To keep their Ivy League title hopes alive, following last weekend’s 30-26 loss to Brown, the football team needed a big win on Saturday in their Homecoming game against Cornell at Franklin Field.
On the back of first-year running back Malachi Hosley, they got one, upending the Big Red 23-8. Hosley had himself a record-breaking day, rushing 21 times for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his scoring runs were in excess of 65 yards. President Liz Magill was on hand to witness his historic feat.
Hosley’s first touchdown run came at the 5:51 mark in the second quarter, with the Quakers up 10-0. On 1st-and-10 from Penn’s 32-yard line, Hosley took the shotgun handoff from third-yard quarterback Aidan Sayin and darted past a cloud of Cornell defenders almost untouched for a 68-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked, and the Red & Blue took a 16-0 advantage.
The Big Red halved the Quakers’ lead in the third quarter via a five-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the second half, followed by a successful two-point conversion. After a three-and-out by the Red & Blue, Cornell drove the ball from their 17-yard line all the way down to Penn’s 8-yard line. On 4th-and-2, they lined up for a 25-yard field goal, but it was blocked and recovered by fourth-year defensive lineman Travis McFarling at the 8-yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by the Quakers on the play moved the ball back half the distance to the goal, and the Red & Blue took over at the 4-yard line.
On 1st-and-10 from the 4, Hosley took a shotgun handoff, rushed right, and then reversed field, jetting past helpless defenders for a 96-yard score, the longest offensive touchdown play in school history and tied for the third-longest rushing touchdown in Ivy history. (The longest touchdown play in school history is a 108-yard kickoff return by Frank Riepl against Notre Dame on Nov. 5, 1955. Kunle Williams had a 100-yard interception return against Princeton on Nov. 6, 1999).
Hosley’s 261 total rushing yards are the third-most in school history. (Terrance Stokes rushed for 272 yards against Princeton in 1993 and Karekin Brooks rushed for 268 yards against Lehigh in 2017.) For his performance, Hosley has been named FedEx Ground FCS National Freshman of the Week by Stats Perform, Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, and Ivy League Rookie of the Week
The victory improved Penn’s record to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the Ivy League. They are tied for second place in the conference with Dartmouth, Princeton, and Yale.
On deck for the Quakers is first-place Harvard (7-1 overall, 4-1 in Ivy League) on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. in Massachusetts. The Crimson won last year’s matchup 37-14.