Lafayette Outlasts Penn, 24-17

Final Box Score (PDF)

EASTON, Pa. – Against the third-ranked defense in the nation, the University of Pennsylvania football team struggled to find its way in the first half, and could not recover as Lafayette defeated the Quakers 24-17 at Fisher Field on Saturday night.

Trailing 24-0 at the half, Penn’s comeback fell short and the Quakers dropped to 0-2 on the year. Lafayette improved to 3-0 with their second-straight win over the Quakers – the first time that has happened since 1980-82.

Penn closed the gap in just four plays with the opening possession of the second half. Blackmon rushed for 17 yards on the first two plays and then capped off the drive with Penn’s longest play of the season when senior Robert Irvin connected with him on a 42-yard screen play.

With just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Penn got to within two touchdowns with an 11-play drive that spanned over 60 yards. Andrew Samson finished the drive with his first field goal of the season, knocking it through the uprights from 22 yards out.

A Michael DiMaggio touchdown with just over three minutes remaining closed the Leopard lead to seven, 24-17. After the Penn defense forced a punt, the Quakers actually had a chance to tie the game on their final drive. However, after being pinned down at their own 10-yard line, Penn could not get the ball further than the Lafayette 47 and the comeback effort fell short.

For the second consecutive game, the opposition scored on the opening drive of the game as Lafayette went 58 yards in 10 plays to take an early 7-0 lead.

The Quakers caught a break early though. After being stopped near the 50-yard line and forced to punt on its opening drive, but junior Jonathan Moore recovered a Leopard fumble on the ensuing punt. However, after Penn took over near the Leopard 20-yard line, Andrew Samson’s 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

After a series of punts, Lafayette scored on the first play of the second quarter with a 37-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead, capping an 80-yard drive.

The Leopards then proceeded to capitalize on a pair of interceptions. Lafayette started at the Penn three-yard line following the first interception, but was held to a field goal. However, when Irvin was intercepted midway through the second quarter, Lafayette capitalized on the very next play. Junior Rob Curley connected on his third touchdown pass of the half to put the Leopards up 24-0.

Penn will begin Ivy play next weekend when Dartmouth comes to Franklin Field for a noon kickoff on Saturday.

GAME NOTES:

Penn has forced a turnover in 14 consecutive games ... Senior Britton Ertman recorded Penn’s first sack of the year in the second quarter to force a punt ... Penn has scored in 102 consecutive games – the third-best streak in Ivy history ... Blackmon matched a career-high with 60 rushing yards ... Tyson Maugle and Jordan Manning each started their 22nd straight game for the Quakers ... Tyler Fisher had a career-high five receptions and 50 receiving yards ... Senior Josh Koontz has made a catch in eight-straight games.