Rodriguez's Last Second Field Goal Lifts Leopards to 8-7 Victory
Rodriguez's Game-Winning Kick | Post-Game Show
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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - With five seconds remaining in the game and the Leopards down 7-5, freshman Davis Rodriguez connected on a 27-yard field goal to give Lafayette (3-0) an 8-7 victory over the Penn Quakers (0-1) at Franklin Field on Saturday night.
"In all my years at Lafayette I've never been more proud of a football team," head coach Frank Tavani said.
Moments earlier linebackers Andy Romans and Mark Leggiero tackled Penn's Kelm Amoo-Acham for a loss of five yards to put the Quakers on their own one-yard line. Penn punter Anthony Meilillo ran out of bounds to take a safety and put the score at 7-5 with five minutes left in the game.
Lafayette then put together a 12 play, 44-yard drive to put the ball at Penn's 10-yard line. Senior quarterback Mike DiPaola connected on three passes and ran for a total of 19 yards on three carries on the Leopards' final drive. He went 21-for-38 for 164 yards throughout the evening.
Penn scored early, with running back Joe Sandberg making a one-yard run to cap off a 57-yard drive seven minutes into the first quarter. Sandberg left the game at the end of the first half with a leg injury and did not return to the game.
The first quarter ended with the Leopards in a second-and-one situation at the two-yard line. The Leopards were forced to settle for a field goal attempt where Rodriguez kicked his first collegiate field goal.
Senior defensive back Adrian Lawson and Romans led the defense with eight tackles apiece. Romans also forced a fumble in the first half to keep the Quakers from advancing. Junior Nigel Bryant and senior Keith Bloom each picked off a Penn pass from Robert Irvin.
The Leopards face their next Ivy League opponent when they host the Princeton Tigers (0-1) on Saturday Sept. 22 at Fisher Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. The game can be heard on WSAN AM 1470 and seen on the Leopards Sports Network (live on RCN-4 and WBPH 60; tape delay on FSN-Pittsburgh Monday, Sept. 24 at noon).
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