Lafayette Meets Lehigh in College Football's Most-Played Rivalry on Saturday
Nov. 14, 2007
GAME 11 Nov. 17, 2007
LAFAYETTE vs. Lehigh
Bethlehem, Pa. - Goodman Stadium
THE MATCH-UP: Lafayette (6-4, 3-2) travels to Lehigh (5-5, 2-3) for the most anticipated game of the Patriot League season -- the 143rd meeting of college football's most-played rivalry. The Leopards have won three straight versus the other team in the Valley. Both teams have plenty riding on the game, as the Leopards' senior class of 2008 looks to be the first graduating class since the class of 1950 to win all of its games vs. its archrival. Lafayette is coming off a 31-21 victory over Holy Cross last Saturday, while Lehigh beat Bucknell 38-10.
MORE AT STAKE FOR THE SENIORS: A win on Saturday would place this senior class among the best to have walked onto College Hill. The seniors would finish with 29 wins, equalling a mark last set from 1923 to 1926 when the Leopards won 29 games, including a 9-0 national championship season in 1926 under G. Herbert McCracken.
SCORPIO SUCCESS: The Leopards are a perfect 2-0 in the month of November, continuing their record of closing the season on a strong note. A win on Saturday would make the team 10-2 (excluding postseason games) over the past four years.
RODRIGUEZ THE ROOKIE: Freshman kicker Davis Rodriguez hit a career-long 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter against Holy Cross to boost the Leopards' lead to 10 in their 31-21 victory. He also went 4-for-4 on PATs last Saturday. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native received Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week accolades (11/12) for the second time this season. He was also honored after connecting on a crucial 27-yard field goal that gave Lafayette a one-point victory over Penn (9/15).
COON ON THE CARRY: One has to figure that Tyrell Coon will find his way back into the Lafayette backfield on Saturday in Bethlehem. Coon is coming off a win at Holy Cross when he carried the ball 20 times for 96 yards and a touchdown before a severe leg cramp forced him to leave the game. He was also the beneficiary of Marcel Quarterman's blocked punt, scooping it up at the two-yard line and running it into the endzone for the score.
TAILBACK BY COMMITTEE: The injury bug has bitten the tailback position extremely hard in 2007. Junior Maurice White, the heir apparent coming into the season to 2006 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Jon Hurt, has played in just four games while senior Anthony D'Urso and sophomore DeAndre' Morrow have each seen time in seven games while battling various leg injuries. Senior Brandon Mitchell and sophomore Matt Ferber have been the most resilient tailbacks, each playing in 10 games. Ferber made the move to tailback from fullback following the slew of injuries to his fellow running mates.
THE HEAD COACHES: Lafayette head coach Frank Tavani (Lebanon Valley '75) is in his eighth season at the helm of the Leopard football program and his 21st year overall as a member of the Lafayette coaching staff. He is the 27th head coach in the program's 126-year history. He was the running backs coach at Lafayette for the previous 13 seasons prior to being named head coach in December 1999.
Tavani was the 2004 Patriot League Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award in that year.
Tavani has guided Lafayette to three straight Patriot League titles and enters this weekend's contest with a career record of 44-46. Tavani is 17-5 in Patriot League games over the last four years (including 2007), and in that span the Leopards are 10-1 after suffering their first conference setback.
Andy Coen (Gettysburg '86) is finishing his second season as the head coach at Lehigh. Last season Coen led the Mountain Hawks to a 6-5 record and a 5-1 mark in Patriot League play. He returned to Bethlehem in 2006, where he spent six years as an offensive line coach (four as the offensive coordinator) from 1994-2000. In between stints at Lehigh, Coen served as the offensive coordinator at Penn. Between the two teams, he has been a part of six championship teams - three at Lehigh and three at Penn.
THE SERIES: College football's most-played rivalry dates back to 1884 when Lafayette shut out Lehigh 50-0 in Easton. The two teams met twice a year from 1884-1901 (three times in 1891) and once a year since then with the exception of 1896 when a player eligibility dispute between the schools cancelled the game. The Leopards lead the series 76-62-5 and are looking for their fourth-straight victory this year, a feat that hasn't been matched since 1949. Home field advantage plays a big role in this rivalry: Lafayette leads 40-22-5 when playing in Easton and Lehigh has a 39-35-0 edge over Leopards in Bethlehem.
