BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh football team completed its spring season with the annual Brown and White Game inside Goodman Stadium. On a rain-soaked Saturday morning, the Mountain Hawks defense topped the offense 39-25 to give the Brown its second straight win. Lehigh’s defense intercepted three passes and limited the offense to just one touchdown on the day.
“This is kind of the way it has been all spring,” said Lehigh head coach Andy Coen about the subpar weather conditions. “I’m pleased that we were able to keep our focus and get a lot of good work done.”
The Mountain Hawks defense set the tone on a rainy day, keeping the offense without a first down through its first five possessions. Lehigh’s secondary will feature four new starters in 2011, with rising senior Kenyatta Drake stepping up with two interceptions and junior Bryan Andrews picking off a pass in the end zone to halt the offense’s first drive of the second half.
Unofficially, senior linebacker Mike Groome was credited with a team-high five tackles, while juniors Billy Boyko and Sam Loughery and sophomore Rickey Layton had four stops. Layton also was credited with a sack, while sophomore Nigel Muhammad was credited with two sacks.
Earlier in the day Boyko was honored with the Jim Gum Scholarship Award, which is presented in memory of former Lehigh football player James S. Gum ’84.
“Most of the time the defense will be ahead of the offense in the spring,” Coen explained. “We have a veteran group, especially in the front seven. They had a very strong spring so I’m confident in that group. Our secondary is a little young but I was pleased with how they played today. They didn’t give up many big plays and they came up with some turnovers, including a couple of big interceptions in the red zone. Kenyatta Drake, a senior, stepped up and Bryan Andrews, our most experienced guy made a great interception in the corner of the end zone. Defensively I feel really good about happened today.”
Offensively all three quarterbacks had their struggles, but Mountain Hawks did accomplish some nice things in the running game. Junior Zach Barket carried nine times for 41 yards, while classmate Marcus Dormevil was the top ground-gainer with 62 yards on six carries. Dormevil had a game-long 26 yard scamper around left end in the first half. Sophomores Keith Sherman and Cody Haupt both finished with 16 yards on the ground.
After a strong spring on the practice field, Lum had a rough day in the rain on Saturday. Without several of his top targets, Lum completed five of 14 passes for 27 yards, and was picked off three times. Junior Mike Colvin also started slowly, but came back in the second half to finish 7-of-15 for 67 yards. Colvin’s final two attempts resulted in a 30-yard completion to sophomore Lee Kurfis and a seven yard touchdown on a jump ball to senior Preston Soeprasetyo. Sophomore Brandon Bialkowski ran the final series for Lehigh and completed one pass in three attempts.
“We weren’t throwing the ball well today and the weather had something to do with that,” Coen said. “We’ve made a commitment to the run game this spring. All three of our tailbacks did some nice things today. Zach is a solid player who has played a lot of football for us. Keith Sherman has big play potential and is still just a freshman. Marcus Dormevil has really opened up everyone’s eyes. He’s a little smaller but he’s quick and has great vision. I’m going to leave here with a really good feeling about our running backs.”
Prior to the start of Saturday’s game four Mountain Hawks: Groome, Lum, Colin Newton and Keith Schauder, were named captains for the 2011 season.
Coen concluded Lehigh’s spring segment with these thoughts, “It will be a while before we can get back out there. Today was our last time out as a team so we wanted to put them in the most competitive situations that we could. You pick up a lot of things from seeing how guys perform in this game and in this stadium. I would have liked to see us throw the ball better today, but we competed well and came out relatively healthy. Defensively, the secondary played well and we ran the ball well offensively. The passing game will work itself out once everyone gets back.”
Lehigh will open preseason camp in early August with the 2011 season opener slated for Saturday, September 3 versus Monmouth in West Long Branch, N.J.