By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Penn Quakers will play their final non-league game of the season on Saturday as they head down to Williamsburg, Virginia, to battle the Tribe of William and Mary.
Penn is 2-1 after an incredible 37-31, four-overtime victory over Dartmouth at Franklin Field this past weekend.
“It’s the longest game in Ivy League history, it had an unbelievable amount of peaks and valleys,” Penn head coach Al Bagnoli tells KYW Newsradio. “Numerous opportunities for both teams to win it, both in regulation and in overtime. Thankfully, it ended in our favor. But it was not a game for the faint-hearted and it certainly is not a game you want to duplicate at any point in my coaching career.”
Games like that always have a lot of heroes, but the biggest for Penn was senior linebacker David Park.
“He had a couple really big plays,” Bagnoli says. “He returned a fumble 84-yards for a touchdown. The last play of the game in regulation, he blocks a point-blank field goal attempt from the four-yard line to send it into overtime. So he was the catalyst of us being able to get it to overtime.”
Park also had five solo tackles and a sack and for his efforts, he was named Ivy league Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
While winning a game like this is obviously exciting, Bagnoli says make no mistake, it takes an awful lot out of a team.
“There’s the residual effect of a four-overtime game,” Bagnoli says. “You have the physical aspects, there was probably close to 250 plays when you count offense, defense and the kicking game. And then you also have the emotional toll. We expended an awful lot of energy, both physically and emotionally and we’re trying to get it back. We’re trying to get our legs back under us, because we are going to play a team that is very fast and very athletic and we’re going to have to be on top of our game if we have any chance to win.”
William and Mary is 3-2 on the season and they are coming off a 20-16 loss to Villanova. A member of the CAA, the Tribe features a bruising offense.
“They’re built completely different than some of the other CAA schools,” Bagnoli says. “They are built around tight ends and fullbacks and a power running game. And I think they do a really good job of isolating people, running off-tackle, C-gap, and really off of that comes their play-action game, which is really much more of a vertical attack than any other school that we’ll see.”
Bagnoli is also impressed with the Tribe defense.
“They are really good,” Bagnoli says. “They and Villanova are very comparable defensively. They are in a four-man front, they have really good personnel. They’ve defended everybody well. They held West Virginia to 24 (points), they shutout Rhode Island, They held a very explosive Villanova team to 20. So they are very, very scary on defense.”
Penn is 1-5 all-time against William and Mary. That includes a 34-28 loss last season at Franklin Field.
Saturday’s game will kick-off at 3:30pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.