PHILADELPHIA - Senior captain Erik Rask was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week on Monday following his 16-tackle performance in a 37-9 Homecoming win for the University of Pennsylvania football team over rival Princeton on Saturday.
Rask's career-high 16 tackles were the second-most by an Ivy player this season and the most by a Penn player since Ric San Doval had 18 in the 2005 season finale (58 games).
The Penn win set up a national television showdown with Ivy unbeaten Harvard (7-1, 5-0 Ivy) in the final career road game for Rask and the other 18 Penn seniors. Its a must-win for the Quakers as a loss will eliminate the two-time defending league champions from Ivy title contention
Eight of Rask's tackles were solo efforts and his three tackles for loss - for a combined 16 yards - also set a career mark for the Newport Beach, Calif., native. The biggest of which came on Princeton's second first-quarter drive start inside the Penn 15. Rask wasn't fooled by a double reverse pass and wrangled in the Princeton receiver 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. It forced the Tigers to settle for another field goal and Penn maintained a lead they would not relinquish.
"You're not expecting the first time on the field to be inside the 20-yard line," Rask said following the game. "When that happens, the defense has to step up and do whatever it takes to keep them out of the end zone. The fact that we're able to hold them to two field goals right from the start, that was huge."
This is the first Ivy Player of the Week honor of the season for the Quakers. Penn's last league Defensive Player of the Week honoree was Josh Powers following the 2010 season finale.
Kickoff is at noon on VERSUS against the Crimson