NEW YORK — So far, Al Bagnoli is getting the best of the Quakers this year.
Penn (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) trails Columbia (1-3, 0-1) at the half by a score of 17-0. Despite scoring 38 points against Sacred Heart last week, the Red and Blue haven't been able to get on the scoreboard in New York through 30 minutes of football.
Columbia started the game out hot on an opening play flea-flicker that went for a 47-yard gain. Lions quarterback Ty Lenhart punched in a one-yard run to give the Lions a 7-0 lead with 12:44 in the first quarter.
The Quakers got the ball back and took the ball to midfield, but Columbia's Ben McKeighan broke up senior quarterback Nick Robinson's pass to senior wideout Kolton Huber on fourth down and the Lions took over on downs. Despite starting in Penn territory, Columbia was forced to settle for a 43-yard field goal.
On the next drive, the Red and Blue started to pick up momentum on offense, as Karekin Brooks chipped in 20 yards rushing, but the Quakers stalled on offense and were forced to punt after a false start on fourth-and-1. A dropped pass by sophomore wideout Rory Starkey on fourth down the next drive was the second turnover on downs of the afternoon.
Energized by their second-straight fourth down stop, the White and Blue drove the ball down the field — picking up big gains on passing plays — and Lions running back Dante Miller scored from 17 yards out to extend Columbia's lead to 17.
Needing points before the half, Robinson looked to his safety blanket, sophomore receiver Ryan Cragun, and the Quakers advanced into Columbia territory, but David Perkins couldn't convert a 42-yard field goal to end the drive. Perkins missed two field goals in the half.
Penn has been outgained on the ground and through the air, and senior running back Karekin Brooks has only 33 yards rushing on nine carries. Penn has forced two turnovers, but the Quakers haven't converted on fourth down on either of their tries.
Check out the full recap here.
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