Jan. 31, 2012
Patriot League Football Release - 2011 Season Review
Center Valley, Pa. -- A season that started with a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Patriot League football became one of the most accomplished the League has ever seen with teams and individuals making a lasting mark.
Most of the success came from Patriot League champion Lehigh and its senior quarterback Chris Lum. The Mountain Hawks won their second consecutive League title and became the first Patriot League team since 2003 to place in the top five in the final national rankings. Lehigh won at Colonial Athletic Association champion Towson 40-38 in the second round of the FCS playoffs before falling to eventual national champion North Dakota State in the quarterfinals the next week.
In addition to its No. 5 finish in the national ranking, Lehigh became the first Patriot League team since 2001 to win the ECAC Lambert Cup as the top FCS team in the east.
Lum placed second in the voting for the Walter Payton Award, given to the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS. He also won the ECAC and College Sports Journal Offensive Player of the Year award in addition to the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honor.
The succes was not limited to Lehigh, however. In its best season as a Patriot League member, Georgetown received accolades that included an ECAC Defensive Player of the Year award for senior Andrew Schaetzke. The standout defensive end also became one of only nine players in League history to earn consensus FCS All-America status.
Schaetzke and Lum were part of a large contingent of Patriot Leaguers to earn All-America honors. Lehigh junior wide receiver Ryan Spadola, Bucknell senior defensive back Bryce Robertson and Fordham junior punter Patrick Murray were also named by multiple outlets.
Patriot League Notebook
Lehigh Takes Home the Lambert Cup, Finishes in Top Five Nationally
After winning the Patriot League and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision postseason, Lehigh received praise for its accomplishments as it claimed the ECAC FCS Lambert Cup and finished in the top five nationally.
The Mountain Hawks became the first Patriot League team since 2001 to win the Lambert Cup as the top FCS team in the east. They were voted No. 1 in the final Lambert Meadowlands FCS Poll. Lehigh will be honored as the ECAC FCS Team of the Year at the annual Eastern College Football Awards Banquet held on Thursday, Feb. 16. Lehigh wins a sixth Lambert Cup for the Patriot League. Holy Cross earned the trophy in four straight seasons from 1986-89 before the Mountain Hawks claimed the crown in 2001. Lehigh also finished fifth in the final Sports Network/Fathead.com top 25, and sixth in the FCS Coaches Poll. The ranks are the highest for a Patriot League school since Colgate came in at No. 2 following a national runner-up finish in 2003.
Mountain Hawks Become First in a Decade with Repeat Outright Titles
By winning its second consecutive outright Patriot League title and going 5-0 in League action for the second year in a row, Lehigh accomplished a feat that had not been seen in a decade. The Mountain Hawks were the first program with back-to-back outright titles in undefeated seasons since they did it in 2000 and 2001 as part of a run of four consecutive titles (1998-01) overall. The last program to repeat in any fashion had been Lafayette who won three straight League titles from 2004-06.
Lehigh's Lum, Georgetown's Schaetzke Honored by ECAC
The Patriot League cleaned up in the awards from the ECAC, as Lehigh senior quarterback Chris Lum and Georgetown senior defensive end Andrew Schaetkze won top individual honors from the organization. Lum was named the organization's Offensive Player of the Year, while Schaetzke took home the Defensive Player of the Year honor. It marks the first time since 1988 that multiple Patriot Leaguers won individual honors from the ECAC. Lum and Schaetzke also finished as two of the Patriot League's record 15 selections on the 2011 ECAC FCS All-Star Team, which trailed only the CAA (16) for the most on the squad.
Patriot Leaguers Finish High in National Awards Voting
Lum and Schaetzke each placed in the top five of the voting for the major FCS national awards. Lum came in second place for the Walter Payton Award, and was on hand at the FCS Awards Banquet in Frisco, Texas on Jan. 6 as one of three finalists for the honor. Schaetkze placed fourth in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the country. Lehigh's Andy Coen and Georgetown's Kevin Kelly placed sixth and seventh respectively in the voting for the Eddie Robinson Award.
Eight Patriot Leaguers Earn All-America Recognition
The Patriot League had eight players make posteason All-America teams, including five who were named by multiple organizations. Georgetown senior defensive end Andrew Schaetzke was the top honoree as he became the League's ninth consensus All-American by making the four major FCS All-America lists: Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Sports Network/Fathead.com and Walter Camp. Lehigh junior wide receiver Ryan Spadola and Bucknell senior defensive back Bryce Robertson made three of the top four teams, while Lehigh senior quarterback Chris Lum and Fordham junior punter Patrick Murray were on a pair. Robertson was named the FCS Eite Defensive Back and Murray the Punter of the Year by College Football Performance Awards. Lehigh senior offensive linemen Jim Liebler and Troy McKenna and linebacker Mike Groome also earned All-America status. The listing of Patriot League All-Americans by organization is included below. The six selections from The Sports Network/Fathead.com and Associated Press were the most for the Patriot League since 2003. The Patriot League placed multiple players on the Walter Camp All-America Team for the first time since 2004, and the AFCA squad for the first since 2007.