THE SERIES MVP: Members of the media will vote on the game's most valuable player on Saturday, marking a tradition that began in 1960. Last season, quarterback Brad Maurer '07 and tailback Jonathan Hurt '07 shared MVP honors, becoming the sixth and seventh players to win the award twice. It was also just the second time in the award's history two players shared the honor (1976 Mark Jones-Lafayette; Rod Gardner-Lehigh). Maurer won in 2004 as a sophomore while Hurt won in 2005. They joined Tom Costello (1988, 89) and Erik Marsh (1992, 94) from Lafayette and Kim McQuilken (1972, 73), Marty Horn (1983, 85) and Ron Jean (1998, 99) as two-time winners.
THE GAME BEFORE "THE GAME": Lafayette's 31-21 win over Holy Cross on Saturday extended its streak of winning the game before the Lafayette-Lehigh matchup to seven straight years. Five of those wins have been against Holy Cross and two have been victories over Georgetown. The largest winning margin was a 56-20 defeat of the Crusaders in 2004. The Leopards have gone on to beat the Mountain Hawks in five of the six years that they have won the previous week.
DOMINANT DEFENSE: Lafayette has the second-ranked defense in the nation after having spent the first eight weeks at No.1. The Leopards are allowing 261.7 yards per game, the fewest in the Patriot League. Lafayette's rushing defense has allowed only 82.8 yards and 16.9 points per game (fourth and 13th nationally). Meanwhile, the passing defense checks in at 18th, surrendering 179 yards per game in the air.
Game By Game Opponent Rushing Yds. Passing Yds. Total Yds. Points Marist -14 100 86 10 at Georgetown 74 131 205 7 at Penn 103 121 224 7 Princeton 166 190 356 20 Columbia -13 193 180 0 at Harvard 116 174 290 27 Fordham 85 323 408 34 Colgate 237 174 306 36 Bucknell 66 90 156 7 at Holy Cross 8 247 255 21 AVERAGES 82.8 179.0 261.7 16.9
CURLEY IN COMMAND: Sophomore Rob Curley continues to flourish in his new role as Lafayette's starting QB. He completed 18-of-31 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown vs. Holy Cross. His longest pass of the day came in the third quarter when he threw a 27-yard completion to senior Duaeno Dorsey. In his second game as a starter against Bucknell, Curley went 13-for-20 for 161 yards and one score. His 49-yard throw to Shaun Adair for a touchdown in the second quarter gave the Leopards' a 14-7 lead which they never relinquished.
Curley started his first game against Colgate in Week 8. The Cinnaminson, N.J. native took over for senior Mike DiPaola who had started the first seven games of the season. Curley was 15-for-26 for 174 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions. He turned a quarterback sneak into a 49-yard gain and a rushing touchdown when he bounced out around the tackle and took it to the endzone. He stepped in three weeks ago against Fordham with six minutes remaining and was 11-for-12 for 107 yards, including an 11-yard TD pass to Kevin Logan for Curley's first career touchdown. Curley also saw time in the season opener against Marist and in the second half against Georgetown.
NEW FACES, SAME PLACES: The offense has had its share of injuries this season which has created opportunities for many in the second and third strings. Many of the changes have taken place at tailback - through 10 games six different Leopards have started at there (Maurice White, Anthony D'Urso, DeAndre' Morrow, Brandon Mitchell, Matt Ferber and Tyrell Coon). Senior offensive lineman Jesse Padilla is the only member of the offense to have started every game in the same position. Sophomore Ryan Hart-Predmore has started every game, but has moved from right guard to left guard to accommodate others when senior Greg Lippert was injured.
BEGINNER'S LUCK?: Offensively, the Leopards don't miss a beat when inserting a new player in the starting lineup. Six players have led Lafayette in at least one category in their first start of the season. First Time Starters Leading in Categories Player Position Game Stats Michael Conte Tight end Holy Cross four catches for 62 yards Tyrell Coon Tailback Holy Cross 20 carries for 96 yards Matt Ferber Tailback Bucknell 26 carries for 102 yards Brandon Mitchell Tailback Colgate five catches for 61 yards Rob Curley Quarterback Colgate 15-26-174-1 4 TDs 10 carries for 61 yards DeAndre' Morrow Tailback Harvard 16 carries for 52 yards seven catches for 89 yards
ON THE BLOCK: Senior Marcel Quarterman blocked a Holy Cross punt four minutes into the second quarter which sophomore Tyrell Coon recovered and ran back two yards for a touchdown. It was the second straight game and third time this season that a Leopard has blocked a punt. Freshman Mark Layton blocked a punt two weeks ago against Bucknell at the Bison nine-yard line which eventually led to senior tailback Brandon Mitchell punching in a one-yard score. Mitchell also blocked a punt against Harvard and returned it 14 yards before junior fullback Joe Russo took it the last yard for seven points.
