Athletics at Princeton, a History
Princeton’s Nov. 7 football game against Penn will be the 100th meeting in a rivalry that has provided its share of memorable moments.

Princeton won 28 of its first 30 contests against Penn, and most games weren’t even close. So when the Quakers prevailed over captain Thomas Trenchard 1895, below, and the Tigers  at the New Jersey State Fairgrounds in Trenton, the win announced their arrival among the Eastern football powers. Princeton did not take it well – the two teams would not play again until 1935.

Athletics at Princeton, a History
“Five times inside Penn’s 10-yard line, five times Princeton is hurled back,” PAW’s headline read. Quaker Lew Elverson returned a punt 57 yards for a first-quarter touchdown, the lone score in a game that author Dan Rottenberg later dubbed “the Stalingrad of Penn football.”
PAW, October 23, 1936
In what PAW writer Leo Gould ’38 called “one of the greatest football games ever witnessed by these or any other mortal eyes,” the heavily favored Quakers jumped to an early 14–0 lead, but the Tigers clawed back to a 14–14 tie before halftime. In the game’s final minute, Ken Keuffel ’46 broke the stalemate with a 30-yard field goal. The victory celebration was marred by an on-field clash between police and students from both schools.
The Tigers of Princeton/Office of Athletic Communications
Frank McPhee ’53, below, used his fingertips to control a long pass from Dick Kazmaier ’52, scoring what would be the winning touchdown. The Quakers avenged the loss in 1952, reversing the score with a 13-7 win that ended Princeton’s 24-game winning streak.
PAW, October 19, 1951

The multitalented Michael Lerch ’93, below, caught a 75-yard touchdown pass, made a touchdown-saving tackle on a kick return, and sacked the Penn quarterback on the game’s final play. Princeton tied for the season’s Ivy League championship, while Penn finished third.

Office of Athletic Communications
Tailback Rob Toresco ’08, below, was stalled at the goal line on fourth down in the game’s second overtime period, so he flipped the ball back to quarterback Jeff Terrell ’07, who ran it in for a touchdown. The Quakers replied with a touchdown of their own but botched the point-after attempt, giving Princeton the victory. The Tigers went on to win their next two games and share the Ivy League title with Yale.
Beverly Schaefer