The University of Pennsylvania cemented its position as the premier football team in the Ancient Eight this year. The Quakers (9-1, 7-0 Ivy) ended their undefeated Ivy season with a 31-0 drubbing of Cornell (4-6, 3-4).
After losing its first eight games, Brown (2-8, 2-5) ended the season on a two-game winning streak. And Princeton (6-4, 4-3) came from behind on the strength of Cameron Atkinson’s performance to win over Dartmouth (3-7, 2-5).
Penn 31, Cornell 0
The Penn formula — dominating defense and strong performances from first-team all-Ivy wide receiver and quarterback tandem Rob Milanese and Mike Mitchell — held them in good stead yet again.
The Quaker defense held Cornell to 8 first downs and 36 yards rushing. Mitchell, who passed for 269 yards, hit Milanese 15 times for 172 yards, including a touchdown. Running back Stephen Faulk ran for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Cornell was down by just 7 heading into the final quarter, but the Big Red could not move the ball against a Quaker defense which boasted five first-team all-Ivy members. Four quarterbacks tried to lead the Cornell offense, but none could muster more than 75 aerial yards.
Princeton 38, Dartmouth 30
Princeton’s Cameron Atkinson finished a stellar college career and a first-team All-Ivy season in spectacular fashion, lifting his team over Dartmouth.
The Tiger back scored three touchdowns in the final quarter and finished with 233 rushing yards.
Princeton entered the second half down 16-3 but rallied behind Atkinson and quarterback Matt Verbit. Verbit began the comeback with a third quarter touchdown pass to Randy Bly.
After Princeton took the lead on a 66-yard Atkinson scamper in the fourth quarter, Dartmouth’s second-team all-Ivy quarterback Brian Mann put the Big Green ahead once more with a 16 yard touchdown pass. A successful two-point rushing conversion by Mann made the score 24-17.
Atkinson answered with an 84-yard run. His backfield mate Branden Benson put the Tigers ahead for the last time with a one yard rush.
Mann finished with 275 yards passing, including 98 to first-team all-Ivy tight end Casey Cramer.
Brown 35, Columbia 28
Brown’s last game featured a fitting end to wide receiver Chas Gessner’s record-breaking career, as well as a glimpse of what may lie ahead for the Bears.
Freshman quarterback Kyle Slager completed 29 of 46 passes for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns. Slager also rushed for a score. Slager’s performance gives hope to Brown fans contemplating a future without Gessner.
Gessner, a first-team All-Ivy selection for the second straight year, caught 14 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. He finished No. 2 in the Ivy League all-time in both career touchdown receptions and total receptions.
Teammate Joe Rackley rushed into the end zone with 1:02 remaining to complete an 8 play, 62-yard drive that broke a 28-28 tie and ended the game’s scoring. He finished with 101 ground yards.
Columbia’s Steve Hunsberger completed 25 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown, in addition to rushing for two scores.