BACK IN BLACK: Lafayette donned its beloved black uniforms for its final home contest. The Leopards have never lost in black jerseys and save the color for special occasions. They wore black to beat Lehigh in 2004 and again in 2006 to win Patriot League titles. Fordham was also victim to the black jerseys in 2005. The only other time they've paired black jerseys with black pants was in what has been dubbed "the mud bowl" against Columbia in 2005, a 14-7 victory. The Leopards pulled out the black pants again last week against Holy Cross and continued their winning streak by beating the Crusaders 31-21.
A PERFECT TEN: Junior wide receiver Shaun Adair broke into the top 10 on Lafayette's career receiving yards list. His four catches for 77 yards against Bucknell gave him 1,379 career yards, passing Bob Donofrio (1968-70) who tallied 1,364 yards in his career. The Morristown, N.J. native's 93 catches are just six shy of making the top 10 for career receptions. Adair currently leads the team in receiving. He has 38 catches for 486 yards (12.8 yards per catch) with four touchdowns. He pulled in a 49-yard pass from Rob Curley against Bucknell to give the Leopards a 14-7 edge in the second quarter, a lead which they never relinquished. His 10 catches at Penn (9/15) were a career high.
BIG KICKS: Senior punter David Yankovich will face another nationally-ranked opponent this week when he goes up against Lehigh's Jason Leo. Leo is 15th in the nation, averaging almost 42 yards per kick. Yankovich, who is ranked 20th, is right behind with a 41.7 yards per kick average. The last time Yankovich faced someone ranked ahead of him was against Fordham where he out-punted his Rams' counterpart, Benjamin Dato, who was ranked fifth nationally when the two teams met (10/20). Both booted the ball six times, but Yankovich -- who had 302 total yards including a career-long 66-yard kick -- out-kicked Dato by 50 yards. Yankovich averaged a career-high 50.3 yards per kick.
GOING THE DISTANCE: Sophomore Tyrell Coon capped off a 13-play, 86-yard drive with a four-yard rush into the endzone against Holy Cross, the fourth time this year that the Leopards have had scoring drives of 80 or more yards. In the season opener against Marist, Maurice White scored on a two-yard run that capped off an 80-yard drive. Senior Anthony D'Urso ran 89 yards to score a touchdown against Princeton, a scoring drive that was two plays and 95 yards. Lafayette had at least one scoring drive of more than 80 yards in nine of its 12 games in 2006, and 13 drives of that length in all: Lehigh (80), Georgetown (80, 88 and 90), Fordham (80), Colgate (80 and 81), Holy Cross (82), Yale (82), Penn (82 and 99), Bucknell (88) and Sacred Heart (81).
100-YARD CLUB: Sophomore Matt Ferber became the newest member of the club vs. Bucknell when he carried the ball 26 times for 102 yards. His longest run came at the end of the first half after Samuel Leland recovered a fumble at Bucknell's 49-yard line and Ferber advanced the ball 16 yards for a first down. He is the third tailback to reach 100 yards in a single game this season: junior Maurice White ran for 107 yards while visiting Penn and senior Anthony D'Urso rolled up 114 yards against Princeton.
SENIOR MOMENTS: Head coach Frank Tavani made sure that each of his 20 seniors got a moment on the field during the Class of 2008's final home game against Bucknell (with the exception of Marcel Quarterman who sustained an injury during the previous week's game). Big contributions from the veterans on Saturday included Brandon Mitchell's 11 carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns, Adrian Lawson's two interceptions and Mark Plumby's five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
ROMANS ON "D": Junior linebacker Andy Romans continues to lead the Leopards' defense with 103 tackles (11 for a loss), three sacks and three fumble recoveries this season and is currently ranked 21st in the nation in tackles. He made five tackles at Holy Cross after contributing four tackles in one half against Bucknell after sitting out the second half with a tweaked hamstring. Romans had 16 tackles vs. Colgate including one for a loss and a forced fumble. For his efforts, he was recognized as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. He also made 17 tackles against Harvard, one shy of his career best against Holy Cross in 2006. Romans racked up 13 tackles vs. Columbia, including two sacks and three tackles for loss to earn him Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 8. A 2006 All-Patriot League selection, Romans has tallied double-figure tackles six times this season. He has 220 tackles and 4.5 sacks in his career.
