In a primetime nationally televised game, the Quakers knocked off two-time defending champions Dartmouth on the road, 23-17, avenging last season’s embarrassing 31-7 defeat at Franklin Field to the Big Green, but more importantly improving to 3-0 (1-0 Ivy) on the season for the first time since 2003.
From kickoff, the Quakers executed well, opening the game with a touchdown drive that featured nine rushes. The drive ate up nearly eight minutes of first-quarter clock.
The play calling from Penn was aggressive, opting for fourth-down attempts deep in Dartmouth territory –– an uncharacteristic move by Quakers coach Ray Priore.
Dartmouth finally cashed in with a field goal to end the first half at 7-3. The momentum of the game would seemingly shift after a shanked punt handed Dartmouth the ball at Penn’s 37-yard line. Dartmouth’s Nick Howard would punch in a score from 11 yards out on a drive aided by two Penn penalties on the drive.
Down 10-7 with just over two minutes remaining, Penn’s offense, led by sophomore quarterback Aidan Sayin, moved the ball to Dartmouth’s 18-yard line to set up Graham Gotlieb’s 35-yard game-tying field goal and send the game to overtime.
In Penn’s first overtime since 2017, the Quakers struck first as Sayin connected on a 5-yard slant to wide receiver Joshua Casilli. Dartmouth would respond with a 4-yard touchdown from Howard to tie the game, 17-17.
After Garrett Morris blocked a field-goal attempt on Dartmouth’s drive to begin the second overtime, it was running back Trey Flowers’ time to bloom: On the game-winning drive, Flowers would carry the ball four times for 25 yards and more importantly, his TD secured a Quaker victory.
Penn balanced an efficient offensive attack with dominant defense. Sayin finished the game with 204 yards and a touchdown, on 25-of-38 passing. Flowers would finish with 94 total yards and two touchdowns.
Penn’s defense allowed its first offensive touchdown of the season but still managed to force four three-and-outs against Dartmouth’s fearsome rushing trio. The Quakers only allowed 271 yards against an offense that entered the game averaging 453 yards, and linebacker Jake Heimlicher recorded 13 total tackles a week after recording 10 total tackles against Lafayette.
Penn is back on the road to face Georgetown (1-3) in its final nonconference game of the season on Oct. 8 (2 p.m., ESPN+). Penn holds a 2-0 record over the Hoyas historically, convincingly winning both of the team’s previous matchups.
source: The Philadelphia Inquirer