Finding a Way... to Lose
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Boneheadedness doesn't even begin to describe it...
Penn 27 Columbia 20
Why Penn Won
The Quakers offensive line shook off a weak start and powered the Quakers just enough to make sure Penn took advantage of several great opportunities.
Penn QB Billy Ragone played a conservative, but smart, game and never turned the ball over. He also scored two TD's, one at the end of each half.
Why Columbia Lost
Incredible mistakes on offense gift wrapped a win for the Quakers.
Penalties on offense, shockingly bad decisions on kickoffs, poor clock management and more stubborn play calling sealed the Lions fate.
Key Turning Points
-Leading 10-0 early the second quarter, the Lions once again had poor coverage on a kickoff giving Penn the ball at their own 46 to start the drive. On that drive an extremely poor call by the refs negated a clear Quaker fumble and Penn was able to convert a FG to make it 10-3.
-Trailing 10-3 with seven seconds left in the half, Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli elected to go for the TD on a 4th and goal from the Columbia one rather than kick a field goal. Ragone pushed himself in for demoralizing game tying TD.
-Leading 17-10 in the third quarter and pushing Penn back on its heels, the Lions faced a 2nd and less than a yard at their own 47. Instead of running the ball or throwing it deep, the call was for a chancy sideline pass that was predictably picked off at the Quaker 48.
-The game truly was decided by an incredible sequence in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes left and Columbia traling 20-17, the Lions found themselves with a 2nd and three at the Penn four. Columbia then committed two straight false start penalties and then a delay of game penalty as the play clock ran out with the coaches still chatting on the field.
After Luke Eddy somewhat bailed out the team with a brilliant 36-yard game tying field goal, the coaches again decided to try a squib kickoff play that hasn't worked all year. Not surprisingly, the play failed miserably and the Quakers took over at their own 45.
Five plays later Ragone was streaking into the end zone for the winning touchdown.
-The Lions defense held the mighty Quaker running game to just over three yards a carry and gave the team every chance to win.
-QB Sean Brackett had some brilliant runs when the Lions really needed them, and he also completed some key passes at crucial times.
-Eddy shook off his rough game from last week and hit both PAT's and both FG's... the second one against the wind to tie the game.
-Columbia committed a total of four penalties inside the Penn red zone, costing them eight points and the game.
-The Lions running game just continues not to work overall.
-Has anyone ever seen a head coach standing on the field still talking with his QB with no timeouts left and the play clock ticking down to less than eight seconds left? This after his team had already just been called for two straight false start penalties?
The conduct and decision making of this coaching staff is nothing short of criminal.
Kurt Williams had a big game at WR, his biggest play coming on a diving catch on a 4th and 10 for a first down on what should have been Columbia's winning drive.
But the clutch kicking by Luke Eddy was so good he deserves to share the MVP honors with Williams.