Leopards Wind Up Spring Season With Annual Maroon & White Game
April 26, 2008
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette football team concluded its spring season with the Maroon & White Game on Saturday morning at Fisher Stadium.
The offense (wearing maroon) posted a 28-22 win over the defense (wearing white) using a modified scoring system that awarded points for first downs and scoring plays for the offense, and stops and turnovers for the defense. Lafayette ran more than 90 plays in a controlled scrimmage format under the watchful eye of ninth-year head coach Frank Tavani.
"We were able to run more plays than we expected," Tavani said. "The important thing for us was that nobody got hurt. We had one player get cleated and another go down with a cramp, but as far as we know, no one suffered any serious injuries."
The Leopards began the day with third-down situational plays from the 45-yard line including third-and-one, third-and-three and third-and-seven plays. Following the third-down plays, Lafayette moved on to red-zone plays with six from each end zone. The team wrapped up the red-zone portion of the scrimmage with two punts.
Lafayette then started the scoring portion of the game with 16 drives in both the first and second halves. The coaching staff used three tailbacks on the afternoon. Senior Maurice White, who will likely get the bulk of the carries in 2008, did not play due to a family emergency. DeAndre' Morrow, Joshua Trouser and Matt Ferber all spent time at the tailback position.
"We used three tailbacks and could have used four with Tyrell Coon who was a little banged up," Tavani said. "It was good for Morrow, Trouser and Ferber to carry the bulk of the load today."
On the receiving end of things, Shaun Adair and Tim Watson played sparingly, but sophomore Nathan Padia made his pitch for more playing time, nabbing a 25-yard pass from Curley in the second half. Brian Hall, James Fisher, Michael Conte and Jeff Cumming also caught passes.
Defensively, returning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Andy Romans was healthy but did not play in the scrimmage. Kody Babcock sacked Raymond from his tackle position and Marvin Clecidor broke up a couple of passes for the defensive highlights.
"I really didn't let (defensive coordinator) John Loose do too much with his defensive play calling," Tavani said. "Everything they did was pretty basic."
In the defensive backfield, Phillip Vincent, Donald Ellis, Eric McGovern and Carlos Lowe received major reps while competing for playing time in 2008. Mark Leggiero was the only returning starter at linebacker on Saturday and was joined by Spencer Brown, Evan Nardone and Samuel Leland. Freshman linebacker Leroy Butler, who enrolled at Lafayette in January, stood out among the younger players.
Seventeen of the 28 incoming freshmen were in attendance at the controlled scrimmage which was followed by an autograph session and a team picnic.
"Overall, the kids I expected to make plays and get better, they did," Tavani said. Other kids still have a ways to go. We'll take a hard look at the film, grade their performances and then go from there."
The Leopards will be in search of their fourth Patriot League title in five seasons when they come to camp in early August. The season will kick off on Sept. 6 at Marist. Lafayette will play night games at Fisher Stadium against Patriot League foe Georgetown and Penn in September with a bye week in between. The Leopards will finish off a three-game homestand vs. Harvard on Oct. 4. Five straight road games will follow against Columbia, Liberty, Fordham, Colgate and Bucknell (11/8). Lafayette's final two regular-season games will pit the Leopards vs. Holy Cross on Nov. 15 and Lehigh on Nov. 22 in the 144th meeting of college football's most-played rivalry.