ITHACA, N.Y. The Penn sprint football suffered its first loss of the season, 23-20, at Cornell on Friday night. There were four lead changes over the game, but it was the Big Red who was able to be the team on top.
Cornell won the coin toss and opted to kickoff. Mike Bagnoli returned the kick to set up Penn on its own 40 yard line. The Quakers offense came ready to play as they immediately put the Red and Blue on the board in its first drive. Clarke Armatis caught a nine yard pass in the end zone from quarterback Michael D'Angelo. Dzienmianowicz extra point attempt was good.
Cornell added its own goal later in the first quarter. D’Angelo fumbled the ball on Penn’s 33 yard line and the Big Red’s Clay Hemminger was there to recover it for Cornell. The Big Red moved it into the red zone through small yard pickups and on a crucial fourth and one on the five yard line, quarterback Zak Dentes squeezed through the defense to pick up the first down. The very next drive Dentes rushed into the end zone to tie up the game.
The Big Red quickly got back possession when Matt Mello picked up a pass at Penn’s 40. The Quaker defense remained strong, keeping Cornell out of the end zone and forcing a field goal. Mitch Ottinger’s attempt was good and the Big Red went ahead, 10-7.
Cornell forced another fumble when Tim Kozen was able to dislodge the ball out of D’Angelo’s grip. The celebration was short lived as Marcus Goodwin picked off a pass to return the ball back to the Red and Blue just two plays later.
The Quakers capitalized on Goodwin’s quick hands when kicker Raiam Dos Santos successfully kicked a 41-yard field goal to tie the game.
The Red and Blue finished the first half with a blocked punt attempt. Jacques Beauvais was able to get his hands on the punt and Penn was there to smoother the ball on Cornell’s 39 time ran out before the Quakers could start its drive.
The Big Red began the third quarter with possession, but Gage O'Connell forced a fumble and Sam Biddle recovered the lose ball to give possession to Penn. The Quakers moved into Cornell territory, but came short of the touchdown. Raiam Santos’ second kick attempt was good and Penn pulled ahead by three.
Cornell immediately responded with a touchdown on its next offensive drive. The Big Red moved the ball into the red zone, and on third and goal Zak Dentes found Ryan Smith for the 8-yard touchdown and the fourth lead change of the game.
Dentes and Smith connected again for Cornell’s third touchdown with just two minutes left on the clock in the third quarter. O'Connellwas there to block the extra point attempt and Cornelltook the lead,23-13.
The Red and Blue turned it into a one possession game to finish the third quarter. Bagnoli set up Penn in scoring position when he returned the kickoff for 53 yards to Cornell’s 27. In just four plays the Quakers were able to find the end zone D’Angelo rushed in for the 6-yard touchdown.
J. Andrew Feigenbaum started the fourth quarter with a crucial interception on Penn’s 25 that was about to be a Cornell touchdown.
Cornell and Penn traded off interceptions to keep either team from adding points through the rest of the fourth quarter. Penn had a final chance with less then 30 seconds left, but was unable to convert the ball, ultimately suffering its first loss of the season.
D’Angelo passed for 129 yards while rushing for 54. Bagnoli collected 33 rushing yards and 106 on special teams. Marten Basta and Armatis lead Penn in receiving Basta brought down five passes for 61 yards while Armatis caught three passes for 42 yards and one touchdown.
On the defense, Feigenbaum recorded a season-high 12 tackles, eight of which were solo. Biddle and O'Connell notched eight tackles on the night.
Santos and Dzienmianowicz split kicking duties. Santos ended the game with two field goals, one kickoff and four punts two were downed inside the 20 yard line. Dzienmianowicz’s collected 174-yards on four kickoffs and two extra point conversions.
The Quakers are back on the field next Friday, Oct. 24 when they head to Navy, one of the top teams in the CSFL.