NEW HAVEN, Conn. Yale's Alan Kimball hit a 35-yard field goal in overtime to win the game as the Penn football team lost for the first time this season in Ivy play, 17-14, at the Yale Bowl.
Derek Zoch’s attempt from 37 yards on Penn’s overtime possession clanked off the right upright.
Yale (5-1, 3-0 Ivy), playing in overtime for the second game in a row, moves into a first-place tie in the League with No. 24 Princeton, which stunned No. 15 Harvard, 31-28, at home. Penn (4-2, 2-1 Ivy) now sits in a tie for second with the Crimson.
The game was the first overtime contest for the Quakers since Oct. 9, 2004, when Penn beat Bucknell, 32-25, in double-OT.
“It was a great college football game,” said Head Coach Al Bagnoli. “I give our kids and the Yale kids a lot of credit. It was a gutsy effort on our part and on Yale’s part.”
The game ultimately came down to missed opportunities on both sides of the ball, but the Quakers in particular were hurt by two missed field goals, including the critical attempt in the extra frame.
“We left some points on the field we’d like to have back,” he said.
Individually, Joe Sandberg chalked up his third-straight 100-yard game with 125 yards on 30 touches, while Robert Irvin completed 14 of 20 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with an injury. Wide receiver Matt Carre caught three passes for 85 yards, including a career-long 57-yarder that set Penn’s first touchdown.
The game got off to a quick start. On Yale’s first possession, Matt Polhemus connected 10 yards to Chandler Henley to put the Bulldogs up a touchdown with less than three minutes gone in the game.
Penn’s first possession did not prove so fortuitous. Steve Santoro intercepted Robert Irvin at midfield on Penn’s third play from scrimmage and Yale came downfield, but a Jordan Manning sack helped stop the Elis and Alan Kimball’s 42-yard field goal bid fell a yard shy of the crossbar.
It wouldn’t take long for the Quakers to capitalize on the miss. Irvin went long and hit Matt Carre for a 57-yard completion to put Penn at the five. Two plays later, from six yards out, Chris Mizell snared a one-handed catch on the goal line to tie the game at seven.
Penn began the second quarter with the ball inside the Yale 10 after taking over at midfield. After a three-yard run by Blakely Thorton, Joe Sandberg tight-roped the line and leapt for the pylon to put the Quakers up 14-7 with his six-yard run.
Late in the half, Mike McLeod knotted the game on a four-yard run after Polhemus completed a series of passes to move the Elis 80 yards downfield.
The game remained tied up into the fourth quarter, with both defenses shutting things down. The two sides traded possessions, but it wasn’t until seven minutes left in the game that the Quakers’ offense found life. With Bryan Walker in under center, the Quakers began their drive at their own five yard line and drove across midfield, eating clock along the way.
But the drive stalled short of field goal range, and on fourth and five on the Yale 25, the Quakers went for it. With 55 seconds left, Walker picked up a low snap and aired to the back of the end zone, but Carre was unable to hang on and Yale took over with 45 seconds left in the game.
The Bulldogs didn’t waste any time. McLeod broke free for a 20-yard run on first down, and Yale went to the air for a last few tries. Greg Ambrogi intercepted Polhemus and returned the ball to the Yale 37, giving Penn a last-gasp chance to win with 10 seconds left.
On first down, Walker’s pass to Billy May fell incomplete, and a Hail Mary attempt was batted down to end regulation with the teams tied at 14.
Penn got the first shot in overtime, but after an incompletion and two Sandberg totes, the Quakers ended with a fourth down on the 18. But Derek Zoch, who had missed a field goal earlier in the game, watched his kick hit the right upright from 36 yards out.
On Yale’s possession, McLeod got stopped on first down, Polhemus threw incomplete under pressure from Brian Fairbanks on second down, and completed a pass to D.J. Shooter on third down to set up Kimball’s successful 35-yard field goal attempt.
Game Notes: It was the second time this season that Penn and its opponent haven't scored in the second half, and the third time Penn hadn't scored in the fourth quarter ... Yale and Pennlast played to overtime in 2003, with the Quakers winning 34-31 at Franklin Field ... Yale and Penn drew 21,709 fans to the Yale Bowl, a season-high for the Elis and the second-best attendance for the Quakers ... Starting wide receivier Braden Lepisto took kick-offs for the second game in a row and poochedone that was recovered by Penn's Matt Williams ... Joe Anastasio led the team with 11 tackles ... Joe Sandberg crossed the 1,000 yard career rushing mark and now has 1,062 in 15 career games ... Matt Carre is now 11th on Penn's all-time receiving list with 1,155 career yards ... Left tackle Marko Grzan came back from injury to start for the first time since the Villanova game ... The game was the first this season for Penn on natural grass.