Columbia Drops Heartbreaker to Penn, 24-20
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars


PHILADELPHIA - The Columbia football team was edged by Penn, 24-20, on Saturday. The Lions (1-4) held a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Quakers (2-3) scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown with 50 seconds remaining in regulation.

Leading 6-3 to start the second half, Penn started a drive on their own 37 yard line and drove 63 yards on six plays to go ahead 10-6 on a touchdown.  Penn quarterback Billy Ragone found Conner Scott for a 13-yard touchdown reception.

Two series later, Columbia got the ball on their own 16 yard line with 8:16 remaining in the third. Marcorus Garrett rushed for 36 yards on second and 10, breaking three tackles to bring Columbia to the Penn 48.  Sean Brackett then found Hamilton Garner for a gain of 31 yards, taking Columbia down to the Penn 16.  Two plays later Brackett found Garrett for a 15-yard touchdown, giving Columbia a 13-10 lead after Luke Eddy's extra point.

After a three and out by Penn, Columbia took over on its own 10 and quickly drove down the field. Brackett found Connor Nelligan for a gain of 10, first-year Cameron Molina and Brackett rushed for five and 10-yard gains respectively, and Nick Durham caught a pass for a 14-yard gain to take Columbia to the 50.

Molina rushed again for 14 and Brackett hit Nelligan for seven, taking Columbia to the Penn 29. Eddy attempted a 47-yard field goal, but it was blocked by the Quakers' B. Copeland.  Penn took over at their own 23, but managed just one first down.  A 34-yard punt, put Columbia on their 31 with 12:59 remaining in the fourth quarter. Brackett rushed for 16 yards, breaking two tackles for the first down. Brackett then passed to Garrett for a 25-yard gain down to the Penn 31.  Garrett wasn't finished. On first and 10 from the 31, he rushed 31 yards for the touchdown to give Columbia a 20-10 lead after the PAT. 

Penn got the ball back on their own 14 and drove 86 yards in 14 plays for a touchdown to make it 20-17. Ragone found Mitchell King for a 16-yard touchdown reception. Columbia got a first down on their ensuing drive, but had to punt from their own 19. Penn started their drive on their own 38 and eight plays later, scored on a pass from Ragone to Lyle Marsh with less than a minute remaining to make it 24-20.

Columbia did have a chance in the closing moments, driving deep into Penn territory. On a fourth down play, Sean Brackett hit Connor Nelligan for a completion, but Nelligan was tackled at the two-yard line and time expired for the Lions.

Marcorus Garrett rushed for 118 yards with a touchdown on 19 attempts. It was his third 100+yard rushing performance of the season.

Columbia returns home to Robert K. Kraft Field next Saturday, October 20, when they host Dartmouth on Homecoming Weekend. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m.

Full story to follow.