Philadelphia Penn led Brown for only 3:28 of Saturday’s game but a Bobby Fallon fumble recovery at Penn’s one-yard line and a nine-play, 88-yard scoring drive gave the Quakers a 20-16 victory over the Bears at Franklin Field. Sam Mathews scored the decisive touchdown with just 50 seconds remaining, giving the junior two scores for the day.
A game that saw both teams combine for 15 punts was turned on a defensive play deep in Red and Blue territory. With Brown (4-3, 1-3 Ivy) leading 16-13 with six minutes left in the third quarter and poised to add to their lead, Fallon stripped Brown’s Nick Hartigan before crossing the goal line. Fallon recovered the ball to give Penn (6-1, 4-0 Ivy) possession and new life. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Native finished the game with seven tackles (five solo), including two for a combined eight-yard loss and a sack for a seven-yard loss. Luke Hadden led the Quakers defensively with 11 stops (five solo).
The turnover did not prove to be immediately beneficial as the two teams exchanged possession seven times before Penn began the drive that would ensure its 19th-straight Ivy League victory. Brown was forced to punt after a 10-play drive stalled at the Penn 40-yard line, pinning Penn at its own 12-yard line. Pat McDermott came alive on the drive hitting on 6-of-8 passes to three different receivers. All six completions gained 12 or more yards and enabled the Quakers to move the ball down the field quickly. Matt Carre caught four those passes for 57 yards. McDermott was 24-for-48 for 341 through the air but nine of his 36 rushing yards took Penn to Brown’s two-yard line. A defensive pass interference call in the end zone gave the Red and Blue a new set of downs and one play later Mathews bulldozed over the goal line from two yards out with under a minute left on the clock.
The Bears’ final drive ended with Bryan Arguello picking off Joe DiGiacomo in the end zone. The interception was the first for Arguello this season and the seventh of his career.
Brown jumped on the board quickly, capping a seven-play, 69-yard drive on an Anthony Vita 30-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Schreck on the game’s opening drive. Penn answered with an eight-play, 64-yard drive of its own. Mathews punched it in from two yards out to pull the Quakers within one, 7-6, at the 9:57 mark of the first quarter.
Zak DeOssie paced Brown’s defensive attack with 16 tackles (eight solo) along with two tackles for loss and one sack. James Gasparella picked off two McDermott passes as the Bears’ defense broke up four passes intended for Quakers receivers.
Dan Castles scored Penn’s second touchdown of the day to give the Quakers their first lead, 13-10, with 5:55 remaining in the second quarter. His touchdown grab was the 26th of his career, tying Miles Macik (1993-95) as Penn’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions. Castles finished the day with nine catches for 110 yards, marking the fourth time this season he has hit the century mark in receiving yards.
Penn travels to Princeton on Nov. 6 for its annual showdown with the Tigers. The game, set to kick off at 1 p.m., can be heard live on www.pennathletics.com on the Internet, ESPN Radio 920 AMand willbe televised live on College Sports Television (CSTV).
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications