After dominating the second half on the way to defeating Penn for its first victory of the 2016 season, two members of the Lehigh football team were recognized with Patriot League weekly awards Monday for their efforts in the Mountain Hawks’ 49-28 triumph at Franklin Field. Senior quarterback Nick Shafnisky was named Offensive Player of the Week, while sophomore Ed Mish was named Special Teams Player of the Week.
These are the first weekly awards won by Lehigh in the 2016 football season.
Shafnisky enjoyed one of the finest all-around games of his Lehigh career, amassing 388 yards of total offense and accounting for a career-best six touchdowns. He set a new career high for completions, connecting on 28-of-41 attempts for 317 yards and three touchdowns, in what was his fifth career 300-yard passing game. Shafnisky also rushed 12 times for 71 yards and added a career-high three touchdowns on the ground. All three touchdowns came in the first half, with the final one coming as time expired in the half. Mish’s ensuing extra point pulled Lehigh even at 28-28 at halftime before the Mountain Hawks outscored the Quakers 21-0 over the final 30 minutes.
For the season, the Whitehall, Pa. product has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 722 yards and five touchdowns, while also rushing for 124 yards and five scores. This is the third Offensive Player of the Week award of Shafnisky’s career.
Mish handled all the kicking and punting duties for the Mountain Hawks on the way to his second career Special Teams Player of the Week award. He was a perfect 7-for-7 on extra point attempts against the Quakers and averaged 61.9 yards on seven kickoffs with a pair of touchbacks. Mish also punted three times, averaging 48.7 yards per punt with a long of 56 yards.
Through three games, Mish is a perfect 13-for-13 on extra points and is averaging 45.2 yards on 10 punts. Mish’s only previous Special Teams Player of the Week award came from his performance in last year’s Penn game.
The Lehigh defense pitched a shutout in the second half Saturday night and senior linebacker Pierce Ripanti was cited with honorable mention recognition. Ripanti finished with five tackles and posted his first sack of the season, which forced a three-and-out in the third quarter. He also was credited with a pass breakup as Lehigh limited Penn to just 67 yards and three first downs in the second half.
The Mountain Hawks return to Goodman Stadium on Saturday to host Princeton. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. on Youth Sports Day. Tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME or by visiting LehighTickets.com.
Information courtesy Lehigh University Athletics.