BRONX, N.Y. – The University of Pennsylvania football team learned some things from Week 1 to Week 2 of the 2016 season, but the biggest lesson garnered before the start of Ivy League play was that you can’t spot good teams extra possessions. Three turnovers helped Fordham jump out to a large lead and a third-quarter Penn rally fell short in a 31-17 loss to the Rams.
Alek Torgersen had three turnovers in the first half, the first two leading to Fordham points. An interception at midfield was returned to the Penn 11. The Quakers would stand on defense, conceding just a 22-yard field goal. On the next possession, Torgersen was sacked and fumbled at the Penn 31, and the Rams returned it to the Penn 23. Six plays later, Edmonds plowed in from one yard out to give Fordham a 24-7 lead.
Chase Edmonds had two touchdowns for the Rams in the first quarter – one on the ground and one through the air. He opened the game’s scoring with a 22-yard touchdown reception 3:44 into the game and gave the Rams a 14-7 lead with a 24-yard rushing touchdown with 3:23 left in the first quarter.
The Red and Blue would counter Edmonds’ first score with a 22-yard Tre Solomon rushing score. The Quakers went 72 yards on the scoring drive, including a Solomon 4-yard rush on 4th-and-4 which extended the drive.
The Red and Blue got back on the board with 3:13 left in the first half, settling for a Jimmy Gammill 23-yard field goal after getting as close as the Fordham 1-yard line before a delay of game penalty on the Quakers halted momentum. The drive stated following a Mason Williams interception in the end zone – the second pick of the season for Williams. The interception was timely for the Red and Blue – it came one play after Torgersen had the ball come loose while scrambling and the Rams had recovered at the Penn 27.
Penn’s defense made a second big play to close out the half. At first, it appeared that Jyron Walker had blocked a 21-yard field goal attempt as time expired but he was called offside to give Fordham another chance at 4th-and-goal. For the second week in a row, Penn’s defense faced an untimed down for its opponent from inside the five yard line, but this time the defense stood tall. Colton Moskal denied Edmonds from two yards out, dropping him at the 1 and keeping the Quakers within two scores entering the break.
The only points of the third quarter went to Penn – an Alek Torgersen 2-yard rush to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive. Christian Pearson had the big play of the drive, taking a reverse and scampering 22 yards before Torgersen closed Penn to within a touchdown, 24-17, with 4:50 remaining in the third quarter.
That was as close as the Quakers would get, though. Edmonds capped his day with a fourth touchdown, rushing in from 1-yard out with 5:31 left in the fourth quarter to provide an insurance score and the final margin.
The Red and Blue have a short week before opening Ivy League play at Dartmouth on September 30 on national television Two of the three 2015 Ivy League co-champions will kick off at Memorial Stadium on the NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m.