It took Penn just two hours and 41 minutes to send Columbia back to the Big Apple winless on Saturday.
The Quakers kept the clock ticking, running the ball 57 times for 281 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 27-13 victory over visiting Columbia Saturday.
Coach Al Bagnoli opted to pass only five times, and quarterback Billy Ragone completed just two passes.
Despite the sparse passes, the Quakers (4-1, 2-0 Ivy) managed 281 yards on the ground — enough to generate 27 points.
“We had plans to throw the ball more than five times,” Bagnoli said. “In the long term, we’re going to have to throw the ball more efficiently.”
Though the gameplan changed for the Red and Blue, it didn’t take long for Columbia (3-2, 1-1) to anticipate the run, especially given a first quarter with zero Penn passes.
But though the Lions knew what to expect, they couldn’t do anything about it.
“They’re not trying to hide [the run], they’re daring you to stop it,” said Columbia coach Norries Wilson.
Ragone rushed for 78 yards, most of them from Penn’s 75-yard opening touchdown drive. He ran seven yards for the score, his fourth this season on the ground.
And sophomore runningback Brandon Colavita surpassed the century mark for the first time in his career with 104 yards.
Meanwhile, the Penn defense negated more than half of Columbia’s 100 rushing yards, sacking Lions’ quarterback Sean Brackett five times for 43 yards.
With the Quakers up 7-3 in the first quarter, Brian Wing sacked Brackett and forced a fumble that Drew Goldsmith picked up and ran into the endzone.
In addition to giving Penn a comfortable lead, the play sent an early message to the Lions that the Quakers were ready to defend their Ivy title.
Wing’s forced fumble momentarily boosted Penn’s struggling turnover ratio — which is next to last in the Ivy League. But a second-quarter Colavita fumble with the Quakers up 14-3 put the Lions at the Penn 33, two scores away from taking the lead.
The Quakers responded, mustering a big defensive stop and touchdown on the ensuing series. On fourth and goal from the 1, Jeff Jack found his way into the endzone and Penn entered the locker room up 20-3.
The only time the Quakers showed any sign of weakness was on a 57-yard Columbia touchdown pass in the third quarter. Brackett threw deep to tight end Andrew Kennedy, who evaded Penn’s Josh Powers and ran for six points.
Again, the Quakers were unfazed. Colavita scored on an eight-yard run the next series, adding his fifth rushing touchdown of the season. The sophomore has scored a touchdown in four straight games.
“We weren’t always pretty today,” Bagnoli said. “We weren’t always as efficient as I’d like to see us, but [we] played pretty hard for 60 minutes.”
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