ITHACA, NY — One half into the battle for the Trustee’s Cup, the best seems yet to come. Penn football trails Cornell, 7-3, on a chilly night in New York.
The first quarter saw no score, thanks in large part to Penn’s defense. Following a three-and-out from the Quakers to open the game, Cornell (3-4, 2-2 Ivy) stormed down the field to set up a first-and-goal from Penn’s one yard line. A Herculean effort from the Quakers (5-2, 2-2) denied the Big Red three times, however, and on 4th and 2, a designed run from quarterback Dalton Banks was foiled by senior linebacker Jay Common, who grabbed Banks by his shoelaces to drag him down agonizingly short and keep the game scoreless.
Penn broke the deadlock early in the second quarter. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Glover threw a 45-yard bomb down the field to senior wide receiver Steve Farrell, who hauled it in to give the Quakers three shots at a touchdown. A stand from the Big Red forced the Red and Blue to call up kicker Jack Soslow for a 20-yarder.
Soslow split the uprights to put Penn up, 3-0.
Not to be outdone, though, Cornell responded immediately with a long, hard-fought drive of its own. Though the Quakers’ red zone defense put up another strong stand, they were undone on third and goal by a 13-yard cross-field catch-and-run from Lars Pedersen that put them behind, 7-3.
Defense reigned supreme on the following series of drives, and Penn was forced to enter the half behind. Junior quarterback Nick Robinson came in on one of the drives in a planned switch.
Though a win for either team, with two Ivy losses apiece, would be unlikely to help them with what now seems an impossible quest for a conference title, a trophy is still on the line tonight here in Ithaca: the Trustee’s Cup, which Penn has held over Cornell for five years running.
Stay tuned for the second half.