PHILADELPHIA - In front of an energetic Homecoming crowd of 14,027, the University of Pennsylvania football team didn't disappoint. The Quakers dominated their archrival, beating Princeton 42-7 Saturday afternoon. It was Penn's largest victory over the Tigers since 1943.
Senior quarterback Kyle Olson threw for a career-high three touchdown passes, junior fullback Luke DeLuca had a career-high two rushing touchdowns and senior defensive back Chris Wynn had his first career interception return for a touchdown as the Quakers won their sixth straight game to improve to 6-2 on the year and 5-0 in Ivy play. With Harvard's win over Columbia Saturday, it sets up a showdown of Ivy unbeatens next week when Penn heads to Cambridge with the Ivy title on the line. Princeton dropped to 2-6 this season and 1-4 against the Ivy League.
It didn't take long for Penn's offense to put pointson theboard. After stopping Princeton on its first possession, Olson completed back-to-back passes to senior Kyle Derham and DeLuca, for 21 and 29 yards, respectively. The longest reception in DeLuca's career set up his one-yard touchdown run on the next play for a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game.
The score lead remained 7-0 until Penn's punt to start the second quarter was mishandled and senior linebacker Jake Lewko recovered the fumble. Two plays later, junior wideout Matt Tuten caught Olson's pass in the middle of the field near the five-yard line and raced straight into the endzone, putting the Quakers up 14-0.
On Princeton's next drive, junior linebacker Zach Heller hit Princeton quarterback Tommy Wornham as he threw and senior cornerback Jonathan Moore intercepted the fluttering pass at the Tigers' 35-yard line. Olson immediatley connected with Derham for 27 yards to set up first-and-goal and on fourth-and-goal from the one, with the crowd on its feet, DeLuca rushed for his second touchdown for a 21-0 lead with 10:42 to go in the half.
Princeton would get on the board on their ensuing possession, working the ball to the Penn two-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, Wornham's connected with Andrew Kerr to close out the scoring in the first half. At 21-7, the halftime score would be as close as Princeton would get the rest of the way.
Penn scored on its opening possession in the second half, going 66 yards on six plays in just over three minutes. Olson capped off the drive with a pass to the flats to Derham who ran seven yards down the sideline for a 28-7 edge.
Two more Princeton punts later, Penn put together its longest drive of the season. The team marched 84 yards in just over five minutes for a commanding 35-7 advantage with just under a minute to go in the third quarter. On the 11th play of the drive, from the three-yard line, Olson faked a sneak and nearly tripped before lobbing a pass into the middle of the end zone to sophomore tight end Luke Nawrocki - the first touchdown of his career.
In the fourth quarter, Penn's defense got in on the scoring action as Wynn intercepted Wornham's pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown, leaping into the end zone with 11:01 remaining in the game.
Penn held Princeton to just 25 yards rushing and 215 yards of total offense. The Quakers amassed a season-high of 453 yards of offense, staying on the field for 25 more plays than the Tigers. Princeton had just 10 first downs as Penn owned a time of possession advantage of 36:25 to 23:04.
Freshman Lyle Marsh rushed for a game-high 99 yards on just 12 carries for an average of 8.2 yards per carry. Freshman Jeff Jack and DeLuca also outrushed Princeton with 41 and 28 yards, respectively. Olson finished the game with 238 yards on 20-of-32 passing - even completing a pass to himself in the first quarter after catching the deflection of a Princeton defender. Tuten had a career high with six catches and 92 yards, while Derham added five receptions for 75 yards.
On the defensive end, Wynn had a career-best seven tackles. Sophomore Brian Levine and senior Kevin Gray were second on the team with five tackles apiece. Gray also added two pass breakups. Junior Brian Wing tallied his first full sack of the season.
Penn's win was the third-largest margin of victory of the Tigers in program history. Penn defeated Princeton at Franklin Field, 47-9 on Sept. 25, 1943 and won 47-6 on Nov. 10, 1894.
Penn and Harvard enter next week's clash in Cambridge with indentical 5-0 records in Ivy League play. The winner will clinch a share of the 2009 Ivy League championship. Kickoff at Harvard Stadium is at noon.
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