Sophomore defensive back Sam McCloskey runs the ball down the field after getting an interception during Lehigh's game against Monmouth University on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at Goodman Stadium. Lehigh defeated Penn 49-28 on Saturday in Philadelphia. (Erik Thomas/B&W Staff)

Shafnisky’s 6 touchdowns lead Lehigh football over Penn, 49-28

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After only four combined touchdowns in the first two games of the season, Nick Shafnisky more than matched that total Saturday.

The senior quarterback’s six total touchdowns powered the Lehigh football team to a 49-28 victory against Penn in Philadelphia. The six scores was a career high, beating his previous high of five, which he recorded in last season’s win against Lafayette.

The game also included a career-high three rushing touchdowns for Shafnisky, who added 71 yards on the ground in the process. He also had 317 passing yards.

Other key performers included wide receiver Troy Pelletier, who had 11 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown, and running back Dom Bragalone, who totaled 96 rushing yards.

So far this season, Lehigh’s defense has improved from last year, allowing just 24.5 points per game heading into Saturday’s game. But the offense failed to produce enough to take advantage of that, which resulted in a pair of close losses.

Saturday was different, though, as the Hawks exploded for 49 points, more than double their 21 points per game average to start the season.

The first half had the makings of a shootout, as neither team punted until the third quarter. The Quakers jumped to a 14-7 lead after the first quarter, but Lehigh fought back and tied it up at 14 after a lengthy drive.

The teams continued to trade touchdowns, and down 28-21 with one second left on Penn’s one-yard line, the Mountain Hawks went for it and scored to tie it at 28 going into halftime.

Lehigh’s defense then stopped the Quakers from scoring a single point in the second half as its offense continued to make quick work of Penn’s defense. Lehigh finished the game on a 28-0 run.

This win gives Lehigh (1-2) its first win of the season and its second year in a row beating Penn (0-1). The Hawks will return home next Saturday to take on Princeton at 12:30 p.m.

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