With 10 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against UPenn, the Lehigh football team was in almost the exact position it was in last week against Yale University. The Mountain Hawks were trying to dig themselves out of a big deficit.
Coming off a performance where the Mountain Hawks allowed 56 points to Yale, Lehigh’s defense had hoped to improve against Penn, however that was not the case.
In what was a high-scoring affair Saturday at Goodman Stadium, Lehigh (0-4) couldn’t keep up with Penn’s offense as the Quakers (2-0) cruised to a 65-47 win. Penn’s offense tallied 615 total yards of offense with 249 yards in the air and 366 yards on the ground. Penn running back Karekin Brooks tallied 268 rushing yards and three touchdowns, coming just 11 yards shy of the Goodman Stadium rushing record.
Both teams combined for 112 points, which set a new record at Goodman Stadium.
Junior quarterback Brad Mayes threw for 444 yards to go along with four touchdowns while senior wide receiver Gatlin Casey being able to haul in 10 catches for 193 yards and three touchdowns. However Mayes had his issues, taking two sacks and throwing two interceptions.
One of his interceptions came off of a play where Mayes threw the ball too low and it ended up being tipped, causing it to float into a defenders hands giving Penn field position within the 30-yard line. Penn was able to score almost immediately after. Mayes took some blame for putting the defense in difficult situations.
“I made two to three mistakes that put our defense in a bad position,” Mayes said, “For Penn, they obviously did a great job but I put our defense in a bad position three times, three bad positions. I’m better than that and I just need to cut down on my turnovers.
The Quaker passing attack was able to burst through the Mountain Hawk secondary as the Lehigh defense was unable to get pressure on QB Will Fischer-Colbrie outside of one sack. Fischer-Colbrie was able to pass for three touchdowns and he was able to lead his team on several fourth down conversions that allowed Penn to defeat the Mountain Hawks and grab their second win on the season.
“You prepare yourself all through the week and when you’re in those situations you know what scheme you are going to use, and you know really sometimes the scheme matches up really well and the guys can stop the play, and sometimes it goes the other way.” coach Andy Coen said. “You prepare for it, this is what we’re going to do in those situations and part of football is you prepare you prepare and you prepare but your preparation may not always match up the way you think tis going to be.”
Coen indicated that he must make changes to the defense in order to staunch the flow of teams able to blow Lehigh out. Lehigh’s defense has allowed its opponents to score in every quarter this year, and has surrendered at least 38 points in every game. Coen also said that he’d “never been in this type of situation before.” in terms of the defensive performance.
“We still have a lot of young guys in there, that sounds like an excuse but it’s reality.” said Coen. “I saw Keith Wetzel doing a lot of really good things out there and one time I did see him knock their big tailback down and there were other times where he knocked him around. Sometimes matchups aren’t good enough.”
Lehigh will travel to Wagner College next Saturday in search of its first win of the season before Patriot League play begins.