PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/10/2018 – The University of Pennsylvania football came into the game still having a chance to get a share of the Ivy League championship. It was a slim chance, but a chance nonetheless. The dream ended with a 29 – 7 loss to the Harvard Crimson at Franklin Field on Senior Day. The Penn Senior Class who still can achieve a winning season in Ivy play, but more on that later.
Mistakes hurt the Quakers. In the turnover department Harvard took the ball away four times and scored three times off turnovers. The reason for the win? Look no closer.
“It came down to something we’ve done all year which was protecting the football,” said Penn Coach Ray Priore. “They got 20 points off the turnovers. That in my opinion was the number one stat that wins or loses games.”
Early in the first quarter a Penn interception led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Crimson running back Charlie Booker, who ran for a total of 74 yards, and a 7 – 0 lead. Trailing 10 – 0 Penn drove to the Harvard one yard line, but a 4th down pass was incomplete.
“We had a opportunity to get it in and try to get the momentum to swing,” Priore said about the missed chance.”
“The play was open, but we rushed it, a game of inches. We’ve got to make those plays.”
Two possessions later the Crimson went up by 16 on a Jake Smith pass to Brian Dunlap covering 9 yards. The interception and turnover on downs were very costly to the Red and Blue in the initial half.
Harvard put the game away in the third quarter. A pick by Crimson defensive back Wesley Ogsbury at the Penn 39 resulted in a touchdown when Smith, again, found Dunlap from 12-yards out and a score.
After a Penn fumble running back Devin Darrington went up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown and a 29 – 0 Harvard lead.
The Quakers found the endzone in the 4th quarter when Kolton Huber hauled in a 23-yard scoring toss from Ryan Glover with 10 minutes to play.
On the ground Harvard out rushed Penn by a 215 – 58 margin. Limiting the Quaker running attack was a key for the defense.
“They like to run the ball a ton, establish the line of scrimmage, and wear teams down,” said Harvard safety Zach Miller. “To stop that early is huge for us, it changes their game plan, and it really helped a lot.”
“If teams can make you one dimensional, it’s always hard,” said Priore about the inability to run the football. “We could never find that crease.”
The Quakers (6 – 3, 3 – 3) end the season next week at league-leading Princeton, a fierce rivalry game for the Red and Blue. Should Penn win it will be the fourth straight season with a winning record in Ancient Eight competition. It is something to play for.
“We are playing a meaningful game,” said Priore.
For Harvard next up is the The Game against Yale. The venue is Fenway Park. Should be a classic.
Written By: Glenn Papazian