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NEW YORK – The Columbia football team dropped a 21-7 decision to Penn on Homecoming on Saturday afternoon. The Lions fell to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in Ivy League play.
Senior Paul Delaney was named the John Toner Player of the Game after averaging 45.2 yards per attempt on 12 punts, including a long of 58 and two inside the 20 yard line.
On Columbia’s third drive of the game, the Lions opened up the playbook and called a flea-flicker. Hilinski threw a perfect 46-yard strike to Cameron Dunn to put the ball deep into the red zone. Garrett finished the job with a six-yard touchdown run to give Columbia a 7-0 lead with 4:02 left in the first quarter.
Penn’s (3-2, 2-0) backup quarterback Ryan Becker keyed a nine-play drive to even the score at 7-7 with 4:25 left in the second quarter. The Quakers converted on a trio of third downs, including a 22-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell King on 3rd and 17.
After each team traded punts, Penn took over from its own 36 with 1:50 remaining. The Quakers executed its two-minute drill to near perfection, marching down the field in just 40 seconds and taking a 14-7 lead after Ragone, who re-entered the game on the drive, found Ty Taylor for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Neither offense generated much in the third quarter, and it took a series of turnovers to lead to an insurance score by Penn.
With the Quakers at the Columbia 28, Jeremy Mingo made a diving interception off a deflected pass at the 13. However, on the next play, Kelly Hilinski was picked off by Evan Jackson to give the ball right back to Penn at the 32 with 14:20 to play.
Eight plays later, Spencer Kulcsar found the end zone on a four-yard rushing touchdown to extend the advantage to 21-7 with 11:19 remaining to effectively put the game out of reach.
Zach Olinger posted a game-high 14 tackles. Chad Washington added 11 takedowns, and Vinny Pugliese made 10 stops with a forced fumble.
The Quakers compiled 438 yards of total offense, 219 on the ground and 219 through the air.
The Lions will travel to Hanover, N.H., next Saturday, Oct. 26 to face Dartmouth. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.