Posted: November 18, 2007
He came into his senior season with high expectations, of both himself and the team. While the year did not play out the way he wanted it to, senior captain Sedale Threatt stayed positive and did all he could to try and get the Mountain Hawks a win in the season finale versus archrival Lafayette. The outcome was not what Threatt had planned on, but he still leaves Lehigh as a winner.
Despite outcome, Threatt goes out a winner
By Keith Groller
Of the Morning Call
After wins or losses, great days or bad ones, one of the constants through Sedale Threatt's 21/2 seasons as Lehigh's quarterback was that he was never at a loss for words.
Until late Saturday afternoon, that is.
An emotional Threatt struggled to find them after his career ended with a disappointing 21-17 loss to Lafayette at Goodman Stadium.
I asked him about the effort he gave in his last college game, his last chance to beat Lafayette after two previous defeats.
''I can't really say it was sufficient,'' he said. ''I didn't get the win.
''No one's going to say 'Oh, he played tough.' And they're not going to say 30 years down the line, 'Oh, in that fourth game, that senior class played tough.' They're going to judge me, this team and Coach [Andy Coen] on wins and losses, and for me, I'm always going to be 0-4 against Lafayette. I can't do anything about it. Even if I feel like I gave 100 percent, I guess I should have given 112.''
If Disney was in charge of the game, Threatt, the much maligned, star-crossed QB with such promise would have gone out with a game-winning drive and an MVP award.
Sadly for Lehigh fans, that role was taken away by Lafayette's Rob Curley, who just might stay in it for two years.
It wasn't supposed to end this way for Threatt, who burst on the scene midway through the 2005 season when Mark Borda went out with a career-ending injury. He led the team to an overtime win over Yale in his first appearance and followed that up with four more wins.
But Lehigh couldn't beat Lafayette back in 2005 and failed again in 2006 when an outright title and playoff berth was on the line.
This was supposed to be the year it all came together. Threatt was the preseason offensive player of the year choice in the Patriot League.
He never lived up to the billing. Injuries and inconsistency sent him to the bench and reduced him to an option, run-only quarterback.
Coen gave him one last chance as a full-service QB on Saturday, figuring that sophomore Chris Bokosky wasn't ready for the myriad of blitzes and looks Lafayette defensive coordinator John Loose would throw at him.
The return to Threatt seemed to work for awhile.
He led Lehigh on three scoring drives in the first half when the Mountain Hawks fought back from 7-0 and 14-10 deficits to go up 17-14.
Threatt ran over, around and through defenders for 41 yards and passed for 84.
''Sedale was just unbelievable out there,'' Lafayette coach Frank Tavani said. ''We just couldn't bring him down.''
But on four second-half possessions when just one more touchdown might have put away Lafayette, Threatt and the offense couldn't do it.
The Leopards stuffed Lehigh's inside run game, kept Threatt off the perimeter and forced him to throw the ball.
And, as was the case most of the season, the passing game just didn't click with Threatt at the controls.
He was 6-for-12 for 24 yards after intermission and Lehigh was 1-for-6 on third down conversion attempts in the second half.
''They made more plays on third down than we did,'' Coen said. ''They made plays to keep drives alive and score points and we didn't. Offensively, we had some opportunies that we missed and there were some balls up in the air that we didn't make plays on.''
It was a familar refrain for a Lehigh team that may have won three or maybe four more games than it did were it not for a drop here, an overthrow there, or a failure to convert a field goal at a clutch time.
Certainly, this one was there for the taking, and the Leopards did, thanks in large part to its poised sophomore QB and the huge, sturdy line that protected him.
Put simply, when Lafayette had to make a play, it did.
Lehigh played with more passion than it has in a long time, but it wasn't enough.
In the end, Mountain Hawk faces were as gloomy as the weather and the alumni and fan base were left grumbling.
But no one was more disappointed than Threatt, who desperately wanted to walk off the field as a winner.
Despite the final score, those who know him -- even opposing coaches -- will never consider him a loser.
''That's a young man with a great future,'' Tavani said.
