PHILADELPHIA - For the second week in a row, Penn went to overtime in an Ivy League game, and for the second week in a row, the Quakers failed to score in the extra frame as Brown came back to beat Penn, 30-27, at a blustery Franklin Field Saturday.
Derek Zoch missed a 26-yard field goal wide right in the first overtime period, and Brown's Steve Morgan was good from 25 yards to win the game. Morgan had initially missed a 35-yard attempt, but a false start penalty on Penn gave Brown a fresh set of downs and a second chance.
“We’ve been plagued by some kicking game woes, and we tried to make a change, but we left a lot of points up on the board,” said Head Coach Al Bagnoli. “We let a great opportunity escape us this week.”
The overtime came after Penn watched a 27-17 lead fall away with 10 unanswered Brown points in the fourth quarter.
Scotty Williams was a defensive standout for Penn, nabbing two interceptions and returning a fumble for a touchdown. Freshman Chris Wynn provided the special teams highlight, returning a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.
Quarterback Robert Irvin completed 21 of 36 passes for 207 yards, while three receivers Braden Lepisto, Matt Carre and Chris Mizell caught at least five passes for 40 yards.
Brown opened the scoring when Steve Morgan’s 36-yard field goal was good. The Bears had the upper hand offensively in the first quarter, driving nearly the length of the field twice. The Penn offense possessed the ball for just 3:37 of the opening stanza. On the opening play of the second quarter, Brown punched through with a nine-yard run from Akin Oyalowo to take a 10-0 lead after a 93-yard drive.
On only its second sequence of the game, the Penn offense came to life. Robert Irvin completed four-straight passes, first with a 21-yard pass over the middle to Chris Mizell and then a 14-yard strike to Braden Lepisto to move the Quakers into Brown territory.
A 12-yarder to Matt Carre moved Penn to the Brown 17, and a late hit on another Carre reception gave the Quakers first and goal. Irvin wasted no time capitalizing on the chance, completing a six-yard pass to Billy May deep in the end zone to cut the Bears’ lead to 10-6. The extra point was blocked, and although Mike Marinelli picked it up, he couldn’t scramble in for two points.
After a restless second quarter, the Quakers capitalized on a big defensive play. After Penn’s drive into Brown territory stalled, Brown’s Matt Nuzzo ran the ball on first down but was hit by Brian Fairbanks to jar the ball loose. Scotty Williams scooped it up and hit daylight, running 18 yards to score. It was the second year in a row that Williams had burned Brown for a defensive touchdown, as he returned an interception 80 yards for a score last year.
Williams wasn’t done.
On the very next play by the Bears, DiGiacomo’s pass was tipped by Kory Gedin and right into Williams’ arms, and he ran it back to set Penn up at the Brown 15.
“As usual, Brown throws a lot of formations at you,” Williams said. “The coaches did a great job preparing us this week for all the things they threw at us.”
Unfortunately, the Quakers couldn’t get any points off the pick after Lepisto’s 25-yard field goal bid sailed wide left.
On the first drive second half, Irvin was intercepted by Mike Cholipski, but the Penn defense stopped Brown deep in its own territory, forcing a punt. The Quakers quickly moved downfield, but stalled just inside the red zone.
In a key play, Penn went for it on fourth and 8, and Irvin completed a pass to Matt Reinert for a first down at the 10-yard line. On the next play, Sandberg broke several tackles and dragged a defender with him as he hit the end zone to put his team up 20-10.
Brown responded late in the third quarter. After another long drive, DiGiacomo hit Paul Raymond for a 44-yard touchdown to make it a 20-17 game.
The next play, however, nullified the Brown score.
Freshman Chris Wynn took the kickoff at his own two-yard line and hit the hole running, breaking free and dancing along the Penn sideline to go 98 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the third quarter. The play, which was Penn’s longest kickoff return since Frank Riepl went 108 yards against Notre Dame in 1955, electrified the Homecoming crowd as toast rained down between the quarters.
“The first time I returned the ball, there wasn’t much happening,” Wynn said. “Brown’s wedge-busters were doing a good job, so I thought if I acted like I was going inside the wedge and then broke it outside at the last second, there might be a chance. There was a small seam, the guys did a great job blocking, and I had just one man to beat and it was a foot race from there.”
Brown answered with Steve Morgan’s 25-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter to make it 27-20.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Penn was handed a golden opportunity. The Bears gambled and went for it on fourth and one but were stopped. Penn took over at the Brown 24, but Irvin, under pressure, went deep for the end zone and was intercepted on first down.
The Bears drove the length of the field, and DiGiacomo completed an 11-yard pass to Lonnie Hill for a touchdown to knot the game at 27 with 3:52 left in regulation. Despite late drives by both teams, regulation would end that way, and Penn headed to overtime for the second-straight game.
In overtime, Brown won the toss and elected to go second. Penn moved the ball initially, but got hung up at the Bears’ nine-yard line. Zoch attempted a 26-yard field goal into the wind that went wide right.
Brown ran three times in its extra frame, and got to the Penn 17 before attempting a 35-yard field goal. Morgan’s kick went well left, but a false start was called on the Quakers and Brown moved to the seven-yard line on a pair of Akin Oyalowo runs before Morgan nailed the gamewinner on third down.
Game Notes: It was the second-straight week Penn has gone to overtime ... Penn had not gone to overtime at home since beating Yale, 34-31, on Oct. 25, 2003 ... Chris Wynn’s kickoff return for a touchdown was the first since Doug Middleton did it last year against Columbia, and was the fourth-longest kick return in Penn’s 130-year history ...Wynn’s play was the fourth-longest in I-AA football this year ... It was also the fifth-longest play of any type in school history ... Scotty Williams’ two-interception performance was the second by a Quaker this year. Tyson Maugle also did it against Dartmouth in Week 3 ... Williams' fumble recovery for a touchdown was his third career TD ... Maugle, in his own right, had a great game with seven tackles, a sack, 1.5 TFL and four pass break-ups ... Joe DiGiacomo’s 340 yards were the most against Penn since Villanova’s Frank Jankowski threw for 345 yards last season.