Football earns team win at Family Weekend win over University of Pennsylvania

Freshman+quarterback+Ah-Shaun+Davis+stands+out+as+the+Lafayette+football+team+puts+on+a+dominant+performance+at+Family+Weekend%2C+claiming+their+first+win+%2824-14%29+over+the+University+of+Pennsylvania.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Cole+Jacobson+24%29

Freshman quarterback Ah-Shaun Davis stands out as the Lafayette football team puts on a dominant performance at Family Weekend, claiming their first win (24-14) over the University of Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of Cole Jacobson ’24)

Drew Steiner

Commotion erupted from the stands as students and families cheered for the Lafayette football team as it claimed its first win this past Saturday with a 24-14 victory over the University of Pennsylvania Quakers during Family Weekend. The Leopards put on an all-around dominant performance.

Making his second start of the season, freshman quarterback Ah-Shaun Davis played a clean game. The New Jersey native had 12 completions on 18 attempts with 157 yards and a touchdown.

“The energy was great from start to finish this weekend,” Davis said. “It was definitely one of my favorite games to be a part of.”

The game proved to be tight when both teams remained scoreless after the first quarter. Junior wide receiver Joe Gillette opened the scoring with a 29-yard rushing touchdown early in the second quarter. Coming off of a strong performance against New Hampshire in which he hauled in six passes for 53 yards, Gillette caught six targets for 91 yards and a receiving touchdown along with a rushing touchdown on Saturday.

“We did a great job of controlling the game,” Davis said. “The offense didn’t turn the ball over and the defense took the ball away which is our main goal every week. We executed at a high level.”

On their next possession, the Quakers answered with a long touchdown pass. The Leopards closed out the half with a 25-yard field goal off the foot of freshmen kicker Micah Pettit to take a 10-7 lead headed into the locker room.

About halfway through the third quarter, the Quakers capped off a seven-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run to take a 14-10 lead. The Quakers’ only lead of the day did not last long. On the first play of the next drive, Davis found Gillette, his accomplice of the day, on a 70-yard touchdown pass to reclaim a 17-14 lead. 

The Leopards closed out the third quarter with senior linebacker Billy Shaeffer intercepting a pass and returning it 41 yards for a touchdown. The Leopards took a 24-14 lead and never looked back as both teams closed out the game with a scoreless fourth quarter. 

Coming in and starting at the helm was a big task for Davis.

“We always have to be ready,” he said. “I personally have to take in everything from practice and be confident in my abilities. The biggest thing though is my teammates and coaches believing in me to lead the team to victory each and every week.”

Lafayette’s defense continued their strong season, holding the Quakers to 11 total rushing yards and intercepting the Quakers three times, including the pick-six. The defense also notched two sacks in the win.

The Leopards also had a balanced offensive attack in the victory, with Davis throwing for 157 yards to go along with the Leopards’ 141 yards on the ground. The Leopards’ leading rusher was freshman running back Michael Hayes who racked up 58 yards on 18 carries.

Davis and the Leopards will look to build off of this strong performance as Patriot League play begins this coming Saturday, Oct. 2. Lafayette will host the 1-3 Fordham Rams at 3:30 p.m. in Fisher Stadium.