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Everything you need to know about the Lafayette Football Class of 2019
Defense got the better of the offense on Saturday
By Featured Columnist Mandy Housenick
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Mickey Fein begins his ninth season and eighth as the offensive coordinator at Lafayette. Fein served as the passing game coordinator in 2008 and continues to oversee the quarterbacks and wide receivers.
During his tenure, Leopard quarterbacks have employed a precision passing game. Fein’s signal callers account for five of the top six performances for single-season completion percentage and the four best marks in career completion percentage.
Fein will see the return of QB Drew Reed this season after he threw for a career-high 2,008 yards and completed 65 percent of his passes in his junior season.
In 2014, Fein utilized a multi-threat option in Ross Scheuerman ’15 who was the first Lafayette player in more than a decade to lead the team in rushing and receiving. Scheuerman rushed for 1,191 yards with 12 touchdowns and made 57 catches for 521 yards and three TD’s as Fein shifted him around the backfield and out wide.
Entering the 150th meeting of Lafayette-Lehigh in 2014, Fein was faced with the loss of the team’s top two quarterbacks in the week leading up to the game. He abandoned the pro style offense in favor of a smash mouth effort that led to Scheuerman’s career day, 304 yards in a 27-7 win in Yankee Stadium. Zach Zweizig ’15, who was playing in his first game in more than a year, completed 13-of-23 for 166 yards.
Fein’s guidance was on display in 2013 when the offense set season records with 257 completions for 3,241 yards. Those numbers were made possible by the development of Reed, then a freshman QB, and the continued excellence of wideout Mark Ross ’14. Reed completed 132-of-182 (73%) for 17 touchdowns while setting a Lafayette single-season completion percentage mark. Reed also set a single-game record, completing 21-of-22 in a win over Holy Cross. Ross finished off his career with 74 catches for 1,078 yards and eight scores, leaving as Lafayette’s career receiving leader.
In 2012, Zweizig and Andrew Shoop ’13 split time at quarterback, completing 64 percent and 61 percent, respectively, marks that place them seventh and ninth for single-season completion percentage.
In 2011, Shoop was the first Lafayette player in eight years to throw for 400 yards in a game, completing 32-of-56 passes for 400 yards at Stony Brook.
Ryan O’Neil ’12 threw for 2,183 yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions and completed 67 percent of his passes (fourth all-time in a season) in 2010. His year was highlighted by a career day vs. Holy Cross on Nov. 13, going 35-for-42 for 335 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. In that same game, Mark Layton ’11 also set a school record with 13 receptions.
Under Fein’s tutelage, Rob Curley ’10, turned in a record-breaking 2009 campaign on his way to All-Patriot League honors and a professional football career. Curley set single-season records for passing yards (3,044), touchdowns (28) and completions (231). He also established a single-season mark for completion percentage (68.8, 231-of-336) and career completion percentage (63.8, 429-of-672) and finished third in the nation in passing efficiency (165.2). He ranks fifth in career touchdown passes at Lafayette with 44.
In the final five games of Curley’s career, he threw for 300+ yards in each contest. He tossed a school-record seven touchdowns in a win over nationally ranked Colgate, going 18-for-31 for a career-high 373 yards. The effort earned him Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week honors and handed him National Player of the Week honors from The Sports Network, College Sporting News and the ECAC.
As a team, Lafayette led the nation in passing efficiency (161.58), was 11th in passing offense (277.18) and finished 15th in the country in total offense (406.91).
Fein’s impact could immediately be seen on the Lafayette offense in 2008, as the Leopards had the fewest turnovers per game in the nation with just 11 in 11 games, down from 27 in 2007. Lafayette was picked off just five times, down from 17 in 2007.
Before arriving on College Hill, Fein spent 2006 and 2007 at Murray State as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Murray State finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference and 20th in the nation in total offense with 430.5 yards per game in 2007. The squad was first in the OVC in passing yardage and first downs and featured freshman quarterback Jeff Ehrhardt who earned OVC Newcomer of the Year honors after leading the league in total offense, touchdown passes and passing yards.
In 2006, the Murray State offense finished third in the conference with 189.8 passing yards per game. Fein’s offense generated 300 yards or more in five games, including a season-best 514 yards against Indiana State. Fein moved to MSU after spending three seasons (2003-05) at Tennessee-Martin, where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In 2005, the Skyhawk offense finished the season second in the Ohio Valley Conference in scoring and rushing offense, and fourth in total offense. UT Martin RB Don Chapman led the OVC in rushing yards per game, and QB Brady Wahlberg finished third in total offense.
Before arriving at Tennessee-Martin, Fein served as the wide receivers coach at his alma mater, the University of Maine, in 2002. He helped lead the squad to an 11-3 record and a share of the Atlantic 10 title. Fein began his coaching career at Barnstable High School in Hyannis, Mass., where he was the team’s offensive coordinator from 1999-00, a stint that included a state title in 1999.
As a player, Fein was the starting QB at Maine for four seasons (1995-98). He was the team MVP in 1997 and 1998 and team captain in 1998. When he graduated in 1999, he held 17 school records.
The Barnstable, Mass., native went on to play two seasons of professional football. In 2000 he played for the Albany Firebirds of the Arena Football League, and in 2001 Fein was the starting quarterback for the Norfolk Nighthawks of the AFL2. Fein earned a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from Maine in 1999. He and his wife, Courtney, have two children, Jacklyn and Ty.