QUAKERS FALL IN FRANKLIN FIELD FINALE
BY ROCK HOFFMAN
College Football Editor
Philadelphia – Having – seemingly – lost their chance to share the Ivy League championship with a tough loss last week to Columbia, Harvard put a serious dent in Penn's chances to do the same thing with a dominating 37-14 win over the Quakers at historic Franklin Field on a glorious day for football unless you were in red and blue.
Crimson quarterback Charlie Dean threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns – to four different receivers – while Aidan Borguet ran for 117 yards as Harvard (6-3, 4-2 Ivy League) rolled up 458 yards of offense.
While the Quakers were held to just nine yards rushing.
Because Yale upset Princeton, there's a chance for a – first-ever – four-way tie for the Ivy League championship. Next Saturday, If Harvard wins over Yale and Penn wins at Princeton, history will be made.
After Penn (7-2, 4-2 Ivy League) went three-and-out to start the game, the Crimson quickly matriculated the ball down the field going from their 25-yard line to the Penn 24 in three plays, but the drive stalled, and Harvard turned the ball over on downs. It would be the last time Penn kept the Crimson off the scoreboard until it was 31-7 and early in the third quarter.
"We were 50 percent on third down," said Dean. The Crimson were successful on seven of 14 third downs. "Last week, we only had two third-down conversions and were not able to sustain drives. You see what happens when you convert on third down, you're able to get the ball in the end zone."
Quakers head coach Ray Priore thought that third downs and his team struggling to get Harvard players on the ground were the key factors to Crimson's offensive success.
"More than anything else," he said. "You'll find, when we watch the tape, is that we didn't tackle very well."
No play illustrated that better than the Crimson's second touchdown, Dean hit Joe Young at the Quakers' 10-yard line, and with extra effort, Young broke the tackle and scampered into the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown.
Despite the deficit, the Quakers showed signs of life, after the Crimson scored on their first possession of the second half to make the lead 24, Penn answered with a touchdown when Aidan Sayin connected with Rory Starkey Jr. for a five-yard score. The Quakers' defense rose to the occasion and forced the Crimson to punt for the first time. On the ensuing drive, Penn had a second-and-goal at the two-yard line but Trey Flowers fumbled at the goal line and the ball rolled through the end zone for a touchback.
"I thought we had a little momentum in the second half," said Priore, "We put that on in, and everything dominoes."
"What we game planned for, they gave us a different look, different coverages and schemes," said Starkey, who had 117 yards receiving and a touchdown, when asked about Penn's offensive struggles. "They were heavy in the box, taking away our run game. It was one of those games where we were going to have to pass the ball and make big plays and we did the best we could."
"You want to be playing meaningful games in November," said Priore regarding the Quakers' season finale at Princeton and the chance to share the title.
Email Rock Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org