NEW HAVEN, Conn. - It was a familiar sight for the University of Pennsylvania football team. But this time, the Quakers could not overcome a 10-point fourth quarter deficit as they fell to Yale, 27-13, at the Yale Bowl on Saturday.
For the second straight
year against Yale, Penn trailed 20-10 entering the fourth quarter. Last week against Columbia, the Quakers were in the same situation. But
unlike those other two occurrences, the hill proved too steep for the
Quakers to climb this time. Penn (2-4, 2-1 Ivy) lost to Yale in regulation for the first time in 12 years and for the first time since 2007, the Quakers failed to start 3-0 in Ivy play. Yale improved to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in Ivy play.
Penn was in Yale territory on all three of its first quarter possessions, but was unable to come away with any points. The drives ended in two punts and a missed a field goal.
Then Yale looked as if it would strike first. The Bulldogs drove inside the red zone, but sophomore defensive back Mike Laning forced a fumble and junior cornerback Dan Wilk fell on the ball at the Penn 11-yard line.
That led directly to Penn's only points of the opening half. Senior Andrew Holland took over under center and guided the Quakers 89 yards in eight plays - the biggest of which was a 32-yard connection with tight end Mitchell King to the Yale 40. A few plays later, on 3rd-and-goal from the two-yard line, Holland found senior running back Lyle Marsh for the first touchdown of the day with 5:52 left until the half.
Yale came right back and drove into Penn territory again. The Quakers forced a 43-yard field goal and led by four with 2:27 remaining until the break.
Penn went three-and-out on offense and Yale took over again with 1:46 to go. The home team needed just 1:08 of that to reach the end zone and take a 10-7 lead into the locker room.
Yale scored first in the second half when senior quarterback Billy Ragone was intercepted. The Bulldogs returned the pick 47 yards to the Penn four-yard line and needed just one play to go up 17-7 midway through the third quarter.
Penn quickly got back within a possession. In less than two minutes, the Quakers were in the red zone, but had to settle for a 34-yard field goal from sophomore Connor Loftus.
But Yale used up what was left of the third quarter and got the field goal back to take a 20-10 lead into the final quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, senior running back Jeff Jack ran for 11 yards and went over 1,000 for his career. He is the third active Penn player to reach the mark (Ragone and Brandon Colavita). A few plays later, Loftus' 27-yard field goal had the Quakers back within seven, 20-13, with 13:14 to play.
But any thoughts of another dramatic comeback was put to rest. Yale salted off 5:15 and went 77 yards on 14 plays to put the game away. A three-yard quarterback keeper put the Bulldogs up 27-13 with just 8:01 to go.
Penn never got across midfield again and fell at Yale for the first time since an overtime loss in 2006.
Penn had 284 yards passing in comparison to Yale's 173. But the Bulldogs outrushed the Quakers, 203-138. Both teams had 21 first downs and one turnover.
Jack led the team with 57 yards rushing on 10 attempts and now has 1,007 career rush yards. The Quakers are one of just three FCS teams with three active 1,000-yard rushers (James Madison and The Citadel). Marsh had 40 yards on the ground and now has 865 for his career.
Ragone was 16-of-31 for 177 yards, while Holland was 7-of-10 for 107 yards and a touchdown. Marsh had a team-high six catches for 50 yards. Junior Conner Scott led the team with 73 receiving yards on five catches. Juniors Ty Taylor and Ryan Mitchell each had three catches apiece.
Sophomore Dan Davis had a team and career-high 10 tackles. Laning had a career-best eight tackles in addition to the forced fumble. He played a majority of the game for the team's leading tackler, Sebastian Jaskowski, who missed the second half due to injury. Senior Dave Twamley also had eight tackles for the Quakers.
Up next for the Quakers is a matchup with Brown on Homecoming. Kickoff from Franklin Field is at 1 p.m.