Sports Network/Fathead.com (6): 1st team: Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola, Bucknell DB Bryce Robertson, Georgetown DE Andrew Schaetzke; 2nd team: Lehigh QB Chris Lum; 3rd Team: Lehigh OL Jim Liebler; Fordham P Patrick Murray
Associated Press (6): 1st team: Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola; 2nd Team: Bucknell DB Bryce Robertson, Georgetown DE Andrew Schaetzke; Lehigh QB Chris Lum; 3rd Team: Lehigh OL Troy McKenna, Fordham P Patrick Murray
AFCA (2): Georgetown DE Andrew Schaetzke, Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola
Walter Camp (2): Georgetown DE Andrew Schaetzke, Bucknell DB Bryce Robertson
Phil Steele's (7): 1st team: Georgetown DE Andrew Schaetzke; 2nd team: Lehigh QB Chris Lum, Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola 3rd Team: Bucknell DB Bryce Robertson, Lehigh OL Jim Liebler; Fordham P Patrick Murray, Lehigh LB Mike Groome
CSN Fabulous Fifty (4): Georgetown DE Andrew Schaetzke; Lehigh QB Chris Lum, Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola, Bucknell DB Bryce Robertson
College Sports Journal (4): Georgetown DE Andrew Schaetzke; Lehigh QB Chris Lum, Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola, Bucknell DB Bryce Robertson
Bucknell's Bolte Leads List Of Academic Honorees
Bucknell's Tim Bolte received plenty of acclaim for his accomplishments on and off the field this season, as the Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year was named a Capital One First-Team Academic All-American and a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy. He was also one of four honored as an FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-American, where he was joined by Holy Cross senior Mike McCabe, Lafayette senior Brandon Ellis and Lehigh junior Zach Barket. Bolte and McCabe were two of 12 seniors selected as finalists for the 11th Annual FCS ADA's $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. The quartet all earned Academic All-District honors along with Lehigh junior Ryan Spadola, Fordham junior Brendan Melanophy and Holy Cross sophomore John Macomber.
Moorhead Returns to Fordham as Head Football Coach
Joe Moorhead returned to Fordham in December as the new head coach of the football program. Moorhead, who was a three-year starter at quarterback for the Rams in the 1990's, signed a multi-year agreement. He replaces Tom Masella, who was let go after six years in the position.
Lehigh leads the Way on All-Patriot League Team
Patriot League champion Lehigh all schools with 16 All-League selections, including 11 on the first team. The 11 first-team selections tied for the second-most in Patriot League history, and were the top mark since the 1998 Lehigh team also had that total. The Mountain Hawks set records with nine first-team and 10 overall selections on the All-Patriot League offense. Bucknell and Holy Cross each followed with 12 All-Patriot League selections, with the Bison placing six and the Crusaders five on the first team. Lafayette had 10 All-Patriot League picks, while Georgetown recorded eight and Colgate had one. Lehigh senior quarterback Chris Lum was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Mountain Hawk to claim the honor since 2001. Georgetown senior defensive end Andrew Schaetzke took home the League's Defensive Player of the Year award, while Kevin Kelly was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year for the Hoyas. Each became the first Hoya to win their respective honor. Lafayette freshman running back/return specialist Ross Scheuerman rounded out the award winners by becoming the school's first Rookie of the Year since 2001. For the full All-Patriot League team and more on the major award winners, go to page four of the football release.
Patriot League Celebrates 25th Football Anniversary
The Patriot League celebrated its 25 seasons as a football conference throughout the 2011 campaign. The League's coverage of the silver anniversary started with the selection of the Patriot League Football 25th Anniversary Team in July, and continued with pages dedicated to This Day in Patriot League history, post-graduation updates of top former players and profiles of the League as well as all programs. The coverage also included looks at each position on the field in Patriot League history and question and answer interviews with former players and coaches. The coverage wrapped up with the announcement of the selections by fans of the top individual team, program, offensive player, defensive player and coach in Patriot League history. The Patriot League Football 25th Anniversary page can be found on the League's football home page and under the special features tab on the front page at www.patriotleague.org.
