BETHLEHEM, PA — Well, that was fun.
Penn football toppled Lehigh on Saturday afternoon in a thrilling shootout victory, scoring nine touchdowns en route to its second win of the season, 65-47 — the most the Quakers (2-0) have scored since 1946. The 112 total points scored were the most in a Penn game ever.
Sophomore running back Karekin Brooks stole the show from the onset at Goodman Stadium. In the first half alone, the starter — who filled in for the injured Tre Solomon — ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Brooks' momentum carried through halftime, however, and he finished the game just four yards shy of the program record for rushing yards in a single game with 268. However, he did smash the program record for rushing yards in back-to-back games with 410.
He averaged an astonishing 9.2 yards per carry, ran for three touchdowns and even threw one himself with a deft jump-pass on the goal-line to freshman David Ryslik in the third quarter. But despite his historic showing, Brooks felt he didn't deserve all the credit.
"It feels good. The offensive line blocked really well for me — shoutout to Tommy Dennis," Brooks said.
Behind the offensive trident of Brooks, senior quarterback Will Fischer-Colbrie and senior wideout Justin Watson, the Quakers were nothing short of dominant when they had the ball. They punted on just one possessions.
Fischer-Colbrie threw for 235 yards. His favorite target of the day, Watson, put up his usual solid numbers as well — five receptions for 47 yards, as well as a 54-yard rushing touchdown. The offense totaled 615 yards on the day.
It was a game where everyone's stat lines in the box score read favorably. Even the defense, who gave up 47 points, managed to force three turnovers — and also score a defensive PAT for the first time since 2011.
However, the defense did struggle to make stops against a potent offense, led by a dangerous quarterback. They gave up a total of 552 yards, as Lehigh (0-4) piled up big gain after big gain.
"Today the offense had to pick us up a little bit, but even in the key moments, we can always make a difference, and just we know we always have playmakers on defense," junior linebacker Nick Miller said.
With the win today, the Quakers are now 2-0 for the first time since 2004. Spirits are high as they head into Ivy League play riding a huge wave of momentum before playing Dartmouth on Friday.
"I think it's all about momentum," coach Ray Priore said. "I think at different times in the last couple years we've hit that stride at different points... If we keep on making good decisions, and making good plays, we'll just build momentum."
The first two games of the season have seen fireworks fly from the Quakers, and the lively crowd of over five thousand saw something particularly special. If the trend continues, the fans at Franklin Field will be in for a fine showing on Friday.
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