Five plays later, Sumida found wide receiver Sam Brickley along the right sideline with a floating 38-yard pass into the frigid 15-mph wind; two plays after that, halfback Steve Lutz scored on a 15-yard run around right end. Kicker Andy Bednar missed the extra point, but the Big Red was riding high, 9-6, with 14:12 remaining in the game.
The Quakers committed two more personal fouls—unsportsmanlike conduct and a late hit—on Cornell's next offensive series, and Malaga dived over from the Penn one for the touchdown that put Cornell ahead 16-6. A 27-yard field goal by Bednar sealed the win.
Even then, tackle Dan Bauer, the Quakers' defensive captain, found a reason to gloat. "Bauer told me during the fourth quarter, 'You may be the winner but we're the champions too,' " said Big Red right guard Doug Langan, taking a puff on a victory cigar. "I told him, 'You're right, but we're about to win something we haven't had in 17 years. We've got it right in our hip pocket. Let us enjoy the moment, will you?' "
Though league rules don't include a tie-breaking provision, Cornell would seem to have earned bragging rights by soundly beating the conference's other top team. Still, the defeat shouldn't seriously diminish what Penn accomplished in 1988. Last year, the Quakers were plagued by injuries and a lack of discipline and finished with a dismal 4-6 record. Five straight Ivy titles had taken their toll. "An atmosphere had developed that was similar to the greenhouse effect," says Penn coach Ed Zubrow. "We figured that somehow we'd win every game, go 10-0 on into eternity. I couldn't sense it coming; all of a sudden everything overheated. I'd seen Yale and Dartmouth bottom out after long title-winning streaks, and I was determined we'd stumble, not fall."
So were the Quakers' soon-to-be seniors, who last winter demanded that the underclassmen join them in lifting weights at least three times a week and sign up for a conditioning class in the spring that met Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 a.m. "I had to go to bed by 10 o'clock to make the workouts," Keys said. Early to bed paid off: Keys led the Ivies this season with a school-record 1,165 yards rushing. Meanwhile, the Penn defense finished the year ranked second in the league, behind Cornell's D. On Saturday, the Quakers' defenders stormed onto the field carrying a 15-pound sledgehammer with a red and blue handle—the Big Stick—which is awarded each week to the defensive player who makes the hardest hit.
It's not mere coincidence that these teams ended up sharing the Ivy title. Baughan tries to pattern his program after Penn's. As the Quakers began to do in the early 1980s, he recruits nationally. Sumida, for instance, hails from Kealakekua, Hawaii, and Lutz is from Arlington Heights, Ill. Cornell had its own off-season workouts, consisting of weight training and aerobics classes. "Imagine 120 fat guys jumping around to Madonna," said McGrann. And at the end of each season, the three best defensive players are presented with authentic Gurkha warrior knives.
But Cornell's program has its unique aspects too. On the one day of spring practice allowed by the Ivy League, Baughan eschews drills and puts on a barbecue for his players, complete with a country and western band. On Homecoming Weekend, he invites fathers to attend the pregame meal with their sons. Every Wednesday is Milkshake Day; the offensive unit that performs best is rewarded with shakes. Thursday is Chatter Day; during warmups, the players let loose and do impersonations. Last Thursday, backup quarterback Chris Cochrane did a masterly impression of Baughan, mimicking his drawl and hands-on-hips strut. "They all had a good laugh on me," said Baughan.
That couldn't compare to the laughs they had after last Saturday's game. In the locker room, Big Red players sprayed each other with soda. And Baughan, the ex- Philadelphia Eagle and L.A. Ram All-Pro who was regarded as one of the meanest linebackers ever to play in the NFL, smiled through his tears.
"It was pandemonium—the Super Bowl and World Series all wrapped in one," Malaga said. "I screamed for 15 minutes straight. We're winners, and that's the greatest feeling in the world."