Penn looks to finish season strong Saturday vs. Princeton

Matt Leon
November 21, 2019 - 1:25 pm
Penn wide receiver Rory Starkey Jr.

Penn Athletics

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Penn Quakers will look to continue their late season surge on Saturday afternoon when they wrap up the regular season with a home game against rival Princeton at Franklin Field.

The Quakers have won three in a row to improve to 5-4 and 3-3 in the Ivy League. This past Saturday, the Quakers slipped past Harvard on the road, 24-20. 

Penn has been getting it done in close games during this winning streak, as their three victories are by a total of seven points.

"Excited how our kids are learning how to finish," Penn head coach Ray Priore said. "Staying very, very poised late in the games and able to get the job done. And it's coming from a lot of different people, which is really good to see."

Penn's defense came up big late against Harvard, stopping the Crimson on fourth down, twice down the stretch. On offense, sophomore wide receiver Rory Starkey, Jr. had a pair of touchdown catches. His second gave Penn the lead halfway through the fourth quarter. 

It came on a fourth-and-one play and the 16-yard scoring catch was about as good a grab as you'll see.

"They loaded the box with nine players inside, knew we couldn't run the ball," Priore recalled. "The check-off is to a fade, (quarterback Nick Robinson) threw a nice ball — could've been a little bit longer from my standpoint — but RJ went up with one hand, tapped it back to himself and made an unbelievable catch."

While Penn is playing its best football of the season, Princeton has struggled lately. The Tigers — 7-2, 4-2 Ivy — have lost their last two games by a combined score of 78-24. Last week, Princeton got torched at home by Yale, 51-14. 

But, as with most rivalries, the previous weeks are just prologue to Saturday.

"We all feel the buzz and the energy," Priore said. "It's our senior day, last day for our seniors. So we want to go out on a good note with them. But there's a sense all over the Penn community about this game. I don't care whether you're playing lacrosse, basketball, field hockey — the rivalry between our two schools is big and it should be a great contest on Saturday."

This will be the 111th meeting between the two programs. Princeton leads the series 67-42-1. Last year, the Tigers beat the Quakers in central New Jersey, 42-14.

Saturday's game gets underway at 1 p.m.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @Mattleon1060.