Penn Wins A Thriller on a Late Touchdown

The Quakers Win 20 – 13 on a 1-Yard Scoring Run With 20 Seconds on the Clock

October 22, 2022 –

For the University of Pennsylvania football team, this game is not about matching the unbeaten streak of the 2003 team. It is not about a national ranking. This is about the game against the Yale Bulldogs. Penn would need that focus as it was anybody’s game up to the final second.

‘It was obviously told the kids, be prepared to win on the last play,” said Penn Coach Ray Priore. “And that’s what happened a couple of weeks now. I’m very proud they stayed on track and didn’t get distracted.”

The Quakers broke a 13 – 13 tie on a 1-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Mulatu with 20 seconds left to play. The last drive capped a back-and-forth fourth quarter.

End of Game Thrills

The Red and Blue held a 13 – 10 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, and appeared primed to extend that lead when kicker Graham Gottlieb attempted a short 20-yard field goal. But Yale defensive lineman Ejiroghene Egodogbare rose up to block the kick.

The Bulldogs responded taking the ball down the field. The big play was a 41-yard pass from quarterback Nolan Grooms to Mason Tipton setting the ball at the Penn 31-yard line. The defense stiffened for the Red and Blue. Four plays later the Eli tied it on a 46-yard field goal by Jack Bosman at the 9:21 mark.

Yale got the ball back a minute later, but Penn would force a turnover on downs taking over at their own 41-yard line with just over 5 minutes to play. Quarterback Aidan Sayin completed two long passes during the drive; a 15-yarder to Rory Starkey, Jr., and a 17-yard completion to Mulatu setting the ball 11-yards away form the Yale goal line.

Three running plays later by Mulatu resulted in the winning touchdown with very little time showing on the clock.

They key is resiliency and trust in a game like this resulted in the victory.

“We play confident all year,” said Penn linebacker Jake Heimlicher, who had an interception. “With confidence comes domination from our defense and offense. When we play confident in what we’re doing, we’re a hard team to beat on both sides.”

“They are trusting each other,” Priore observed. They’re trusting the room and trusting their training.”

Halftime Demonstrations

As the teams readied to play the second half, a student protest for social issues took over the field and refused to yield. The issues ranged from the University City Townhomes to Pay the Pilots, to Divest from fossil fuels. Eventually the field was cleared and the game would resume at 3:58 PM. For the teams it was a chance to refresh.

“We were part of a rain delay. You know you’re going to be out at some point in time,” Priore said. “We get them off their feet, their gear off. We had a blueprint on how to handle it because we’ve been there before.”

Second Half Trickery

Penn came out of the locker room and went on a drive featuring their version of the Philly Special. Marcus McDaniel got the ball and threw a pass to Sayin who sneaked down the right sideline for 26-yards to the Yale 4-yard line. The drive culminated when kicker Graham Gottlieb made a 20-yard field goal and a 13 – 10 lead.

Up Next

The unbeaten 6 – 0 Quakers, 3 – 0 in the Ivy League travel to Providence next week to play Brown.


Written By: Glenn Papazian


Aidan Sayin Looking Downfield

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