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Penn Holds Off Big Red’s Second Half Push, Downs Cornell 23-8

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

Penn running back Malachi Hosley rushed for 261 yards and two scores as the Quakers (6-2, 3-2 Ivy) took down the Cornell Big Red (3-5, 2-3 Ivy) Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field. 

The Big Red, losers of two straight games, trailed 16-0 at halftime and pulled within eight on its first drive in the second half, but the Quakers sealed the victory with another score late in the third quarter. Penn sits one game behind first-place Harvard in the Ivy League race with two weeks to play. 

The Quakers, who entered the day averaging more than 300 passing yards per game, used their ground game to beat the Big Red, amassing 264 yards on 27 rushes. Hosley ran 21 times and scored on a 68-yard run in the second quarter and a 96-yarder in the third. Liam O’Brien had a one-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. 

Penn quarterback Aidan Sayin attempted just 13 passes, completing nine for 88 yards. The Big Red held Jalen Richardson, the Ivy League’s leading receiver coming into the day, to two catches for 10 yards. He caught 12 or more passes in three of Penn’s first six games. 

Big Red quarterback Jameson Wang completed 34-of-52 passes for 325 yards. Doryn Smith hauled in a touchdown pass, his second of the season, early in the third quarter to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive. Davon Kiser cut Penn’s lead to 16-8 with the two-point conversion. 

Wang had another 54 yards on the ground, and the Big Red finished with 102 yards rushing as a team.


  • Penn struck first with a 28-yard field goal after burning six minutes off the clock in its opening drive, while on the first Big Red drive, the quakers held Cornell to a punt.
  • Penn used a trick play to get out of a third-and-two, continuing the Quakers second drive of the game, where a 35-yard pass put Penn at the Cornell six-yard line, but the Cornell defense held strong to bring up a fourth down on its own one-yard line.
  • Penn converted on the fourth down to make it a 10-0 game
  • Chad Martini threw his first-career pass on a Big Red trick play where Wang flipped the ball to Martini, who found Smith for a four-yard gain to close out the first.


  • Cornell was held to a fourth-and-one with 10:25 left in the half, but the powerful offensive line paved the way for Wang to get the yard and keep the drive alive.
  • The Quakers pushed the Big Red into another fourth down, this time needing five to keep going. A completion to Smith cam up short on the mark, turning the ball over on downs.
  • Penn scored on the ensuing play with a 68-yard rushing touchdown, but Davon Kiser got his arm in on the PAT to hold the Penn lead to 16-0.
  • Cornell was held to a punt on its finial drive of the half and Penn let the clock fall to zeros to close the second.


  • Jameson Wang came out slinging to open quarter three. He completed two 15+-yard passes and rushed for a first down to get the Big Red up to the Penn four-yard line.
  • On fourth-and-one, Wang held strong in the pocket, evaded pressure and looked to be think about rushing toward the line to gain. As the Penn defense collapsed in, Wang found an open Smith in the endzone for the first Cornell points of the day.
  • Kiser made it a one score game when he converted the two-point conversion.
  • The Big Red defense came up with the first three-and-out of the day after pass breakups from Holt Fletcher and Paul Lewis, getting the Big Red offense back in action.
  • Cornell escaped another fourth-down situation when Wang connected with Kiser.
  • Penn held Cornell to a field goal and got a full hand on the attempt to hold the Big Red to 16-8.
  • Penn used the momentum swing to score in its first play from scrimmage, scoring on a 96-yard rush to lead 23-8.
  • The Smith and Wang connection returned on following drive when the quarterback hit Smith for 26 yards and to get Cornell into Quaker territory to start the fourth quarter.


  • The first play of the fourth quarter, Wang hit Musungu for a 14-yard pass to move the chains again.
  • A personal foul backed Cornell up to a first-and-25 situation, but a 22-yard pass to Laboy, where he went from right to left on the field to evade the entire Penn secondary, put Cornell at the Penn two-yard line with a fresh set of downs.
  • Penn defense held the Big Red to fourth-and-goal, and stopped the goal-line push to force another turnover-on-downs.
  • Cornell’s penultimate drive ended in an interception when Wang went deep to try and get a score with 1:14 remaining in the quarter. The Big Red made one last defensive stop, but was unable to find the endzone in the final drive.


  • The Big Red will remain on the road for the final away contest of the year. The team travels to Hanover, N.H to take on Dartmouth.
  • Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Memorial Field. Fans at home can catch the game on ESPN+.