Penn wraps up non-league play Saturday against Sacred Heart

Matt Leon
October 08, 2019 - 1:39 pm
Head coach Ray Priore

Penn Athletics

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The University of Pennsylvania football team plays its final non-league game of the season on Saturday as the Quakers welcome Sacred Heart to Franklin Field.

Penn fell to 1-2 on the season this past Friday, dropping their Ivy League opener to Dartmouth at Franklin Field, 28-15. Penn fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and could never quite recover.

"We did get into a hole due to some of our poor execution on a couple plays," Penn head coach Ray Priore said. "A fumble for a touchdown, we spotted them some points there. Didn't capitalize really when we had some opportunities. But our kids fought throughout the game."

Senior running back Karekin Brooks ran for 91 yards and two scores and also caught 10 passes in the defeat. Penn played without leading receiver Ryan Cragun against Dartmouth. He sat out with an injury. It appears the arrow is pointing toward Cragun returning for Saturday.

The Quakers defense played well against Dartmouth, but they weren't able to make that big play to turn the game around. In fact, Penn has yet to force a turnover through three games this season. That's something Priore would like to see change.

"You go to most coaches, they would say that turnovers are key to most wins and losses," Priore said. "It's a crucial part of it, it flips field position, momentum during the course of a game."

Sacred Heart brings a 3-2 record into Saturday's game. The Pioneers are coming off a 28-3 home loss against Central Connecticut State. 

"Physical, talented team," Priore said of Sacred Heart. "They've got a transfer quarterback, a fifth-year kid, who can throw the ball, and he's got some skilled kids to throw the ball to. Saw them against Lafayette, put over 50 points on them. They have big play capabilities from their receiving corps and their corps of running backs. It was down to the wire last year in a really good game up there, so we expect our kids to be ready."

That game last year was a 31-27 Penn win. The Quakers jumped out 24-0, then fell behind 27-24 before scoring the winning touchdown with just 1:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Saturday's game at Franklin Field kicks off at 1 p.m.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @MattLeon1060.