Cutting through a rainy and gray Saturday afternoon, Penn football was looking to bounce back after a deflating defeat to Dartmouth. Following nearly four hours of play, the Quakers emerged victorious with a 42-39 victory over Georgetown — its third win of the year.
While special teams and field possession were crucial, both teams found an offensive rhythm late. But the Quakers (3-1, 0-1 Ivy) were the ones with the ball last. The game proved more difficult than it seemed, with Georgetown (3-3) scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime.
“Every point matters. We knew at the end of the game [Georgetown] needed the two points, if not [for the safety], they kick the extra point to win.” coach Ray Priore said postgame.
Following a scoreless first quarter, a turnover by junior quarterback Aidan Sayin set the Hoyas up with excellent field possession early in the second. Georgetown’s quarterback Tyler Knoop scrambled to the one-yard line, and then into the end zone for the game’s first score.
In response, the Quakers ripped off three straight scoring drives — while holding Georgetown to none. On all three, Sayin distributed the ball with ease to targets like junior tight end Bryce Myers, senior wide receiver Joshua Casilli, and freshman running back Malachi Hosely. After a run by sophomore quarterback Liam O’Brien found the end zone, and senior kicker Graham Gotlieb's good field goal, the Quakers were up 17-7.
Finding themselves down, the Hoyas executed a two-minute drill, but junior kicker/punter Albert Jang kept the Quakers' lead wide as the team ended the half up 20-13.
After halftime, Penn's offense kept rolling. Hosely's 20-yard touchdown pulled the Quakers to a 29-13 lead. But on the next Hoya possession, Knoop scrambled and found wide receiver Jimmy Kibble for a 65-yard touchdown catch.
Even though Penn scored again to bring the lead back to 16, Georgetown didn’t give up as the clock turned to the fourth quarter. Another Hoya touchdown and a successful two-point conversion cut the lead to eight. Penn's defense found itself needing a stop with eight minutes left on the clock.
After Georgetown got the ball to Penn’s 29, the Quakers suffered a devastating injury, as senior defensive back Jaden Key ended up on the turf following a big hit. Key was stretchered off the field in the middle of a silent stadium, with both teams on their knees.
“He said to me as he was lying on the ground that ‘Coach, I am going to stay a little bit long and see if we can slow down the drive,’” Priore said. “I think giving the thumbs up to his teammates was a great sign.”
Once play resumed, the Hoyas set themselves up at the one-yard line following a fourth-down conversion. Soon after, the Hoyas scored another touchdown and succeeded again on the two-point try — tying the game at 36 with 1:22 left.
Hoping to avoid a second overtime in as many games, Penn tried to move the ball but ultimately had to settle for a 62-yard field goal attempt by Jang. However, his kick was wide and short, ending regulation with the game tied up.
To start overtime, Georgetown had the ball at Penn’s 25-yard line. But after three unsuccessful plays, the Hoyas were forced to settle for a field goal try. Kicker Patrick Ryan made the 49-yard attempt with room to spare to put the Hoyas up for the first time since it was 7-0.
During its turn on offense, Penn turned to Hosely, who had shone throughout the day. He rumbled to the six-yard line, and then two plays later, he found the edge for a walk-off touchdown, allowing the Quakers to leave Franklin field with a cathartic victory following last week’s overtime defeat.
“All my teammates, they keep telling me I’m special. When I mess up they help me along the way,” Hosley said. “And I am just so thankful for all the veterans on the team.”
Next week, the Quakers will be looking for their first Ivy win as they hit the road to play Columbia. The game will take place on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1:30 p.m.