After earning its first win against Cornell University by a score of 31-14, the Lehigh football team is determined to carry this focus and resilience over to its upcoming game this Saturday, when the team faces Fordham University on Homecoming and Family Weekend.
The Mountain Hawks struggled for much of the second half, but they responded forcefully to seal their first victory with a late touchdown drive. Following this impressive result, two members of the team were awarded with Corvias Patriot League Weekly Awards. Senior running back Rich Sodeke was given Offensive Player of the Week and senior defensive lineman Tim Newton was given Defensive Player of the Week.
“Last week, our defense played phenomenal,” junior wide receiver Stefan Sansone said. “In my opinion the best they have played all year. We started off moving the ball, but suffered with penalties, but were then able to get the ball moving as quickly as we would like to.”
Moving forward, Sansone highlighted that the team needs to play a complete game on both sides of the ball and continue to feed off of each other’s energy. They will work on these areas in practices this week.
“This week we’re going to try to perfect our craft,” Sansone said. “The defense needs to keep playing how they have been and offense needs to get the ball moving and limit the penalties on both sides.”
The defense played an integral role in the team’s success, as they only allowed 273 yards and 14 points. However, this does not mean that the team cannot use some further improvements in this area.
“On defense we need to do a better job of eliminating big plays, both touchdowns were on big plays,” senior defensive lineman Arturo Gyles said.
On the offensive side of the ball, Gyles said the team needs to improve on cutting down its penalties, which killed a few drives that the offense could have scored on.
“This week we have Fordham, which will be one of biggest tests this season,” Gyles said. “We will need to eliminate as many mistakes as possible in order to beat them.”
Senior outside linebacker Isaiah Campbell emphasized how important it is to take advantage of opportunities when being set up for success.
“Fordham is an explosive offense and our offense will need to out-perform them if we want to be successful,” Campbell said. “Our defense will need to get a lot of stops like last week and hold Fordham to a limited number of big plays.”
To prepare, Campbell explained that the players are focusing on their assignments and responsibilities, and on being in the right positions at the right time.
“If we are able to execute everything we are coached to do, then we will be successful on Saturday,” Campbell said.
The team is focusing on its success on the defensive side. In addition, it aims to capitalize on offensive positions as well.
The Mountain Hawks are returning to Patriot League play this Saturday, when they take on Fordham at Goodman Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.