Football Drops Close 13-10 Decision at Penn
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—In a close back-and-forth game that could have gone either way, quarterback Ryan Glover registered 252 total offensive yards and scored on a four-yard touchdown run with 6:55 to play to give Penn a 13-10 win over Columbia Saturday at Franklin Field. The loss drops Columbia to 3-2 on the year and 0-2 in Ivy League play. Penn improves to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in league play. "I applaud our team's effort," Columbia University Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli said. "You know you're going to have come in and play well to win a game here. Our players never quit, they played their tails off. Kudos to Penn, which made one or two more plays. I'm extremely proud of our players' effort with everything. We just have to get back to work and hopefully get some kids healthy." "We've incurred a lot of injuries. You go through these cycles at times as a program. The guys have done a good job of buying in and stepping up. We're learning as we go, but there's growing pains when you do that. Kudos to our kids, we just have to step up and keep playing well." After Penn took its 13-10 lead on Glover's four-yard run, Columbia had two chances to score. On the ensuing possession, Columbia drove 40-yards into Penn territory where it was stalled on a controversial fourth-and-one play in which quarterback Ty Lenhart rushed up the middle. After Columbia's defense forced Penn into punting, the Lions took over at their own 12-yard line with 2:34 to play. Sophomore quarterback Josh Bean led the Lions swiftly downfield as he completed a 43-yard pass to junior Kaleb Pitts on a fourth-and-18 play and followed with a 17-yard pass to sophomore Emerson Kabus. With the clock winding down and Columbia facing a third down-and-four play from the Penn 24-yard line, Bean's pass was intercepted by Penn's Mohammed Diakite to end the game. "We were driving down the field and were trying to get another five, six, seven yards and obviously Penn made a key play when it counted," Bagnoli said. Columbia's defense limited Penn to just two field goals and one touchdown on five red zone opportunities. Penn outgained Columbia 391-282 in total offensive yards and the two teams combined for 20 penalties on the day. The matchup also saw three lead changes as Penn led throughout the first half and Columbia grabbed the lead in the third quarter and led for the majority of the fourth quarter. Penn took a 3-0 first quarter lead on a 19-yard field goal by Jack Soslow. The Lions' defense stepped up and a forced fourth down after Penn drove 72 yards down the field, most of which came on a 33-yard pass from Glover to Brooks. Penn made it 6-0 with 7:31 to go in the second quarter after Soslow kicked a 21-yard field goal. The Quakers drove 95 yards in 10 plays using two long completions by Glover to Mike Akai (25 yards) and Logan Sharp (24 yards) respectively. Penn held a 6-0 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, Columbia took the lead for the first time when Bean found Pitts open in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown. After senior placekicker Chris Alleyne's extra point, the touchdown gave Columbia a 7-6 lead with 11:43 to play in the third quarter. The score was set up when a punt slipped through Penn's Isaiah Malcome's hands and Columbia sophomore punter Drew Schmid raced down the field and recovered the ball at the Penn 21-yard line. Two plays, later, Columbia had a one-point lead on Pitts' first career touchdown catch. Columbia made it 10-6 seven minutes later when Alleyne matched his career-long with a 46-yard field goal. On another Schmid punt, Columbia pinned Penn back at its own four-yard line. Four plays later, Penn punted out of its own end zone and the punt traveled just 22 yards and Columbia took over the Penn 24-yard line. A holding penalty halted the drive and the Lions had to settle for Alleyne's field goal with 4:32 left in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Penn ran 5:41 off the clock and drove 63 yards in 12 plays as Glover ran up the middle on his a four-yard touchdown. In only his third career start, Bean led Columbia as he threw for 207 yards and one touchdown while completing 23 of his career-high 40 attempts. Senior wide receiver Kyle Castner caught six passes for 47 yards, Pitts caught three passes for 65 yards and a touchdown and first-year Dante Miller finished with a career-high four receptions and rushed for a team-high 35 yards. Senior defensive back Ryan Gilbert led the Lions on defense with 13 tackles, while senior linebacker Sean White and junior linebacker Michael Murphy both contributed 10 tackles apiece. Columbia was flagged for a season-high 10 penalties after it entered the game ranked No. 6 nationally in fewest penalties per game (19 over four contests). Penn was led by Glover, who threw for 185 yards while completing 14 of 22 passes and rushed for 67 yards on 10 carries, running back Karekin Brooks ran for 68 yards on 19 carries and caught four passes for 65 yards, while running back Abe Willows added 67 yards rushing. "What you like about our kids is that they never quit," Bagnoli said. "They're young kids and they're going to get better. Every program goes through injuries at some point. We've gone through more than our share and more than we care to. We are at the point now where we're playing some extremely young players." Columbia (3-2, 0-2 Ivy League) returns home for its 74th annual Homecoming Game against Dartmouth on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. Kickoff for next week's game is at 1:30 p.m.