The Lions were close to making history at Franklin Field Saturday afternoon, but were unable to stall a furious Quaker comeback and were saddled with the loss.
Columbia came close to breaking a 15-year losing streak to Penn, and seemed on pace to do so with a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. However, the Quakers clawed their way back into the game and came away with a 24-20 win.
The first half featured stifling defensive play by both teams. Penn held Columbia to 91 yards and eight first downs, but the Lions' unit was even stingier, holding the Quakers to just 62 yards and only three first downs.
Junior linebacker Ryan Murphy led the way defensively for the Light Blue with five tackles and 1.5 sacks in the first two quarters alone.
Both offenses picked it up in the third quarter, leading to a much higher-scoring second half.
On the first drive of the third, Penn drove down the field to take a 10-6 lead after quarterback Billy Ragone found wide receiver Connor Scott in the endzone to cap off a long drive.
A few drives later the Lions struck back. Junior running back Marcorus Garrett caught a pass from senior quarterback Sean Brackett to give the Lions a touchdown and a 13-10 lead. Garrett also had a 36-yard run on the drive.
A touchdown run by Garrett gave the visitors a 10-point lead early in the fourth, but the Quakers refused to roll over.
Penn struck back with a touchdown of its own to get within three, and with less than a minute remaining Ragone found a wide-open receiver in the corner of the endzone to give the Quakers a four-point lead.
The Lions got the ball at their own 25 with the game on the line.
Columbia drove the ball up the field, but came five yards short on what would have been the game winning touchdown.