.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette quarterback corps: the good and bad news
The Morning Call/ By Paul Reinhard
Lafayette offensive coordinator Mickey Fein talked in February about the importance of bringing in two quality freshman quarterbacks to go along with the three the Leopards had returning for 2011. "We like carrying five," Fein said on the day Lafayette announced that Kyle Ohradzansky of Ohio and Zachary Zweizig of Wilson West Lawn had committed to Lafayette. "The last couple years we were at four, but that gets scary if you have an injury." "It seems like so many," a reporter said. "It is, but at the same time, if you have two injuries, all of a sudden you're at your three you want to carry and have. We were close to that last year with some stuff happening." Well, as Lafayette prepares to open summer camp on Sunday, quarterback is a good news/bad news position.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Ben Eaton ... television ... scholarships SportsTalk Blog/ By Paul Reinhard
Want to know how big a job Ben Eaton is faced with this season? Lafayette's rushing defense ranked 11th in the country among Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) teams in 2009, allowing an average of just under 100 yards per game. The Leopards were 10th nationally in 2008 with 92.2 ypg and fourth nationally in 2008 with 85.7. They led the Patriot League in 2006, ranked in the top 20 in the country in 2005 and led the league in 2004. In 2010, Lafayette lost nine of its 11 games, and it allowed an average of 173.2 ypg rushing - 89th in the country among FCS teams. So, what does all of this have to do with Ben Eaton? Well, in those years in which the Leopards dominated the opposition with their rushing defense, the leading tackler was always a linebacker - from Maurice Bennett to Andy Romans to Michael Schmidlein.

FOOTBALL: Lehigh Picked 1st, Lafayette 4th In Patriot League Poll
Patriot League football teams will open practices next week, and that means they spent today talking about the upcoming season. For Lehigh, the 2011 season is a season of defending last year's title. The Mountain Hawks are picked to win another title by the coaches in the league, and it makes sense. They return a lot of talent from last year including starting quarterback Chris Lum and preseason All-American Mike Groome at linebacker. The Mountain Hawks enjoyed winning last year, but know nothing will be handed to them this year. For the Lafayette football team the motivation is simple. The Leopards want and expect to be better despite being picked 4th in the league's preseason poll. They had record numbers at their summer workouts. They have several starters and letter winners returning including 19 freshmen who lettered. All that experience means optimism.