Knoch's McTighe making mark at Lafayette
College Football Videos
Jake McTighe entered his freshman year at Lafayette College competing for the starting fullback position.
Things didn't go his way in the beginning and soon he found himself in a struggle to see the field outside of special teams' play.
“I definitely was discouraged,” said McTighe, a Knoch graduate. “The other fullback had been starting the past four years, and I have a chance to start, but I didn't. It was frustrating.”
Turns out, all McTighe needed was a change of scenery — or, more like a change of perspective on the football field.
As a junior, he made the switch from fullback to defensive end, and he spent this regular season as a senior starter for the Leopards' defense.
His final season has been full of excitement and moments that are now etched in Lafayette history.
On Nov. 16, the Leopards upset previously unbeaten and then-No. 5 ranked Fordham, 27-14. It was the first time in school history that Lafayette beat a top-5 opponent. McTighe made his presence known, registering three tackles and a sack that resulted in a fumble that was recovered by Fordham.
A week later, Lafayette defeated No. 15 Lehigh, 50-28. The win secured the Leopards the Patriot League Championship and an automatic bid in the FCS playoffs.
Although Lafayette finished the regular season with a 5-6 record, it went 4-1 in the Patriot League and played Saturday at No. 15 New Hampshire in the first round.
The Patriot League title was Lafayette's first since 2006, and the playoff appearance was the fourth in school history.
“It feels good because the past three years we've been working so hard for it,” McTighe said about the conference title. “It's nice that I get another chance to go out and play again and play a sport I've dedicated my whole life to.”
McTighe finished the regular season with 27 tackles (41⁄2 for loss) and 21⁄2 sacks.
Knoch football coach Mike King not only coached McTighe but continued to root for him. Like McTighe, King also played at Lafayette.
He's kept in touch with McTighe throughout his collegiate career and even made the trip to the Fordham game.
“I tell you what, it was a real thrill,” King said. “I was there with my family and getting to see him play, and be happy there, it was a tremendous feeling. We know his family real well and they were out there. Fordham was undefeated and it was a big win.
“I had a fantastic experience when I was at Lafayette. It's not easy to go play football there and study. He's doing extremely well. It's really nice to see. It's something that makes you real proud as a coach.”
An economics major with a minor in architectural studies, McTighe plans to pursue a master's degree at an architectural school following graduation. First, he has designs on more school history.
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Robert Morris falls to Eastern Kentucky in Banaszak’s coaching debut
- Banaszak instills toughness in Robert Morris football team
- Washington & Jefferson football team is set to make some D-III history
- Bush excited for position switch at St. Francis (Pa.)
- District college notebook: Crouse scores in debut for 24th-ranked PSU
- PSU Greater Allegheny names Care men’s basketball coach