ON THE RETURN: Junior Shaun Adair ranks sixth in the nation in punt return yardage. Adair has returned 19 punts for 266 yards for an average of 14 yards per return. In the season opener vs. Marist, Adair racked up 111 yards on three returns. Late in the first quarter versus Marist, Adair ran 78 yards for his first career punt return for touchdown (and the longest punt return of his career). He also added another return for 30 yards. The effort earned him Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week (9/3). At Georgetown, Adair returned four punts for 61 yards (15.3 yards per return). He returned five punts for 80 yards against Columbia (16.0 yards per return). On kick-offs, Adair has shown his abilities throughout his career when the ball is kicked his way. Adair returned a 90-yard kick for touchdown vs. Georgetown (11/11/06) last season.
PICK AND ROLL: Senior free safety Marcel Quarterman intercepted a pass from Alex Relph in the waning minutes of the first half vs. Colgate and ran it back 40 yards to the Colgate 12. The pick set up the Leopards to score when Rob Curley threw an 11-yard pass to Shaun Adair. The interception was Quarterman's second of the season - he ran his first pick 34 yards back for a touchdown in week two against Georgetown.
PREVIOUSLY UNDER CENTER: Senior Michael DiPaola served as the starting QB through the first seven weeks. In the opener, he cemented his preseason selection with an efficient performance vs. Marist, going 10-for-16 for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Since then he has gone 101-for-181 for 1,030 yards and five touchdowns. At Penn, DiPaola drove the Leopards 54 yards in 12 plays before Davis Rodriguez put the game away with the game-winning field goal. Battling the Crimson, he threw career highs of 23-for-40 for 266 yards, including a 32-yard pass to DeAndre' Morrow in the fourth quarter, and one TD. He also had a career high in interceptions, throwing four picks. DiPaola was 16-for-34 for 166 yards and one touchdown and one interception against Fordham. DiPaola took the field for the final nine minutes against Bucknell and went 2-for-2 for 20 yards. He also ran for 13 yards on two carries.
HOW ABOUT A LITTLE MORROW: Sophomore tailback DeAndre' Morrow has led the Leopards in rushing three times, including most recently vs. Fordham when he made 16 carries for 67 yards. He got his first start against Harvard where he carried the ball 16 times for 52 yards and caught seven passes for 89 yards, including a 32-yard pass from quarterback Mike DiPaola. Morrow had a breakout game against Columbia with 19 rushes for 94 yards, after having sat out most of the season with a high-ankle sprain suffered during preseason. He also caught an 11-yard pass from Mike DiPaola. Morrow missed the Colgate game due to an ankle injury, but was back for Bucknell to contribute three carries for 22 yards and two catches for 35 yards. He ran four times for 10 yards and had two receptions for five yards at Holy Cross.
RUN D'URSO RUN: Anthony D'Urso broke the modern record for the longest run from the line of scrimmage vs. Princeton on Sept. 22 with his 89-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The previous modern record was 82 yards, set by Greg DeSanty against Gettysburg in 1975. George McCaa still holds the school's all-time record with his 102-yard rush against Swarthmore in 1909. D'Urso leads the team in rushing yardage (304) yards, despite missing the last three games due to injury. He returned for part of the Bucknell game to rush six times for 14 yards.
OLIVER -- DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore free safety Nick Oliver made a career-high 12 tackles against Princeton, including 3.5 tackles for a loss of 24 yards en route to Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors (9/24). He also recorded the first sack of his collegiate career when he took down Princeton quarterback Bill Foran for a loss of eight yards.
