Posted: 01/10/2012 | Last updated: January 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh’s outstanding 2011 football campaign continues to garner recognition. On Tuesday, senior quarterback Chris Lum was named ECAC Football Championship Subdivision Offensive Player of the Year. Lum was also one of seven Mountain Hawks named to the ECAC Division I Football Championship Subdivision All-Star teams.
Lum was joined on the ECAC All-Star first team by junior wide receiver Ryan Spadola and senior offensive lineman Troy McKenna. Lehigh’s second team ECAC All-Star selections included senior wide receiver Jake Drwal, senior center Jim Liebler, junior offensive lineman Mike Vuono and senior linebacker Mike Groome.
All seven ECAC All-Stars were first team All-Patriot League selections and five of the seven earned at least one All-America honor.
Lum garnered to most recognition as he was named the Patriot League’s Offensive Player of the Year, while earning All-America honors from the Associated Press, Sports Network, Phil Steele and College Sporting News. The runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, given to the outstanding player in the FCS, Lum set a number of Lehigh and Patriot League single season records, completing 358 of 543 passes (66 percent) for 4,378 yards and 32 touchdowns. He also tied a school record with six touchdown passes in an overtime loss to New Hampshire and had nine games of 300-plus yards passing, including a pair of outings where Lum eclipsed the 400 yard mark.
Lehigh’s leading receiver in 2011, Spadola garnered a team-leading five All-America citations for his on-field performance. A first-team All-Patriot League selection Spadola set Lehigh and Patriot League single season records with 96 receptions and 1,614 yards, and fell just 98 yards short of the FCS single season receiving record. Spadola ranked second nationally in receiving yards per game and sixth in the nation in receptions. He scored 11 touchdowns, including three against Princeton when he caught nine passes for 214 yards. Spadola set a career high with 216 receiving yards in Lehigh’s win over Fordham in October.
The Mountain Hawks finished the season ranked third nationally in total offense and fifth in passing offense. The performance of Lehigh’s offensive line helped pave the way for the Mountain Hawks’ offensive success. With McKenna at left tackle, Liebler at center and Vuono at right tackle, Lehigh’s offense rushed for 129 yards per game, while throwing for more than 340 yards per game. McKenna and Liebler each were recognized as All-Americans as the Mountain Hawks line allowed just 17 sacks in 13 games.
Drwal did not garner the post season accolades of his fellow wide out Spadola, but still managed to post one of the top receiving single seasons in school annals. A first team All-League selection, Drwal also eclipsed Lehigh’s single-season reception record with 92 grabs for 1060 yards and nine touchdowns. Drwal enjoyed four games with double-digit receptions and five games where he eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark. His best game was a ten catch, 112 yard, three touchdown effort against Yale.
Groome is the lone representative from Lehigh’s defense named to the ECAC All-Star team. A third-team All-America selection by Phil Steele, Groome was a preseason All-American and the Patriot League’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. A first team All-League selection, Groome led the Mountain Hawks in tackles for the second straight year, registering 117 from his inside linebacker spot, including 50 solo stops. Groome finished his senior season with 1.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with four interceptions.
The ECAC’s four major awards were split between the Patriot League and the Colonial Athletic Association. Georgetown defensive end Andrew Schaetzke was named ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, while Towson running back Terrance West and Villanova linebacker Dillon Lucas were the ECAC Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year respectively.