PHILADELPHIA Penn kicked off its regular season home slate with a convincing 60-7 victory over rival Princeton on Friday. With the win, Penn improves to 1-1 while the loss brings Princeton’s record to 0-2.
Rob Lombardi was a force for Penn, finding the endzone three times, each score of a different variety. He returned a kickoff for 84-yards, caught a pass for a 35-yard score, and scampered down the sidelines for a 58-yard rushing TD. In total, Lombardi had 243 all-purpose yards on the game.
The Quakers offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, blocking for ten different rushers, who together gained 390 yards. Leading the way for Penn was Max Greenky, whose 123 yards rushing are a career high.
Defensively, it was a combined team effort. 23 players had at least an assisted tackle, and no one player had more than 4.5 tackles for the game. J. Andrew Feigenbaum continued his stellar play on the season, recording two interceptions to go with two solo tackles.
Penn opened the scoring on its fourth drive of the game. After their previous two possessions ended with fumbles, Penn took over after Feigenbaum’s first interception gave the Quakers the ball at Princeton’s 34. Two plays later, Michael D'Angelo found Marten Basta in the endzone from 33-yards out. A Raiam Santos extra point gave Penn a 7-0 lead.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Tigers responded on their next play from scrimmage. Alex Kandabarow let loose a 64-yard bomb to Lon Johnson who took it all the way for a score. The extra point tied the game 7-7.
Penn, not to be outclassed on their home field, did not even wait for a play from scrimmage to take the lead as Lombardi picked up the ensuing kickoff at his own 16 and broke tackles all over the field on his way to an 84-yard TD. A bad snap resulted in a failed PAT attempt and the lead was 13-7.
The Quakers again used a turnover as means to start a scoring drive. Jacques Beauvais picked off Kandabarow and returned the INT 30-yards to set up Penn’s next TD. On third and five from the Princeton 35, D’Angelo registered his second TD pass of the game, this time finding Lombardi wide open for a score. The Quakers went for a two-point conversion, and D’Angelo found Joe Portelli to extend the Quaker lead to 21-7.
Princeton went three and out on its next drive and was forced to punt. Again, D’Angelo did not waste any time, connecting with Tomas Altamirano on the first play of the drive for 51-yards and a touchdown. The Santos point-after gave Penn a 28-7 lead which it held at the end of the first quarter.
Feigenbaum’s second INT of the game gave Penn the ball again deep inside its own territory. Three plays later, Lombardi completed the trifecta, taking a D’Angelo handoff 51 yards to paydirt. Again, Santos was good on the PAT and Penn now led, 35-7.
The Tigers could not mount any sustained offensive pressure and were again force to punt. A 17-yard punt return from Lombardi gave Penn the ball at midfield. Head coach Bill Wagner turned to his backup running back on this drive, as Mike Bagnoli rushed three times for 28 yards, including a five-yard TD with 7:17 left in the half. Penn now led 42-7. A Raiam Santos 40-yard field goal with 1:16 remaining finished the first half scoring and gave Penn a 45-7 advantage.
Penn could not capitalize on its first possession of the second half, instead a Mark Dziemianowicz punt was downed at the Princeton 10-yard line. The Tigers managed to gain only two yards on the subsequent three plays and were also forced to punt. Princeton did get off a 35-yard punt from inside its own endzone, but Clarke Armatis returned it 21-yards, setting up first and ten for Penn at the Princeton 26-yard line.
Colin Dampier was in at quarterback for Penn, and connected five plays later for his first collegiate touchdown, a 13-yard pass to Dylan Serota. Santos picked up an errant snap on the extra point and rushed in for two pints, bringing Penn’s lead to 53-7. Dampier added a 33-yard rushing TD with 2:30 left in the third quarter to round out the scoring at 60-7.
After the game, head coach Bill Wagner was pleased.
“It was great to get a win in our home-opener,” he said, “We started out sluggish and took too many penalties. Then D’Angelo and Lombardi connected and we caught fire. Every member of our team contributed tonight. It was a team effort.”
The offensive output from Penn tonight rivaled that of its entire season in 2006. The total of 390 yards rushing in this game was 121 yards off from the Quakers’ 2006 total of 501. In 2006, Penn scored 113 points in six games. The scored more than half that in one game tonight. In 2006, Penn scored 16 touchdowns. They scored eight tonight. The 60 points scored were the most by a Penn team since they scored 61 against Princeton in 2004.
Penn has next week off as it prepares to meet Army at West Point, N.Y. on October 12.