STARTING FIRST...FINISHING ???: Lafayette was picked first in the Patriot League Preseason Poll as selected by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Leopards edged the other team in the Lehigh Valley by one point (63-62), with Lafayette receiving six first-place votes and Lehigh five. The last time Lafayette was selected to win the league title was 1995, and the last time the preseason pick won the title outright was 2001 (Lehigh). Lafayette can finish as high as a tie for second with a win and a win and a Holy Cross win over Colgate.
QUARTERMAN'S PICK SIX: Senior free safety Marcel Quarterman's interception return for a touchdown at Georgetown was the first of his career and the first for Lafayette since Oct. 29, 2005 (Tye Murphy vs. Bucknell). Quarterman has four career interceptions, two of which have come in conference play vs. Georgetown.
JOE FULLBACK: Junior Joe Russo was one of the top fullbacks in the league last season. Russo averaged 5.0 yards per carry (27-134) with five touchdowns in 2006 and also caught 14 passes for 76 yards, including a four-yard touchdown catch against Lehigh (11/18). Russo's breakout game was a five-carry, 49-yard performance once Hurt left the field due to injury at Fordham (11/4/06), as he scored on runs of nine and 32 yards on his first two touches. He also scored on a pair of three-yard runs vs. Yale (9/30/06). This season, Russo has 26 carries for 128 yards (4.8 yards per carry) in 10 games while leading the way for a rushing offense that is averaging 179 yards per game. Russo has also caught 10 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns, his most recent being a four-yard pass from Mike DiPaola against Columbia (10/6).
LIGHT IT UP: Lafayette's season-opening win over Marist marked the first home night game in 126 seasons of Lafayette football. The historic game, which was the first of three home night games scheduled for 2007, was followed by fireworks. Making history at night is not a new feat for Leopard football as Lafayette and Washington and Jefferson played in the first indoor night college football game on Oct. 25, 1930. A crowd of 17,000 witnessed the historic game at the Atlantic City Auditorium.
THE DRIVE FOR FOUR: Lafayette has won three straight Patriot League titles. Lafayette shared the title with Lehigh in 2004 and 2006, and with Colgate in 2005. The Leopards have won six PL championships in the 22-year history of the league (1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006).
IN GOOD COMPANY: Lafayette has made three straight appearances in the NCAA Playoffs. Lafayette is one of six programs to appear in the 16-team playoff field in each of the last three seasons, joining Furman, Montana, Hampton, New Hampshire and Southern Illinois.
Last season, Lafayette faced No. 3 Massachusetts and trailed just 21-14 at halftime before Massachusetts pulled away for a 35-14 decision. In 2005, the Leopards earned the program's first at-large bid and battled eventual national champion Appalachian State in the first round in Boone, N.C. Lafayette entered the fourth quarter tied at 20-20 after leading 17-10 at halftime, before the Mountaineers pulled out a 34-23 victory. Appalachian State went on to win the I-AA championship, 21-16 over Northern Iowa. In 2004, Lafayette led defending national champion Delaware 14-13 in the final quarter before a Blue Hen touchdown, then drove inside the 20 looking for the tying score when a fumble return for a touchdown produced the final 28-14 margin.
LAFAYETTE vs. THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: The Leopards have played 335 games all-time against the six fellow members of the Patriot League, and are 172-148-16 (.533) in those contests. Since the Patriot League began play in 1986, Lafayette is 67-50-1 (.570) vs. member schools and has won league titles in 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Lafayette vs. the Patriot League: Bucknell: 47-32-6 Fordham: 18-7-1 Holy Cross: 14-8-0 Colgate: 10-37-4 Georgetown: 8-3-0 Lehigh: 75-62-5
EARLY OPENER: The Sept. 1 season opener was the earliest start date in program history. The Leopards opened in early October until the turn of the 20th century, in late September until 1970, and traditionally began the season on the second Saturday in September until 2002. Since 2002, Lafayette has opened on Sept. 7, 6, 4, 2 and 13.
ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE RETURNERS: Lafayette placed 14 players on 2006 All-Patriot League teams and five of those players return in 2007. Seniors Greg Lippert and Jesse Padilla return to anchor the offensive line after second-team selections. Defensively, senior tackle Kyle Sprenkle, senior corner back Adrian Lawson and junior inside linebacker Andy Romans return to the starting lineup. Romans was the only sophomore to earn All-Patriot League honors on defense.
