Author: Jonathan C., ENG’14, GEN’14
One of the great things about sports is that on any given day, you can witness history. When you walk into a stadium for a game you might see a blowout, a crazy play, overtime or even a record being broken. This past Saturday was just another day at Franklin Field, a field that has seen its share of history.
As I walked towards Franklin Field it was a good day for football, with clear skies and 88 degree temperatures that were unexpectedly warm for October. Penn was opening up its Ivy Title defense at home against Dartmouth during Family Weekend. As the families arrived at Franklin Field I admired the newly redesigned Penn home blue uniforms and meeting up with my fellow Red and Blue Crew board members in the front row.
The game began and it was back and forth, Penn led by 7 at the half, and as the game wound down it looked like it might come down to the final play. When Penn got a crucial interception with 3:30 to play it looked good. But our drive stalled and we missed a long field goal, giving Dartmouth the ball back with 1:30 to play. They promptly drove down the field and had an opportunity to win the game with a last-second field goal from the 4 yard line. As they lined up for the kick I sensed that Penn might not defend their Ivy title if they opened the campaign with a last-second loss. As my anxiety built and Dartmouth lined up for the kick, I was worried.
And the kick was up, and blocked! Penn had made a game-saving block that would send the game into overtime. Our sideline was ecstatic, with many a high-five handed out. In the first overtime Penn was stopped on a fourth and one, and Dartmouth had another opportunity to win the game with a field goal. The anxiety returned, but they missed the kick! And the game continued.
In the second overtime Dartmouth went first, and scored a touchdown. But Penn answered, with quarterback Billy Ragone scrambling for a touchdown on a crucial third and long. In the third overtime both teams traded field goals, and the game entered a fourth overtime, making it the longest game in Ivy League History. Dartmouth went first, and missed a field goal, leaving the door open for Penn. Penn faced a third and long, when third-string running back Kyle Wilcox found some running room on the outside. As he turned the corner and saw the daylight of the end zone, I couldn’t believe it as he scored the game winning touchdown!
As I walked out of the Franklin Field, physically and emotionally exhausted, I could not believe it. I had just witnessed the longest Ivy game ever, and we had won! Even after facing the precipice of defeat multiple times, each time we were able to pull away from the ledge and keep fighting. Many sports adages are relevant here, such as ‘It’s not over ‘til it’s over.’ That was definitely true in this case, just another game at Franklin Field.