Tydings | Witnessing a true game for the ages from Penn football
October 5, 2013, 6:10 pm·
Isabella Gong | DP
The old saying goes that a win is a win.
There are few words, if any, to describe Penn’s 37-31 FOUR-OVERTIME victory over Dartmouth, the longest game in Ivy League history.
“It feels like we should be going out there for a fifth overtime,” Dartmouth linebacker Michael Runger said.
There was a missed field goal that would have won the game for the Big Green. And then another. And then the same kicker — Riley Lyons — missed a field goal in the fourth overtime to set up Penn’s win.
Penn’s starting running back went down with an injury … and the third-string running back — junior Kyle Wilcox — emerged as a hero, taking Penn’s carries at the end of regulation and overtime, before finishing the game with a game-winning 20-yard touchdown run.
“Seeing Kyle turn the corner was a great feeling for sure,” senior quarterback Billy Ragone said. “At first, I was saying, ‘what the heck are you doing going outside?’ but he got the edge and was able to make a heck of a run.”
Ragone had just one rushing yard on the season going into the game, but proceeded to look like his old self, rushing for 60 yards and tying the game the second overtime with a 27-yard TD run.
“We have kids that somehow, some way find a way to get it done,” coach Al Bagnoli said. “Hopefully it’s a byproduct of the kind of culture that we have.”
Ragone is now 5-0 against Dartmouth, beating them each time in his Penn career.
“I’m not so sure we aren’t going to see him a sixth time,” Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens said.
Coming off a loss to Villanova that was ugly by almost every description, this game may have topped it as an ugly, absurd affair. But sometimes, you can’t come out of a win looking like a super model.
“Somehow, we clawed and scraped and fought and battled,” Bagnoli said. “It wasn’t pretty. I said last time [against Villanova] was not a Picasso, and today was not a Picasso.”
What this means for Penn moving forward is anyone’s guess. The Red and Blue won the game without their top wide receiver, as Conner Scott spent the game on crutches.
And with Brandon Colavita going down, the backfield situation seems murky despite the heroics of Kyle Wilcox down the stretch.
But there is time to think about William & Mary in the coming days.
For now, it is impossible not to just reflect upon the fact that in just the third game of Penn’s season, they played a game that will never be forgotten by the fans in attendance because it was one of the greatest football games they ever saw.
When it was mentioned that it was only Penn’s third game, Bagnoli responded with exasperation.
“Is that all that is?” Bagnoli bemoaned. “I feels like we’ve just played five or six.”
And while Penn students spent the rest of the day saying goodbye to their families before enjoying the nightlife of Penn’s campus, it wasn’t a late night for Bagnoli.
“If you’re a coach, you’re going to go bed early on either side because it was emotionally exhausting,” he said.
Penn has seven games left, but I’ll venture to say this will be the most memorable. For those that saw it, experienced it and lived it, this game will not be forgotten.
Because while many entered the stadium thinking they would see just a regular Ivy League football game, they saw all of the magic, exuberance, and exhaustion that can come from just one sporting event.
In the end, this win wasn’t just a win.
In this game, we saw the extraordinary.