AN OFFENSIVE HISTORY: In 2006, Jon Hurt became the sixth Lafayette player to be named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year in the 22-year history of the conference. Joe McCourt (2004), Phil Yarberough (2000), Erik Marsh (1992, 1993), Tom Costello (1989) and Frank Baur (1988) are the others. Marsh is Lafayette's and the Patriot League's all-time leading rusher with 4,834 yards while McCourt ranks second at Lafayette in career rushing (4,474) and Hurt ranks sixth (2,534).
IN THE FRONT ROW: Lafayette placed three of its five starting offensive linemen on the All-Patriot League team in 2006. Two of those players, senior Greg Lippert (LG) and Jesse Padilla (LT) were named to the second-team in their first seasons as starters. Sophomores Michael Wojcik and Ryan Hart-Predmore are in their first years as starters at center and right guard, respectively. Junior Leo Plenski holds down the right tackle spot and also handles long snapping duties. He started six of the first seven weeks in 2006. Junior D.J. Brown started the final five games of the season in 2006 and is a key reserve. Brown has played in eight games with five starts.
THE LINEBACKERS: Senior Mark Plumby, junior Andy Romans and sophomore Mark Leggiero give Lafayette a formidable linebacking corps. Romans, an All-Patriot League selection in 2006, led the team and was fourth in the Patriot League in tackles. Plumby was third on the team in tackles after starting all 12 games. Leggiero saw action in 12 games in 2006, starting vs. Penn in place of an injured Romans. He collected Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors after making five tackles against Bucknell once Romans left with an injury.
DOWN ON THE CORNER: Second-Team All-Patriot League performer Adrian Lawson started every game but the season opener at corner in 2006. The senior from Hyattsville, Md. made 37 tackles, 5.0 TFL and recorded six pass break-ups. Marvin Clecidor earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 30, 2006 following the Colgate game after recording the first interception, forced fumble and sack of his career. Clecidor started the last seven games on the other side of Lawson.
THE CAPTAINS: The Leopards elected seniors free safety Marcel Quarterman and defensive tackle Kyle Sprenkle as their captains for the 2007 season. It's the first time during Frank Tavani's head coaching tenure that an offensive player was not a team captain. Sprenkle (Thomasville, Pa.) is in his third year as a starter on the defensive line and collected All-Patriot League honors in 2006. Quarterman, a Philadelphia native, is in his second season as a starter.
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS: Lafayette has won three straight and four of the last six Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards. Brad Maurer '07 won the award in 2006, following linebacker Maurice Bennett '05, Stephen Bono '04 and tight end Stewart Kupfer '02. Maurer was also a three-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District II selection and was one of 23 Academic All-District selections in Frank Tavani's eight seasons as head coach.
AND WE GO TO...OVERTIME: Lafayette has played five overtime games and is 1-4 in those contests. After winning the first overtime affair in 1995 over Fordham (24-21 on 11/11/95), the Leopards have lost their last four OT games (11/18/95 at Lehigh - 37-30; 10/18/97 at Cornell - 41-34; 10/3/98 at Dartmouth - 13-10; 9/8/01 at Towson - 16-13).
HISTORIC FISHER STADIUM: Fisher Stadium has hosted the College's home football games since 1926. The facility has undergone a $23 million transformation that gives Lafayette one of the premier FCS football venues in the nation. New spectator seating has been built, including chairback seating in select areas, and additional visitors' seating has been added for a maximum capacity of 13,132 fans. A state-of-the-art in-fill synthetic surface, lights, a press box and a 19-by-35 foot video board were installed, and improved restroom and vending areas were also included. The Bourger Varsity Football House includes a locker room, offices and team meeting rooms, as well as sports medicine and strength and conditioning areas. Now in its 81st season, Fisher Stadium has been host to 399 Lafayette football games with the Leopards enjoying an overall record of 237-149-13 for a winning percentage of .609. Of the previous 80 seasons, Lafayette has produced 12 undefeated home seasons with the most recent being the 1992 Patriot League champion Leopards that went a perfect 5-0 - the first undefeated home season for Lafayette at Fisher Stadium since 1970. During the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons, Lafayette won 10 straight home games--tying the Fisher Stadium school record for consecutive wins first set 1926 and 1927 in the first 10 games ever played in the stadium.
