With Penn down by one point with less than a minute remaining, quarterback Gary Vura led his team 69 yards and junior Dave Shulman kicked a 27-yard field goal as the game ended to give the Quakers a 23-21 victory over Harvard today and a share of the Ivy League championship.
Before a crowd of 34,746 at Franklin Field, Harvard's Don Allard threw two last-quarter desperation passes and completed a 56-yard drive by pitching out to fullback Mike Granger for a three-yard touchdown and a tie with 1:32 remaining.
Kicker Jim Villanueva put the Crimson ahead by one point on his point-after kick.
However, Vura, whose team had blown a 13-0 lead with a quarter remaining, then marched Penn into range for Shulman, the drive taking eight plays.
With three seconds remaining, Shulman missed the field goal but Harvard was penalized on a personal foul for running into the kicker. That enabled Shulman to successfully kick the field goal.
"The ball was tipped," said Shulman. "I'm glad I got hit because I knew I'd get it the second time. It's something I've dreamt about, but I'd never won a game before."
"We'd faced prevent defenses in the past," Vura said of the winning drive. "We knew the seams would be open. We knew all we needed was a field goal. That first field goal was rough though. This team's got so much character. We do unbelievable things. We let down a little bit offensively when we didn't make it 17-0 at half time. We knew they had a good offense and they could come back."
Penn held a 13-0 lead going into the last quarter, but Allard threw scoring passes of three yards to tight end Peter Quartararo and four yards to halfback Steve Ernst to come within six points of the Quakers.
The victory was Penn's first over Harvard in 10 years and the first at Franklin Field since 1963.
It also gave the Quakers their first chance to win the Ivy title outright since 1959.
"It's the happiest moment of my life, aside from my marriage and the birth of my kids," said Coach Jerry Berndt.
Penn, pushing its record to 5-1 in the Ivy League and 7-2, can win the title next week at Cornell.
Harvard is 4-2 in the Ivy and 6-3 overall.