Sports | Football

Penn shows teeth, crushes Princeton

As the weekend’s Ivy League football contests began, Harvard and Penn sat atop the standings, each with perfect conference records. Harvard beat Columbia 34-14, meaning Penn needed to take care of business in its homecoming matchup against Princeton.

And it did just that. Coming off an ugly 14-7 overtime win against Brown in Providence last weekend, the game looked like it was going to be close. The Quakers, led by an inspired senior class, proved they had other plans, however, handing the Tigers a humbling 42-7 loss. The embarrassing score difference was the largest margin of victory for Penn against its archrival since 1943.

Penn senior quarterback Kyle Olson, playing in his final homecoming contest in front of 14,027 fans, had a career day, throwing three touchdown passes. Classmates Luke DeLuca and Chris Wynn also turned in highlight performances. DeLuca registered two touchdown runs at fullback, and Wynn recorded his first interception return for a touchdown along with a career-high seven tackles.

The game remained close until the end of the first quarter, with Penn holding a slim 7-0 lead. A Princeton special teams mistake—a mishandled punt—and an opportunistic recovery from Penn senior Jake Lewko opened the scoring floodgates. Olson and his offense took over with a short field in front of them, and it only took two plays for Olson to find Matt Tuten in the endzone to put the home team up 14-0.

It didn’t take long for Penn to get its third touchdown. Princeton quarterback Tommy Wornham dropped back to pass on the very next possession only to be hit as he threw. The fluttering pass was intercepted by Penn cornerback Jonathan Moore, giving the Quakers great field position once again. DeLuca would step up to the plate this time, punching in a run on fourth and goal from the one-yard line.

Although Princeton scored before the half to pull back the game back to 21-7, Penn would retaliate with 21 unanswered points in the second half en route to a blowout. Princeton’s score in the first half was the first touchdown conceded by the Penn defense in over 12 quarters.

Overall, the Tiger offense was held to 25 yards rushing and 215 yards overall. Penn (6-2, 5-0 Ivy) travels to Cambridge next weekend in a clash of unbeatens with Ivy supremacy on the line. Princeton fell to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in the Ivy League.

In other Ivy League action, Cornell dropped a heartbreaking 20-17 double-overtime decision to Dartmouth while Brown held off a late comeback from Yale to win 35-21.

The Big Red squandered a 10-0 fourth-quarter lead as it lost its sixth straight game. Big Green freshman Greg Patton, playing in his first collegiate contest and starring in the Wildcat formation, turned in a single-game rushing record of 243 yards. Cornell’s defense blanked Dartmouth for three quarters and forced four turnovers, but Patton’s two late touchdowns—including a vital score in the first overtime—undid all of that good work. In the end it was a Foley Schmidt field goal from 40 yards out that gave Dartmouth the victory at home. The Big Green kicker played a vital role in forcing overtime as well. Schmidt’s kick was true from 26 yards out with 2:17 to play to even the score, 10-10.

In New Haven, Yale seemed destined to turn in its second dramatic fourth-quarter comeback in as many weeks until Brown defensive back AJ Cruz’s leaping interception in the endzone with 3:23 to play brought the Bulldogs crashing back down to Earth.

Yale found itself in a hole late in the game due to the heroics of Brown’s sophomore tailback Spiro Theodhosi, who tallied 167 yards on 25 carries. Theodhisi replaced senior starter Zachary Tronti after Tronti left the game in the first quarter with an injury. The sophomore demonstrated poise as he turned in a game-changing effort, highlighted by a 16-yard touchdown run and a 45-yard run that broke the game open. Brown’s is now 5-3 overall and 3-2 in Ivy League play while Yale fell to 4-4 and 2-3 in the conference.

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