PHILADELPHIA – Four different players found the end zone for the University of Pennsylvania football team as the Quakers scored the game's final 31 points and routed Columbia, 31-7, at Franklin Field on Saturday afternoon.
Penn continued the longest active winning streak in the FCS over an annual opponent with its 18th consecutive win over Columbia. The Quakers, who haven't lost to the Lions since 1996, also tied the fifth-longest such streak in FCS history.
The rushing game was the difference for Penn (1-4, 1-1 Ivy), as the Quakers gained 276 yards on the ground to just 20 for the Lions. Eight different players had at least once carry for the Red and Blue as sophomore Brian Schoenauer led the way with a career-high 18 carries and 77 yards. Sophomore quarterbackAlek Torgersen pulled the ball down and ran with it 12 times for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Columbia (0-5, 0-2 Ivy) struck first on the game’s opening drive -- Zach Dansby hauled in a six-yard touchdown pass with 11:06 remaining in the first quarter -- but the Lions never scored again.
Penn answered on its third drive of the game. Schoenauer carried the ball four times four times for 20 yards, and senior wide receiver Conner Scott made a spectacular catch, staying inbounds and holding on for a 13-yard first down. SeniorEric Fiore finished the six-play, 60-yard drive with a 12-yard rushing touchdown -- the first score of his career.
After forcing two more Columbia punts, the Quakers took over from their own 41-yard line and reached the end zone in nine plays. Torgersen created the biggest play of the drive as he eluded a sack, scrambled to safety and connected on a 17-yard pass to Scott, who is now in fifth place all-time at Penn with 123 career catches and sixth in program history with 1,468 receiving yards. Two plays later, Torgersen rolled right and hit junior tight endRyan Kellyfor a seven-yard touchdown and a 14-7 just 5:35 before the break.
The Lions missed a field goal attempt just before the half and Penn led by seven at intermission.
The Quakers got the ball to start the second half and put together their longest drive of the year by plays (15), yards (80) and time (6:38). It was nearly a three-and-out, but a roughing the punter penalty kept the possession alive. Torgersen eventually capped the drive with a strong second-effort on a rush from the one. When he reached across the goal line the Quakers held a 21-7 lead.
Another Columbia punt set up the Red and Blue's second drive of the half from their own 22. Torgersen hit freshman Justin Watsonfor 15 yards on 3rd-and-12 to get to midfield. On the next play, Fiore caught a screen pass and scampered 47 yards to the three-yard line. Sophomore Adam Strouss ran it in from there for a 28-7 advantage with 1:49 left in the third quarter.
Penn also scored on its third possession of the half as junior Jimmy Gammill capped a seven-play, 74-yard drive with a 23-yard field goal.
Torgersen was 16-of-22 for 214 yards through the air to go along with a passing and rushing touchdown. Fiore finished with 42 yards on the ground and 47 receiving yards. Scott finished the game with a team-high five catches for 76 yards.
Senior Kevin Ijoma matched a career-high which he set last week with seven tackles and also had a game-high three pass breakups. Senior Evan Jackson and sophomore Donald Panciello each had six tackles. Junior Ian Dobbins added four tackles and two pass breakups, while Dylan Muscat, Joe Naji and Luke Nossem combined for two sacks.
In all, Penn outgained the Lions, 490-286. The Quakers have combined for 1,000 yards of offense in their last two games. Columbia held the ball for more than 10 minutes in the first quarter, but Penn dominated time of possession after that and finished with a 32:20 to 27:40 advantage. Penn was 7-of-14 (50.0%) on third down and held the Lions to 6-of-18 (33.3%).
The Quakers are back on the road next weekend, heading to Yale for a nationally televised game at the Yale Bowl. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network.
Download: 5-Columbia Box.pdf