NEW YORK - Columbia tied the game at 20-20 with 1:31 remaining in regulation but Penn took advantage of good field position to start its final drive and took five plays to go 56 yards to take a 27-20 lead with 25 seconds remaining as the Quakers came away with a seven-point victory on Columbia's Homecoming Day.
Columbia got on the board first late in the first quarter. The Lions began their drive at their own 39-yard line. With the ball on the Columbia 48, Lion quarterback Sean Brackett found Louis DiNovo over the middle for a long catch and run that went for 41 yards deep into Penn territory.
Luke Eddy then nailed a 31-yard field goal to give Columbia a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With 13:09 left in the second quarter, Penn started its drive on its 24-yard line. Greg Schuster carried on first and ten and was stripped of the ball by defensive back Kalasi Huggins who snatched the ball away in one motion and took it 11 yards down the field to put Columbia in position to score again.
Three plays later, Columbia punched it in the end zone when Marcorus Garrett scored for the second straight game, on a two-yard run to make it 10-0 Columbia.
Penn's Connor Loftus converted a 35-yard field goal midway through the second quarter and got the ball at its own 33-yard line with 1:30 left in the half down 10-3.
The Quakers quickly moved down the field and on third and goal from the eight, Billy Ragone passed to Ryan Calvert and Marquel Carter stopped Calvert a yard short of the goal line, leaving Penn to decide whether to kick a field goal or attempt a tying touchdown before the half ended.
With seven seconds left, Penn elected to go for it on fourth and goal and Ragone plunged into the end zone to ultimately tie the game 10-10 at halftime.
After deferring to receive in the second half, Columbia got the ball to begin the third quarter. After starting its drive on the 34-yard line, Sean Brackett completed two consecutive passes to DiNovo that moved the ball into Penn territory.
Brackett then found Kurt Williams on a post pattern that went for 31 yards, moving the ball to the 16-yard line. On the next play, Brackett executed a perfect option fake and found Hamilton Garner wide open down the middle to put Columbia back in front, 17-10.
Later in the third quarter, a Penn interception set up the Quakers near midfield. Penn moved into the red zone but the Columbia defense stiffened, setting up a 36-yard field goal by Loftus that cut the Columbia lead to 17-13.
After a Columbia three and out, Penn completed a nine-play, 82-yard drive that ended in a Brandon Colavita three-yard score. The touchdown gave Penn its first lead of the game, 20-17, with 10:57 remaining.
Columbia began its final scoring drive of the game on its 11-yard line with 6:06 remaining in the fourth quarter. Brackett completed three passes and rushed for 25 yards to put the ball at the Penn 35.
After three straight incomplete passes, Columbia had to go for it on fourth and 10 from the 35. After a Columbia timeout and then a Penn timeout, Brackett fired down the middle to find Williams, who made a terrific catch in traffic for a 24-yard gain.
With the ball at the Penn 11, Brackett rushed for seven yards down to the four-yard line. The Lions then committed three penalties and after two incomplete passes, were forced to try a 35-yard field goal with the wind in kicker Luke Eddy's face.
Eddy drilled the 35-yarder that split the uprights, tying the game at 20-20 as the spirited Homecoming crowd at Wien Stadium got even louder.
Penn then received a short kickoff at the 40-yard line and returned it back to its own 44. The Quakers' first play resulted in a pass interference call and Ragone then found Calvert for a six-yard gain. Ragone and Calvert connected again on the next play, a 26-yard strike down the middle that moved the ball to the Columbia 10.
On third and goal from the seven, Ragone called his own number and went into the end zone to put Penn ahead for good, 27-20.
Ragone passed for 185 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. Brackett passed for 218 yards and rushed for 38 yards.
Calvert caught eight balls for 105 yards while Williams made five grabs for 86 yards.
The Lions are back in action next Saturday, October 22 at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. for a 1:30 p.m. game.