All things must come to an end, and that includes Villanova's dominance over Penn on the football field.
That's just what happened Thursday night at Villanova as the rebuilding Quakers dominated the Wildcats all night long and defeated them, 24-13. The victory was Penn's first against the Wildcats since 1911.
The win improved Penn's record to 1-1. Villanova fell to 2-2.
The win was Penn's first against a top-5 team on the road in Quakers history, and the biggest play of the game was appropriately stunning.
"Wow, just wow," Penn first-year coach Ray Priore said. "You know, you keep trying and trying and praying and praying. It had to happen sooner or later, right?"
With the Wildcats trailing in the fourth quarter and driving, Penn's Tyler Drake forced a fumble by Javon White. Penn linebacker Donald Panciello scooped up the ball and raced 90 yards for a touchdown with 6 minutes, 51 seconds to play.
"I just kept running," the linebacker said. "I saw a bunch of green in front of me and I just wanted to get into the end zone. I wasn't going to stop until I got there."
The No. 5 Wildcats were playing their first game without quarterback John Robertson, out indefinitely after suffering a torn knee ligament in the win Saturday over Delaware.
"We were flat for sure," said Villanova coach Andy Talley. "I wish I could explain it, but I can't. If I could I would. It was one of the worst performances in my career. They just outplayed us in every aspect."
Penn was coming off a 42-21 thumping at the hands of Lehigh.
It was Penn, however, that in the first half looked like the team with national championship aspirations.
Penn dominated in every way. The Quakers won the time of possession, holding on to the football for all but 5 minutes, 35 seconds of the first half. They outgained the Wildcats, 219-29, and they recorded 16 first downs to just two for the Wildcats.
They might have been leading by more than 14-0 heading into halftime had Villanova's Malik Reaves not picked off an Alek Torgersen pass in the end zone on third and goal from the Villanova 3 and returned it to midfield with 5 secons remaining in the first half.
Penn scored on its opening drive, going 74 yards on nine plays and scoring when Torgersen hooked up with Justin Watson on a 12-yard touchdown.
Torgersen and Watson hooked up again for a touchdown in the second quarter, this time with the quarterback finding the receiver streaking down the right sideline for a 33-yard touchdown.
Penn held the Wildcats scoreless until late in the third quarter, when Gary Underwood scored from 1 yard out with 1:28 left in the third.
Dating back to 1980, the No. 6 Wildcats had won 14 straight over the Quakers. Penn's win also ended Talley's dominance against the Ivy League. Talley had won 13 straight against the Quakers before last night. Talley is also 2-0 against Columbia.