''What I learned in four years is to always play hard, play tough,'' Threatt said. ''And that God puts you in places where you can find family. I'm so thankful I found a great one here at Lehigh.''
This story originally appeared in the Sunday, November 18, 2007 edition of The Morning Call. Used with permission.
Threatt goes out a winner, despite loss to Leopards
By Paul Sokoloski
Of the Express-Times
One last time, Sedale Threatt took all his energy and enthusiasm and headed into a final showdown with arch-rival Lafayette.
He didn't win.
But it's hard to say he lost.
Threatt ran over, around and through Lafayette's defenders in Saturday's first half. He whistled passes that would have hit the bull's-eye on a dart board. He gave his heart and soul to Lehigh University's football team with one of the best performances of his splendid college career.
In the end, he walked off Goodman Stadium with a heart-wrenching 21-17 loss to Lafayette, and without the one victory that eluded him.
"For me, I'm 0-4 against Lafayette," Threatt said. "I'm always going to be 0-4 against Lafayette."
He'll always be a winner, too, if the way he's handled adversity through his life and through his time on the football field is any indication.
Threatt hadn't thrown a pass in a month before Saturday, was replaced as Lehigh's starting quarterback and had been battling a rotator cuff injury -- not a tear, Lehigh coach Andy Coen said -- while working as a receiver and part-time option quarterback.
Yet there Threatt was in his last game, whipping an 18-yard touchdown pass to Mike Fitzgerald from Warren Hills in the first quarter and hitting Sekou Yansane in stride with a 35-yard bullet -- when he wasn't cutting through Lafayette's defense for runs of 15 and 17 yards.
"It's the last game," said Threatt, a senior finance major and team captain. "You really can't think of pain, you've just got to play through it. You really have nothing else to look forward to."
"Sedale was just incredible out there," said Lafayette coach Frank Tavani, who offered his rival quarterback a big hug following the game and, what he said, were words of thanks that he doesn't have to defend against him anymore. "It seemed like we just couldn't bring him down. The guy's out there with a shoulder you can't say enough about that young man. He's an outstanding young man and a competitor, and he really came after it today.
"I know it's tough on him, but that young man is going to be successful."
Threatt has been showing that his whole life. He was raised by his mother, Nadine Jackson, in the Boston area and speaks of her glowingly. But it's been years since he's spoken to his father, Sedale Threatt Sr., a former NBA player who never showed much interest in young Sedale.
Guys like current Lehigh coach Andy Coen and former Mountain Hawks coach Pete Lembo became father figures to him.
"I'm very blessed to have this man (Coen) sitting next to me in my life as a competitor," Threatt said, "teaching me about being a man. My situation's a little different than the typical one. The thing I learned, really, is no matter where you go, God puts you places where you can find family. I can't thank God enough for the men he's put around me."
For the longest time Saturday, it looked like the Mountain Hawks were going to rally around Threatt.
He rushed for a team-high 73 yards on 17 carries. He hit 10 of 20 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, with a bum shoulder and without an interception.
He tied the game with that first-quarter touchdown throw to Fitzgerald, fueled a field-goal drive with the big pass to Yansane and set the touchdown that gave Lehigh a 17-14 lead with a 17-yard run followed by a 28-yard screen pass.
"Play hard, play tough," is what Threatt said are the biggest things he learned playing for Lehigh.
"He's such a competitor, as you saw out there today," said Coen, who by-passed sophomore Chris Bokosky, the recent starter at quarterback, and rode Threatt against Lafayette. "He'd been working hard to get back. I thought he'd give us the best chance to beat this football team."
He was right. In the final game of Lehigh's first losing season in 10 years, Threatt gave the Mountain Hawks a chance to be winners.
He may not have gained the victory he was looking for. But in the end, Sedale Threatt found so much more.
"It's Lehigh-Lafayette," Threatt said. "I just tried my hardest to do my part. I know I wasn't, per se, 100 percent.
"But I gave it my all."
This story originally appeared in the Sunday, November 18, 2007 edition of The Express-Times . Used with permission.