LAFAYETTE FOOTBALL, 126 YEARS OF TRADITION: Since fielding its first college football team in the fall of 1882, Lafayette has had a proud, colorful gridiron tradition on the way to a total of 630 victories (626-536-39). Lafayette ranks 34th among all college football teams in all-time wins entering the 2007 season, posting its first win in 1883 (25-0 vs. Rutgers). Lafayette accumulated 100 victories by 1900, 200 by 1915 and 300 by 1934.
A HISTORY OF CHAMPIONS: The Lafayette football program has claimed three national championships -- 1896, 1921 and 1926 -- and recorded five undefeated seasons -- 1896 (11-0-1), 1921 (9-0-0), 1926 (9-0-0), 1937 (8-0-0) and 1940 (9-0-0). Of recent note, the Leopards have won five Patriot League championships -- 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004 and 2005 -- and made their first two postseason appearances in the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs.
LAFAYETTE'S FOOTBALL INVENTORS: Two primary elements of the game of football -- the helmet and the huddle -- were invented by former members of the Lafayette football program. George "Rose" Barclay from the class of 1898, one of Lafayette's all-time great running backs, invented the helmet when the "threat of cultivating cauliflower ears" led him to piece three thick leather straps around his head for the 1896 game against Penn. Former Lafayette coach Herb McCracken (1924-35; 59-40-6) devised the first huddle system during the 1924 season after learning the Pennsylvania football team had stolen Lafayette's signals. Lafayette became the first team to huddle before each play and this system was immediately adopted by other teams.
LAFAYETTE LEADS NATION IN TELEVISED GAMES IN FCS: All 11 games of Lafayette's 2007 football season will be televised live via the Lafayette Sports Network. This is the fifth straight year that the entire slate will be televised and the 11th season that the Lafayette Sports Network has been in existence.
LSN, named one of the best college or university-run sports networks in the country by Broadcast and Cable Magazine, has annually produced the most expansive television package in the Patriot League. LSN telecasts can be seen by approximately 10 million viewers in the Lehigh Valley, all of Philadelphia, and the Pocono region. The Lafayette Sports Network can also be viewed in central New Jersey, New York City and Boston via the RCN cable systems.
In the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Pocono areas, the telecasts air on RCN-4 and WBPH-60. Nationally, the telecasts will be picked up for the eighth straight year by various DIRECTV and DISH Network outlets, available to a combined audience of more than 60 million viewers. CSTV will continue as a major LSN partner, airing the Harvard, Holy Cross and Lehigh road telecasts to a national audience of more than 65 million households. Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh (DIRECTV Channel 628, DISH Network Channel 428) will carry seven of the Leopards games.
As an element of Lafayette's multi-media agreement with CSTV, all LSN telecasts will be streamed live on the internet and available worldwide through www.GoLeopards.com. Lafayette was the first of CSTV.com's partners to make live video streaming available to fans everywhere when the 2000 Lafayette-Lehigh game aired live on GoLeopards.com. Emmy-nominated local sports broadcaster Gary Laubach will handle all of the Leopards' play-by-play duties for the 11th straight season. John Leone, who has been in the booth with Laubach for all but the first season of LSN, will again provide color analysis. RCN's Dan Mowdy is in his seventh season as part of the Lafayette Sports Network and will report from the sidelines.
LAFAYETTE ALL-ACCESS: Lafayette fans may take advantage of a great feature offered through www.GoLeopards.com, the official athletics website and a partner with CSTV Online. All 11 regular-season games on the Leopards' schedule will be available through Lafayette All-Access, which streams the Lafayette Sports Network telecast of the game to your computer. In all, more than 50 Lafayette athletic contests will be provided. Log onto to www.GoLeopards.com for more information.
LAFAYETTE ON THE RADIO: The Lafayette Sports Network entered into an agreement with WAEB-AM 790 and WSAN-AM 1470 of Clear Channel Communications and WGPA AM-1100 to broadcast 2007 Lafayette football. The deal places Lafayette on the top two rated AM stations in the Lehigh Valley.
WAEB-AM 790, the top-rated AM station in the Lehigh Valley, will carry the Leopards' first four games of the season while WGPA-AM 1100, the second-rated AM station, will begin its coverage with the Oct. 13 game at Harvard and will broadcast five of the last six games of the regular season.
Veteran broadcaster Dick Hammer will begin his 41st season as the Leopards' play-by-play man and will be joined in the booth at home games by Joe Craig, long-time football analyst and former coach.
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