Knoch grad McTighe helps Lafayette football make history
By D.j. Vasil
Published: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, 12:11 a.m.
Jake McTighe entered his freshman year at Lafayette in 2009 competing for the starting fullback position. Things didn't go his way in the beginning, and soon he found himself struggling for playing time beyond special teams.
“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 field.
As a junior, he made the switch from fullback to defensive end and spent this regular season as a senior starter for the Leopards' defense.
His final season has been full of excitement and moments that are 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-five opponent. McTighe made his presence known, registering three tackles and a sack that resulted in 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 into the FCS playoffs. The team finished 5-6 (4-1 Patriot League). It's the team's first Patriot League title since 2006 and just the fourth playoff berth in program history.
The Leopards open the playoffs at noon Saturday at New Hampshire (7-4) in a game that will be shown on ESPN3.
“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.”
For the season, McTigue has registered 34 total tackles and 21⁄2 sacks.
“Jake is having a terrific year,” Lafayette coach Frank Tavani said. “He's been a plus on special teams through the years and this year he's done a great job on the defensive line. I couldn't be happier with his development and he's one of our senior leaders.”
Knoch football coach Mike King not only coached McTigue but continued to root for him as a former player and fellow Leopard. 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.
“It's something that makes you real proud as a coach.”
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.
- District college notebook: Pitt sophomore infielder Wolsonovich fuels upset of UNC
- WPIAL flavor fuels Point Park women
- Campus clippings: Zalewski back to old self at Kent State
- Norwin graduates boost Pitt-Greensburg hockey team
- Former St. Joseph swimmer Stein headed to national meet with Edinboro
- Penn State New Kensington softball hit hard as season nears
- Point Park women look to break through at NAIA tournament
- UPG hockey team wins CHE tournament title, heads to nationals
- Breaking down conference wrestling tournaments
- NCAA-bound Penn State Behrend forged by Central America trip