Lehigh's Lum and Spadola, Bucknell's Robertson Lead 2011 Record-Breakers
Lehigh's Chris Lum and Ryan Spadola set Patriot League records through the air in 2011, while Bucknell's Bryce Robertson hit his marks by stopping aerial assaults. Lum set single-season Patriot League records for passing yards (4,378), completions (358) and total offense (4,499), while placing in the top five in passing touchdowns (32). Spadola was one of the benefactors, breaking the League record with 1,614 receiving yards and placing second in League history with 96 receptions, one spot ahead of teammate Jake Drwal with 92. Bucknell's Bryce Robertson, though, may have set the mark that stands the test of time the longest. Robertson recorded 13 interceptions in 2011, shattering the previous Patriot League record of nine that had stood for 24 years. His total was just one off the FCS record and easily led the nation.
Patriot League with Strong Non-League Campaign
The seven Patriot League teams finished with a combined 20-17 mark against an all Division I schedule, with a 20-15 record against FCS opponents. The Patriot League finished with a 9-7 record against the Ivy League. In addition to winning the season series with the Ivy League, the Patriot League swept five games from the Northeast Conference and three from the Pioneer Football League. Lehigh's win over No. 23 Liberty on Sept. 24 marked the fourth straight season that a Patriot League team beat a ranked non-League foe, with the Mountain Hawks adding to the total by knocking off CAA champion and No. 8 ranked Towson in the FCS playoffs on Dec. 3.
Bucknell The Bison finished with their first winning record since 2006 by going 6-5 overall...Bucknell led the nation in turnover margin with a +27 mark, with senior Bryce Robertson setting a Patriot League record and leading all FCS players with 13 interceptions on the season...He shattered the previous Patriot League mark of nine, and came within one of an FCS record...Robertson earned plenty of All-America recognition for his performance...He was placed on the first team by Sports Network/Fathead.com and Walter Camp, named to the College Sporting News
and College Sports Journal squads and also recognized as the Elite Defensive Back in the nation by College Football Performance Awards...In addition, Robertson took home second-team All-Ameriaca honors from the Associated Press and third team by Phil Steele's...Robertson was one of six Bison to earn first-team All-Patriot League honors, along with senior defensive linemen Robert De La Rosa and Josh Eden, junior running back Tyler Smith, senior placekicker Drew Orth and junior punter Ryan Gutowski...Second-team All-Patriot League status went to sophomore fullback/H-back Travis Friend, senior wide receiver Frank DeNick and offensive linemen Anthony Carter and Ian Dal Bello, junior linebacker Beau Traber and senior defensive back Sean Rafferty...Senior Tim Bolte was named the Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year, giving Bucknell its third consecutive and ninth overall selection...Bolte also added first-team Academic All-America status to his honor, and was named to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star squad...He was joined on the Academic All-Patriot League Team by Robertson..Bucknell's turnaround from 1-10 last season to 6-5 in 2011 was among the best in the country.
Colgate The Raiders ended a tough season on a high note with a 21-6 win over Bucknell on Nov. 19...Colgate finished the year at 5-6 overall and 1-4 in the Patriot League, with the win in the season finale avoiding its first winless campaign since 1995...Senior linebacker Chris DiMassa earned second-team All-Patriot League honors...Senior Adam Lock and junior Chris Looney were each named to the Academic All-Patriot League Team.
Fordham The Rams dropped their final nine games of the 2011 season, ending the campaign with a 1-10 record after losing 41-21 against Holy Cross on Nov. 19...After that game, Fordham Head Coach Tom Masella was relieved of his duties by the school...Masella had coached the Rams since 2006, and led the team to the 2007 League title...Fordham hired alum Joe Moorhead to replace Masella...
Moorhead quarterbacked the Rams in the 1990s...Junior punter Patrick Murray was one of the bright spots for the year, and he was named a third-team All-American by
Sports Network/Fathead.com, Associated Press and Phil Steele's and the FCS Punter of the Year by College Football Performance Awards.
Georgetown Though the Hoyas came up just short of the Patriot League title, they continued an outstanding turnaround by going 8-3 overall and 3-2 in the League...The Hoyas improved by four games from last year's 4-7 record, and have improved by eight games from their 0-11 mark in 2009...Senior defensive end Andrew Schaetzke earned acclaim for his strong season...Schaetzke placed fourth in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS, and won the ECAC FCS Defensive Player of the Year honor...He also became the ninth Patriot Leaguer to earn consensus All-America status when he was tabbed by Sports Network/Fathead.com, Associated Press, Walter Camp and American Football Coaches Association...Schaetzke also added honors from Phil Steele's, College Sports Journal and College Sporting News, and was named to the first team by each organization with the exception of the AP...He amassed 13 sacks for the year and 30.5 for his career, good for third in Patriot League history...Schaetzke was also named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year...Kevin Kelly became Georgetown's first Patriot League Coach of the Year award winner and also placed seventh in the voting for the Eddie Robinson Award as the top coach in the FCS...The Hoyas had seven players named to the All-Patriot League Team...Schaetzke was joined by junior linebacker Robert McCabe and junior defensive back Jeremy Moore on the first team, with Moore also making the squad as a return specialist...Running back Nick Campanella, offensive lineman Mike Roland, placekicker Brett Weiss and defensive back Jayah Kaisamba were named to the second team...Jeremiah Kayal and Willburn Logan received Academic All-Patriot League honors.
