Penn Defeats Columbia 34 – 14 Behind Record Setting Day By Joshua Casilli
October 15, 2022 –
The University of Pennsylvania posts a 5 – 0 record, and 2 – 0 in the Ivy League. This is the best start by the Quakers since 2003, and that team was a perfect 10 – 0 coached by Al Bagnoli who is presently the coach of Columbia. It is one step at a time for this team. Penn will enjoy the day, rest and study, then get back to work on Monday.
The Quakers enjoyed a dominating 34 – 14 win over the Columbia Lions getting contributions in all three phases of the game. Wide Receiver Joshua Casilli led the offense setting a career-high in receptions and receiving yards catching 11 passes for 159 yards. Penn quarterback Aidan Sayin has been spreading the ball to many of the receivers. This was Casilli’s day to shine.
“Based on what they did defensively, they left the middle of the field open,” Casilli said. “I got in the middle and showcase what I can do when I get the ball in my hands.”
The junior wide receiver was targeted 17 times, and the scoring toss gave the Red and Blue a 24 – 0 lead they took into halftime.
The Defense Rises
The Quakers defense got it going. Penn forced four turnovers in the game. The takeaways were key to scoring, and came at a time after Columbia made plays. The defense shut it down right away.
The offense was not moving the ball consistently. After a punt the Lions started at their own 29 yard line. On the first play defensive tackle Micah Morris reached up and intercepted Joe Green pass and ran it 30-yards for a score and a 10 – 0 advantage.
On the next possession, the first play of the second quarter, Lions running back Ryan Young had the ball stripped away by Quakers defensive back Kendren Smith. The recovery set up a 5-play drive over 13-yards for a 17 – 0 lead on a Julien Stokes touchdown catch.
“That’s what we talk about,” said Smith. “We got another chance on the next play and it all worked out.”
Later, Columbia threatened when Green found wide receiver Bryson Canty for a 58-yard reception to the Penn 17 yard line. Smith intercepted the next pass to give the ball back to the offense. Smith added a fumble recovery later in the game to give the offense the ball in Columbia territory and another Julien Stokes scoring catch for a 34 – 0 lead late in the third quarter
What The Numbers Said
Columbia outgained Penn in total yardage 428 – 399. Much of those yards came in the second half when the Lions scored on drives of 68 and 91 yards. Lions backup quarterback Caden Bell engineered the drives and threw touchdown passes to Marcus Libman and Canty, who caught 4 passes for 122 yards, the longest being 58-yards. Jenkins snared 7 for 162 yards.
Penn had the ball nearly 40 minutes in the game. Sayin completed 29 of 5 for 299 yards and 3 scores. Nine other Quakers caught passes. Rory Starkey had 5 receptions for 41 yards. The Columbia run defense led the nation in rushing defense giving up 27.5 yards per game. Penn, playing without Trey Flowers, ran for 100 yards led by Jonathan Mulatu with 60 yards.
Penn hosts Yale next week on Homecoming Day. Both teams are 2- 0 in the Ancient Eight.
“All of the detail we’ve worked on since the offseason, you can see it developing each week,” said Penn Coach Ray Priore. “These are one-game playoffs. We are going to take it that way and try to build upon what we have done today.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian