Turn Back the Clock: Nov. 15, 2003

The Quakers halt a Crimson comeback, 32-24
November 15, 2003

There’s been quite the trend in years past of vying for the Ivy League championship against Harvard. For the second year in a row, Penn clinched the Ivy title outright in a close matchup at Harvard Stadium, one game before finishing the season undefeated in the league.

But the Crimson wouldn’t let a win come too easy for the Quakers, who jumped out to an early lead.

The Red and Blue reached a 22-point advantage, 22-0, before Harvard came charging back.

To commence the game, Penn QB Mike Mitchell found tight end Brian Adams five plays in for an 11-yard touchdown, putting the Quakers up by seven.

This scoring streak continued for Penn. In the following scoring drive, and in the first play for that matter, Mitchell passed the ball 44 yards to wide receiver Dan Castles for the second Quakers touchdown, putting them up 14-0.

And it was still the first quarter.

Another pass from Mitchell to fullback Kevin DeSmedt a couple minutes later for a seven-yard touchdown followed by a two-point conversion put the Quakers at what seemed to be a huge advantage.

The Crimson answered with a 65-yard drive for a touchdown, which the Red and Blue matched in the second half with a 91-yard drive, running into the endzone.

The second half was big for Harvard, who scored on a safety followed by a touchdown on a 5-yard pass. The Quakers answered yet again, countering with a field goal.

In the final minutes, Harvard fumbled the ball but managed to get it back in time to drive down the field for the eight-point touchdown play. Penn began their drive, but ended up needing to punt with less than a minute to play.

Within the final minute, Harvard made it 71 yards down the field. But in the final moments of the game, six yards from potentially putting together a game tying play, Penn linebacker Steve Lhotak tackled Harvard QB Matt Fratto, ending the game and securing the title for the Quakers.

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