PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/21/2017 – To be in position for at least a share of the Ivy League title the University of Pennsylvania team had to win the game against the Yale Bulldogs. The last time a team with two league losses shared wearing the crown was in 1982 when Penn joined Harvard and Dartmouth at the top with 5 – 2 records. The Red and Blue had no margin for error.
It appears that Penn will not be in such a position as Yale (5 – 1, 2 – 1) dents their hopes with a 24 – 19 decision over the Red and Blue at Franklin Field. The Quakers held a 19 – 18 lead with 9:03 to play in the fourth quarter. But the Bulldogs would answer with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in the winning score at the 4:11 mark. Yale quarterback found wide receiver Christopher Williams-Lopez with a 4-yard scoring strike.
“It’s tough, but we are going to keep taking it one week at a time,” Watson said about not getting a championship. “We talk about going 1 and 0. We hate losing period. I don’t like hugging my family after a loss, and there are other guys who feel the same way. So let’s try to go 1 – 0 and represent the program as best we can.”
The Red and Blue had their chances. The defense forced and recovered three Bulldogs fumbles. The biggest impact turnover happened with 10:12 left in the fourth when quarterback Kurt Rawlings was stripped of the ball by Penn defender Jacob Martin, who had a team-high 9 tackles, and recovered the ball at the Yale 32 yard line. The Quakers scored 3 plays later on a 2-yard touchdown run by Tre Solomon to get the lead.
“That’s what we stress, takeaways,” said safety Sam Philippi. “We make it happen because everyone is playing physical. We have a quota for turnovers and takeaways. We definitely thought it was important.”
The Yale running game behind Zane Dudek, who rushed for a game-high 103 yards, proved to be too much to overcome. For the game the Bulldogs ran for 217 yards to 60 for the Quakers. Deshawn Walter added 77 yards on the ground.
“We’ve enjoyed in years past when you get up on people, it takes people out of their game,” Penn Coach Ray Priore said about the ground attack. “When the game is close and you’re ahead, you have to defend everything. It’s hard.”
Getting the ball back with 3:28 left Yale ran the clock out with 7 running plays to get a much needed win.
“As a coach you don’t hope for a game like this, but we needed a game like this,” said Yale Coach Tony Reno. “We needed to see if we could do what we did at the end, get a come back in the fourth quarter, get into the endzone, make a stop, and run the clock out.”
The Bulldogs took control of the game a half minute before intermission when Rawlings threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Reed Klubnik, it was one of two scoring tosses for Rawlings who threw for 199 yards.
Penn got out on top on a Will Fischer-Colbrie 23-yard scoring toss to wide receiver Justin Watson less than 6 minutes into the game. Watson had 10 receptions for 120 yards and the score. He tied Dan Castles for the all-time career touchdown receptions lead at 27. Watson has turned in a 100-yard plus receiving yards game for the 16th time, a new Ivy League record.
Another late loss leaves the Red and Blue (2 – 4, 0 – 3) looking up in the Ivy standings at Columbia who sits atop the standings.
Written By: Glenn Papazian