Resilient Penn Earns a 2OT Win at Dartmouth

Under Friday Night Lights Penn Comes Back To Tie in Regulation, Wins in Second Overtime

September 30, 2022 –

In a game that could have gone in either direction, the University of Pennsylvania made the big plays late and come away with a 23 – 17 road win over the Big Green of Dartmouth in the Ivy League opener. Penn is 3 – 0 for the first time since 2003.

But that record was in jeopardy until the Red and Blue made three huge plays. At the end of regulation Quakers kicker Graham Gottlieb made a 35-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. In the second overtime period Dartmouth was poised to take the lead, but a 28-yard field goal attempt was blocked. The Quakers finished the game when running back Trey Flowers crossed the goal line from a yard away. Flowers set that up with a 24-yard run over the right side set set the ball two-yards away from the goal line.

Final Drive in Regulation Critical for the Quakers

Trailing by three late Penn had one last chance to tie or win. The Red and Blue took over at their 30 yard line with 2:11 showing on the clock. The Quakers did not try for the big play as the drive was methodical in nature. Quarterback Aidan Sayin passed the ball 10 times in the 13 play, 52 yard drive. But only two completions were for more than 12 yards; a 19-yard completion to Malone Howley to get to the Dartmouth 44 yard line with just

With under 30 seconds left Sayin found Flowers for 12-yards getting the ball to the Big Green 18 yard line. With 7 seconds left Sayin tried one more pass to the endzone. The ball went in and out of the hands of Sterling Stokes. But in one more play the kick by Gottlieb split the uprights.

Overtime Thrills

Penn had the ball first in overtime. Dartmouth played an overtime game the previous week. The Quakers scored in 7-plays on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Sayin to Josh Casilli, touchdown reception number one for the season. Gottlieb added the extra point.

It took Dartmouth four plays for a touchdown. At this point it became a premonition that special teams would play a huge role in deciding the outcome.

Big Green kicker Ryan Bloch sent a low extra-point kick away that Penn thought was missed. But a review showed that the ball got just over the crossbar low and to the right. Tie game. It was Bloch who kicked a 29-yard field goal to end the first half. It was the first points scored against the Penn defense this season.

In the second overtime Dartmouth had the ball first and would drive to the 11 yard line. Bloch attempted a 28-yard field goal to take the lead. Again, the kick was low and this time blocked by Garrett Morris. Penn got the ball and four plays later sealed the victory.

Dartmouth first to score a touchdown on the Penn Defense

The strength of the Penn team has been on the defensive side of the ball. They doggedly held on to a lead giving up only a field goal at the end of the first half. The defense held the Big Green to just 115 yards of offense in the first 30 minutes.

But Dartmouth features Ivy League first-team quarterback Nick Howard. In the fourth quarter he engineered a 7-play 62-yard drive to take a 10 – 7 lead with 9:24 remaining in the fourth quarter. Howard ran for an 11-yard gain with nearly all of the Quakers defenders on the tackle to set up Dartmouth deep in Penn territory. The drive was aided by 2 penalties by the Red and Blue. Howard capped the drive scoring on an 11-yard run.

Fourth Down Conversion Woes for the Red and Blue

Penn got off to a quick start getting a touchdown on their first possession. Flowers scored on a 3-yard run capping a 14-play, 75-yard drive in 7:45. The Quakers got the ball back in good field position on two possessions in the second quarter. Each time Penn would attempt a fourth-down conversion. Each one came up short. A 3-yard Sayin pass to Bryce Myers was a yard short of the 26 yard line. Trey Flowers was stopped for no gain at the Big Green 21 yard line. That turnover would result in the Dartmouth field goal. Those turnovers cost the Quakers opportunities to take control of the game.

Statistically Speaking

Penn outgained Dartmouth 343 – 271, due to a 204 – 78 edge in the passing game. The Quakers came into the game giving up few yards on the ground. Dartmouth gained 193 rushing yards. Howard gained 108 yards on the ground scoring twice. Zach Bair ran for 68 yards.

Sayin completed 25 of 38 passing attempts, and continued showing ability to spread the ball to different receivers. Ten different players caught passes led by Flowers with 5 for 43 yards in registering 94 all-purpose yards.

On defense Jake Heimlicher made a game-high 13 tackles, 8 solo, and 2 for losses.

Dartmouth falls to 1- 2, 0 – 1 in the Ivy League.

Penn is 1 – 0 in the Ancient Eight, and will conclude their non-league schedule next week at Georgetown.


Written By: Glenn Papazian


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