Tired Penn squad preparing for William and Mary

Penn football coach Al Bagnoli. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)
Penn football coach Al Bagnoli. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 12, 2013

In the beginning of the week Penn's football players were admittedly dragging at practice, but they had a good excuse after playing the longest game in Ivy League history.

The Quakers (2-1) are coming off Saturday's 37-31, four-overtime win over visiting Dartmouth.

If anybody wants to point fingers at somebody for making them work extra, Penn linebacker David Park is a main culprit. In addition to scoring on an 84-yard fumble return, Park sent the game in overtime by blocking a 21-yard field goal attempt as time expired in regulation.

"It was pretty hard, but we have to move on to William and Mary," Park said.

That won't be easy.

William and Mary (3-2) is coming off a 20-16 loss to Villanova in which the Wildcats scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard John Robertson run with 28 seconds left.

Not only do the Quakers have to prepare for a scholarship school, but it is a William and Mary team that is seventh nationally among Football Championship Subdivision schools in total defense, allowing 293.6 yards per game.

Plus, Penn is also battling some awfully tired legs.

"We had to be careful how hard we pushed our kids this week," Penn coach Al Bagnoli said. "We were very tired early in the week and tried to keep them off their feet and shorten practice."

Penn's Kyle Wilcox scored the game-winning touchdown on a 20-yard run in the fourth overtime. Wilcox didn't have a carry over the first three quarters, but ended with 18 and rushed for 94 yards. He got the extra work because starter Brandon Colavita suffered a knee injury, one that will keep him out of Saturday's game.

"I've gotten the ball 18 times but never that many in that short a period," Wilcox said. "I had a little momentum behind me and didn't feel it until after the game."

Wilcox said he has shaken off any fatigue.

"It's hard to put last week behind us, but I am excited to play William and Mary," he said. "The past is the past and I am ready to go."

After this game, Penn's remaining six contests are against Ivy League opponents. While the Quakers will do their best to win, they also must stay healthy. In addition to Colavita, among other key players out for this game are wide receiver Conner Scott (ankle) and defensive lineman Feerooz Yacoobi (shoulder).


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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