Posted: April 23, 2005
Bethlehem, PA – Defending Patriot League co-champion Lehigh held its 2005 Brown and White spring game on Saturday, April 23, inside Goodman Stadium, as the offense battled the defense in the yearly scrimmage signaling the end of spring practice.
Almost 400 spectators were on hand under damp, humid conditions to watch the offense, donned in white, top the defense, wearing brown, by a 23-9 score.
“We knew coming in [to spring practice] that we were faced with a challenge in replacing a lot of veteran, experienced, tough kids on both sides of the ball – particularly on the lines,” said Lehigh head coach Pete Lembo following his fifth spring game as head coach.
The scrimmage featured a series of special teams situations, timed offense vs. defense scored segments, as well as several drills replicating game situations. Both the offense and defense showed glimpses of where they want to be during the Moving the Ball segment in which the offense received points for scoring touchdowns and field goals, while the defense was rewarded for holding the offense in check.
At one point, Lehigh rising senior quarterback Mark Borda connected on a pretty 31-yard touchdown strike to classmate Winfred Porter, who has impressed the coaching staff throughout the spring.
“Winfred has had a good spring,” Lembo said. “He has improved from a consistency standpoint and we have seen glimpses of what he can do. The receiver position is an area of strength on our team”
Borda summed up the offense’s overall performance on Saturday: “We have the opportunity to be good,” he said, “but we know we’re going to have to work hard over the summer in order to take advantage and be successful.”
Borda, along with linebacker Anthony Graziani, offensive lineman Adam Selmasska, and defensive back Kaloma Cardwell are the team’s captains for the 2005 season. All are seniors in 2005, and for Cardwell, this season will mark his second straight as a team captain.
“To be elected as a captain by my peers is a great honor,” Graziani said.
Junior kicker Justin Musiek, who struggled at times as a sophomore transfer in 2004, had a solid afternoon on the Goodman Stadium grass on Saturday. “A lot of [the inconsistency last year] is mental,” Musiek told the media after the game. “I have gotten more used to my surroundings and have established a comfort level.”
While all three facets of the game looked good, the general consensus is that there is plenty of room for improvement before September rolls around and the Mountain Hawks begin defense of their Patriot League crown. Lembo is confident, however, that the team will work hard over the summer to be ready when preseason practice begins.
“This is a low-maintenance group that likes being around each other,” he explained. “The key for us is to develop some guys up front [on the offensive and defensive lines], remain humble, and continue to work to get better.”
Lehigh begins preseason practice on August 9, and the Mountain Hawks open the 2005 season on September 3 against NEC champion Monmouth at Goodman Stadium.