By Harry Allison
The Penn Quakers had one last chance to win one for their legendary coach and they came through with a 34-26 victory at Cornell.
Bagnoli and his Penn Quakers walked off Schoellkopf Field with a win in his final game as a college coach/
Penn sophomore quarterback Alek Torgersen completed 26-of-37 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a team-high 86 yards and another score. His favorite target was Spencer Kulcsar, who hauled in 11 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns. Tyler Drake had seven tackles and a pair of sacks, while Jack Madden made eight sacks and intercepted a pass.
The Big Red missed three extra-point kicks and scored just 14 points on its six trips to the red zone, including zero points on three trips inside the Penn 7, to complete the season with a 1-9 record. Bagnoli’s Quakers finished 2-8 after picking up his 148th career win at Penn, second all-time in Ivy history.
Penn won the game in the third quarter after taking advantage of Cornell’s lost opportunities, stretching a 21-18 halftime lead into a 10-point lead early in the quarter. The Quakers added an insurance score in the fourth that more or less put the game away, though the Big Red made it interesting late.
Trailing by 16, Cornell got back within a score with a late fourth quarter touchdown pass from the sophomore connection of Somborn to Matt Sullivan to make it a 10-point game. Somborn then converted a two-point conversion pass to classmate Collin Shaw to make it 34-26 with 4:07 left in regulation.
Penn celebrated the win and Bagnoli’s final game with a Gatorade bath for the outgoing coach.
“We had been talking about it all week. Coach Bagnoli’s had a great career, you can go on and on about coach,” senior defensive back and captain Evan Jackson said.
“It just felt right to get the [win] and celebrate the way we would if we had won the championship.”
Bagnoli ended his career with 239 career victories, and the most for a football coach in Penn’s history with 148. “For anyone that’s ever played for him, they always have stories. He’s a phenomenal coach and a legend,” Kulcsar added.
“To be able to play under him and with him in our final year, is something I won’t forget.”