PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/4/2019 – The 125th Year of Franklin Field. It took until the sixth week of college football and the temperature to dip below sixty degrees until the University of Pennsylvania Quakers played their first home game of the season. It was a nationally televised game against the Big Green of Dartmouth.
The Big Green has defeated the Red and Blue five of the past six times winning 28 – 15 at Franklin Field. Dartmouth got out to a quick start, then used the running game late to take home the victory.
“When you’re playing from behind like that, it jostles you a little bit,” said Penn Coach Ray Priore. “I thought our kids came back, we recovered real quick. Then the turnover, the turnover for the score. That takes the wind out of your sails.”
The visitors from New Hampshire put the game away in the fourth quarter behind a 15-play, 84-yard drive that took 8:24. Of the 15 plays in the decisive scoring drive Dartmouth ran the ball 13 times. The drive was capped by a 9-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jared Gerbino with 3:57 on the clock.
“That last touchdown they scored at the end, they were grinding it and grinding it, just trying to punch it, going for it on fourth down, good clock management,” said Priore.
Penn would answer with a quick score by running back Karekin Brooks who scored on a 2-yard plunge for the final score with just over two minutes to play. Then after an onside kick the Quakers got the ball to the Big Green 16 yard line, but the game ended there.
Dartmouth amassed 209 yards on the ground led by Gerbino with 77 yards. Six other backs got positive yardage. In the air Gerbino threw for 119-yards.
Penn gained 150 yards on the ground. Brooks led all rushers with 91 yards and two scores. He added 31 receiving yards and caught a career-best 10 passes. Brooks has run for 453 yards this season. He credits the line for his success.
“The offensive line is fantastic,” Brooks said. “They get credit for all that I do.”
The Red and Blue fell victim of big plays early, and that may have been the difference in the game according to Priore. With just under 6 minutes left in the first quarter Big Green quarterback Jared Gerbino found running back Zack Bair with a pass. Bair took it 57-yards for the initial score of the game. He would cross the goal line from 17-yards away early in the second quarter. Bair had 81 all-purpose yards.
Penn got the ball at their 26-yard line with 2:47 left. Dartmouth defender hit running back Trey Flowers causing a fumble. Linebacker Jack Traynor picked up the ball and rambled 17-yard for a 14 – 0 Big Green lead.
“It was huge,” Dartmouth Coach Buddy Teevens said about the start of the game. “It gave us some confidence doing some things right at the beginning. It helped us settle in. The defensive touchdown certainly helped us on the sideline. I’m not sure if it inspired us to play better on offense.”
The Quakers came up with an Karekin Brooks 43-yard touchdown run coming on a 4th and 2 play just into the second stanza.
Linebacker Zach Evans had a career-high 11 total tackles, 10 solo to lead the Penn defense. Nigel Alexander made 10 stops for Dartmouth and Traynor added 9 total.
Penn falls to 1 – 2 on the season and is 0 – 1 in the Ivy League. Dartmouth remains undefeated at 3 – 0, 1 – 0 in the Ancient Eight.
The Red and Blue will prepare for Sacred Heart in a non-league game in eight days.
Written By: Glenn Papazian