Sports | Football

In football, Penn defies preseason expectations

In the final weekend of the Ivy League football season, Penn secured its third league title in the last four years with a win over Cornell. Preseason favorite Harvard topped rival Yale to finish second, and Princeton fell to Dartmouth to fall into a third-place tie with the Brown and the Big Green.

The Quakers (6-4, 6-1 Ivy) ended the year with a 35-28 win over Cornell (4-6, 2-5 Ivy). The Big Red did manage to put up a fight against the Ivy champs. Quarterback Jeff Mathews led the Cornell offense, becoming the second Ivy League quarterback to record 8,000 career passing yards. Cornell broke out late in the game, tallying 15 unanswered points to start the fourth quarter and tying the game at 28-28 with 2:56 left on the clock. Despite Cornell’s late game surge, Penn responded with an efficient drive that culminated in a three-yard run by Spencer Kulcsar for the touchdown and a 35-28 advantage, with too little time left for Cornell to close the gap. While the Quaker defense allowed Cornell to surge in the fourth quarter, Penn quarterback Andrew Holland earned Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors after recording two touchdown passes against the Big Red on Saturday and leading the Quakers to the Ivy League championship.

Harvard fell short of preseason expectations and finished second in the league. Last year, in their annual face-off, Harvard handed Yale a 45-7 beat down. On Saturday, when Harvard (8-2, 5-2 Ivy) and Yale (2-8, 1-6 Ivy) met in Cambridge, the Bulldogs fared much better. The 129th edition of The Game began as a defensive showdown. Through the middle of the third quarter, Harvard and Yale’s only points had come on field goals, with Harvard hanging on to a slim 6-3 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Harvard pulled ahead on an 18-yard run by quarterback Colton Chapple, who rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown in the game. Chapple also threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Yale responded with two touchdowns, the second of which gave the Bulldogs the lead with only seven minutes left on the clock. Late in the quarter, Harvard pulled ahead once more, as senior running back Treavor Scales reeled off a 63-yard touchdown run in the final minutes of the game. Yale finished the year last in the league.

Princeton (5-5, 4-3 Ivy) vastly surpassed expectations, finishing tied for third after being ranked last in the Ancient Eight’s preseason rankings. On Saturday, Princeton ended the season on a slightly disappointing note with a loss against Dartmouth (6-4, 4-3 Ivy). Dartmouth quarterback Dalyn Williams threw for a season-high 284 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in the 35-21 victory. Princeton pulled ahead early with a 14-0 lead. But Dartmouth began its comeback with a seven-yard pass from Williams to tight end Justin Foley, and then scored three touchdowns in the first six minutes following halftime. Dartmouth held on to finish the year tied for third in the Ancient Eight.

Brown (7-3, 4-3 Ivy) ended its season with a commanding win 22-6 win over Columbia. The senior class took charge as quarterback Patrick Donnelly tallied three touchdowns passes, and senior wide receiver Jonah Fay caught six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. After starting the Ivy League season with a 1-3 record, the Bears defeated Ivy League rivals in their last three games to finish the year with a 4-3 conference record. Although the Bears put together a late season win streak, Brown ended the season in the middle of the pack, tied with Dartmouth and Princeton for third place.

sports@columbiaspectator.com

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Jawaralal_Schwartz posted on

why no comment about the 0-69 loss to Harvard. that may have been the season highlight, eh?

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