PRINCETON, N.J. -- In his first career start, sophomore Keiffer Garton ran for a touchdown and passed for another as the University of Pennsylvania football team defeated rival Princeton, 14-9, at Princeton Stadium on Friday night.
In the 100th meeting between the two rivals, the Quakers (5-3, 4-1 Ivy) kept their hopes of an Ivy League title alive, while the Tigers fell to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the conference. Penn has two games left in the season to make up ground on current Ivy League leader Brown (5-2, 4-0 Ivy). The Bears play at Yale on Saturday.
Penn held a 14-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Princeton fought its way back into the contest on a one-yard touchdown run by running back Jordan Culbreath. Culbreath’s score was aided by a 46-yard completion by quarterback Brian Anderson to Will Thanheiser during the drive that gave the Tigers first-and-goal from the one-yard line. However, after the score, the Tigers failed on an attempted two-point conversion to leave the score at 14-9.
After the teams shared punts, Penn was pinned at its own three-yard line with 6:07 remaining. However, behind Garton and sophomore running back Michael DiMaggio, the Quakers managed three first downs and were able to run out the remainder of the clock. On the drive, DiMaggio and Garton rushed seven times for 26 yards, while Garton converted two big third down plays.
On 3rd-and-6 from their own 18-yard line, Garton connected with senior Josh Koontz for 22 yards to move the chains and keep the clock moving. Two plays later, Garton finished off the game with a nine-yard run on 3rd-and-8.With no timeouts remaining, Princeton could only watch as the Quakers ran out the clock with three successive kneel downs. Garton would finish with 89 rushing yards on 15 carries and was 16-of-21 for 132 yards through the air to go along with his two touchdowns.
In head coach Al Bagnoli's 199th career win, Penn never trailed after Garton ran six yards through the gut of the Tigers defense to give the Quakers a 7-0 lead on the team's first offensive possession. The 13-play, 84-yard drive consumed just under six minutes.
Princeton failed to cut into Penn's lead when kicker Ben Bologna missed a 35-yard field goal attempt wide left with 9:22 left in the second quarter. However, Bologna atoned for his earlier miss with a career-long 32-yarder to reduce the Tigers’ deficit to 7-3 just before the half.
On Penn's first drive of the second half, Garton extended the Quakers’ lead to 14-3, on a 10-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Matt Appenfelder. The score was the first career passing touchdown for Garton and the first such receiving touchdown for Appenfelder, capping off a 14-play, 71-yard drive that took 8:06 off the clock. It was the second drive in two weeks for the Quakers that consumed more than eight minutes.
DiMaggio finished with 74 rushing yards, while senior Britton Ertman led the Quakers with a career and game-high 10 tackles. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., native also had a forced fumble, a half of a sack and a pass breakup. Sophomores Jake Lewko and Josh Powers and senior Kevin Gray each had six tackles for a Penn defense that has held its opponent to 10 points of fewer in all five wins this season. Penn also held Culbreath, the league's leading rusher, to just 57 yards on the ground - fewer than half his average.
The Quakers return to Franklin Field Nov. 15 for their Senior Day contest against Harvard. CN8 will broadcast the game, which is scheduled to kickoff for noon.