Freshman Karekin Brooks rushed for 134 yards — including this 61-yarder — and two touchdowns in the first half alone against Lehigh.

Credit: William Snow

This performance was one for the record B(r)ooks.

On Saturday against Lehigh, sophomore running back Karekin Brooks dominated with 268 rushing yards and four total touchdowns to carry Penn to its 65-47 victory. His 268 yards might have not been quite enough to break Penn’s all-time record of 272, but it was enough to earn him the honor of DP Sports’ Player of the Week.

As impressive as Brooks’ running was, his best play of the game, though, may have come through the air when he hit freshman David Ryslik with a touchdown jump-pass in the third quarter. 

Credit: Julia Schorr

And unfortunately for Brooks, he had an even more impressive play called back. With the clock winding down, Brooks exploded for a 61 yard touchdown run only to see it negated after one of his teammates was flagged for holding. Had the play stood, it would not only have been Brooks' fifth touchdown of the night, but it also would've obliterated the rushing record he came oh so close to breaking.

If there were any doubts about how Penn would replace injured senior running back Tre Solomon, Brooks has assuaged all concerns. In the past two games, Brooks has ran for 410 yards — a program record for back-to-back games. 

Brooks has been so dominant that one can only wonder what will happen once Solomon returns. After leading the Ivy League in rushing last year, many expected Solomon to be one of the best players in the conference. Solomon has done nothing to suggest he won’t be his usual self when he returns, so the coaching staff seems to have a good problem on their hands with how they’ll split snaps between the two.

With Ivy League play starting next week against Dartmouth, all eyes will be on Brooks. How he responds should say a lot about who Penn’s lead running back will be for the rest of the season.

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