Karekin Brooks just keeps on rolling.
While Penn football worked its way into the win column with a 28-24 victory on Saturday after a season-opening loss to Delaware, the senior running back has been the model of consistency. He totaled 158 yards on 28 carries against Delaware, and one additional Brooks carry might have made all the difference for the Quakers. Against Lafayette, senior quarterback Nick Robinson handed the ball to Brooks 29 times, and the back responded with 202 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
What makes Brooks' performance at Lafayette even more impressive — aside from his becoming the first running back in Penn football history to eclipse the 200-yard mark three times in a career — is the time in which he did it.
After the first quarter, the Red and Blue had amassed a mere six yards of total offense. It wasn't until the fourth quarter that Brooks found the end zone for the first time. Seven plays after a short punt by Lafayette gave the Quakers starting field position at their opponent's 42-yard line, Brooks took a snap in the Wildcat formation and hit paydirt from two yards out to give the Red and Blue a 21-10 lead.
With 1:43 remaining and Penn holding onto a 21-18 advantage, Brooks put the game away when he scored from 31 yards out for his second touchdown of the day.
Although he did most of his damage on the ground, Brooks has established himself as a valuable target in the Red and Blue passing game. He had three receptions against both Delaware and Lafayette, totaling 41 yards receiving.
High-volume, high-efficiency production is nothing new for Brooks, who led Penn in rushing during his sophomore and junior seasons with 840 and 898 yards, respectively. Even for the 2018 second team All-Ivy running back, though, 360 yards on the ground through two games is outlandish. He is currently averaging 6.3 yards per carry, and his mark of 180 rushing yards per game is good for the best in the Ivy League. Cornell's senior running back Harold Coles is a distant second with 134 yards per game.
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