Sunday, October 15, 2006

Some notes from Lehigh

Yale’s defense had arguably its best game of this season, at a time when the Bulldogs needed it most.

Yale held Lehigh to 293 yards of total offense, two touchdowns and two field goals.

The Bulldogs contained Lehigh quarterback Sedale Threatt, holding him to 34 yards rushing and 189 yards passing.

Yale coach Jack Siedlecki showed confidence in his defense in the fourth quarter when he opted to punt with the score tied at 20 and the Bulldogs facing fourth-and-2 at the Lehigh 39.

Tom Mante’s punt soared out of bounds and put Lehigh at its own 9.

The Bulldog defense then held Lehigh to 8 yards on three plays, forcing a Mountain Hawk punt with 2 minutes, 9 seconds left.

In the overtime, after Lehigh drove from the 25 to the 6, the Bulldogs stopped Matt McGowan for no gain, then, after an incomplete pass, junior Brandt Hollander sacked Threatt for a 6-yard loss. Lehigh’s Jason Leo then attempted a 30-yard field goal, which was wide left.

"The defense came up with two huge stops," Siedlecki said.

"It helps our confidence," Hollander said of the punt, "and that’s what has really helped us, is our confidence in each other. We believe in each other."

Yale had several key defensive plays.

Sophomore safety Steve Santoro continued his impressive play, forcing a fumble from fullback Greg Fay in the third quarter that was recovered by senior defensive end Brendan Sponheimer.

It was the fourth turnover caused by Santoro in the past four games. He has two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Sponheimer has two fumble recoveries this season, the other coming at Lafayette.

"Everyone is just stepping up and making plays," Hollander said. "I think we’re trying to develop the same thing the offense has and allowing play-makers to make plays. It’s nice to see young guys come up and make big individual plays."

Sophomore defensive end Kyle Hawari stopped Threatt on a two-point conversion after Lehigh pulled to within 17-12.

Sophomore linebacker Bobby Abare led Yale with 10 tackles. Either Bobby Abare or twin brother Larry, a safety, have led Yale in tackles the last four games.

MORE MCLEOD
Mike McLeod’s 204 yards is tied for fourth on Yale’s single-game rushing list with Nick Crawford, who had 204 yards in 1991 against Penn.

McLeod’s 40 carries were the most since Rich Diana set a Yale record with 46 against Princeton in 1981.

He has rushed for 100 or more yards in four straight games. Four Bulldogs have rushed for 100 or more yards in five straight games: Rashad Bartholomew (2000), Paul Andrie (1982), John Pagliaro (1977) and Dick Jauron (1970).

McLeod has 761 rushing yards this season and nine rushing touchdowns through five games. Diana holds the season record for rushing yards with 1,442 in 1982. Pagliaro hold the season record for rushing touchdowns with 16.

Pagliaro is expected to be at the game next week. He will be in the area for a scholarship dinner in honor of the late Lou DeFilippo, his high school coach at Derby.

Pagliaro’s son John is a senior at Gilman High in Baltimore. Yale, Harvard and Duke are among those recruiting him.

EXTRA POINTS

‰ Freshman Jordan Farrell blocked a Lehigh punt in the second quarter.

‰ Yale failed to score first for the first time since the season-opening loss against San Diego. Yale led for a stretch of 191 minutes, 15 seconds.

‰ Henley, who played before his entire family for the first time, had five catches on third downs.

‰ Lehigh had won five straight against Yale.

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