Holy Cross The Crusaders finished with a winning record for the seventh straight season by defeating Fordham 41-21 in their season finale on Nov. 19...They also had a sixth straight above .500 campaign in League play...Holy Cross had 12 All-Patriot League players, with wide receiver Gerald Mistretta, offensive lineman Mike McCabe, linebacker Ricky Otis, defensive back Chandler Fenner and punter Corey Page on the first team and quarterback Ryan Taggart, wide receiver Mike Fess, offensive lineman Sean Whited, defensive linemen Jack Maliska and Mike Tucker, linebacker C.J. Martin and defensive back Tom Mannix on the second team...McCabe, Mannix and John Macomber all earned Academic All-Patriot League status...McCabe also added a spot on the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team.
Lafayette Lafayette finished the year with records of 4-7 overall and 1-4 in the Patriot League...Nine Leopards earned All-Patriot League honors, led by offensive lineman Scott Biel, linebacker Leroy Butler, defensive back Brandon Ellis and punter Ethan Swerdlow on the first team...Second-team selections included running back Ross Scheuerman, who was also named at return specialist and won the Patriot League Rookie of the Year award...Scheuerman was a finalist for the
inaugural Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the FCS...Wide receiver Mark Ross, tight end Kevin Doty, defensive lineman Rick Lyster and linebacker Ben Eaton also made the second team...Ellis and Ross were named Academic All-Patriot League honorees, with Ellis later adding a spot on the FCS ADA Academic All-Star squad.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks put together one of the most impressive seasons in Patriot League history by advancing to the national quarterfinals and finishing in the top five nationally...Lehigh won its second straight Patriot League title, doing so by going undefeated in the League for the second year in a row...The Mountain Hawks then won a second round game in the FCS playoffs by defeating CAA champion Towson 40-38 on the road on Dec. 3...Lehigh fell at eventual national
champion North Dakota State 24-0 in the quarterfinals the following week...The Mountain Hawks ended the season at No. 5 in the Sports Network/Fathead.com rankings, and No. 6 in the FCS Coaches Poll...Lehigh is the Patriot League's highest-ranked team since 2003...The win over Towson also helped lift Lehigh to the No. 1 ranking in the final ECAC FCS Lambert Poll, making the Mountain Hawks the ECAC Team of the Year...Lehigh is the sixth Patriot League team to receive that distinction, and first since it accomplished the feat in 2001...The Mountain Hawks became the first team in a decade to win consecutive outright Patriot League titles, and added to their accomplishment by becoming the first since the 2000 and 2001 Lehigh squads to finish undefeated in the Patriot League in back-to-back years...Senior quarterback Chris Lum
received numerous honors for his outstanding season...Lum was one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the nation, and attended the FCS Awards Banquet where it was announced that he finished tied for second in the voting...He was also named the ECAC FCS Offensive Player of the Year and College Sports Journal Offensive Player of the Year as well as the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year...Lum set single-season Patriot League records for passing yardage (4,378), completions (358) and total offense (4,499)...His top wide receiver, Ryan Spadola, set the League record for yards (1,614) and placed second in receptions (96)...Lum and Spadola each received numerous All-America honors...Lum was recognized as a second-team All-American by Sports Network/Fathead.com, Associated Press and Phil Steele's, and was a member of the College Sporting News Fabulous Fifty Team and College Sports Journal saud...Spadola was selected by all of the above organization as well as the AFCA, with three first-team All-America honors...Offensive linemen Jim Liebler (Sports Network/Fathead.com, Phil Steele's) and Troy McKenna (AP) were also recognized as All-Americans along with linebacker Mike Groome (Phil Steele's)...Head Coach Andy Coen placed sixth in the voting for the Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS Coach of the Year...Lum, Spadola, Liebler and McKenna were part of a group of nine players from Lehigh to earn first-team All-Patriot League recognition on offense, which also included running back Zach Barket, wide receiver Jake Drwal, tight end Jamel Haggins, fullback/H-back Mark Wickware and offensive lineman Mike Vuono...Defensive lineman Ben Flizack and Groome made the first team from the defense... The 11 first-team selections tied for the second-most in Patriot League history, and were the top mark since the 1998 Lehigh team also had that total...The Mountain Hawks set records with nine first-team and 10 overall selections on the All-Patriot League offense...Barket, Spadola and Tanner Rivas earned Academic All-Patriot League honors, with Barket also selected as an FCS ADA Academic All-Star.