Football Opens 50th Ivy Season With Dartmouth

Penn (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) vs. Dartmouth (0-2, 0-0 Ivy)

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006 - 1 p.m.
Franklin Field - Philadelphia, Pa.
WFIL 560 AM /

Game Notes in PDF Format

Penn and Dartmouth meetSaturday in the 74th meeting between the two sides. Penn has won the last eight games in the series and will look to make it nine as the Quakers and the Big Green kick off the 50th season of Ivy League football.

On the Radio
Thanks to a new deal inked during the offseason, all 10 Penn football games will be heard on either WNTP 990 AM or sister station WFIL 560 AM this season. Every game will also be streamed live at Matt Leon (play-by-play) and Hench Murray (color analyst) return for their fourth season together in the booth. This season also marks Murray's 26th providing color commentary for Quaker broadcasts. Brian Seltzer returns for his third season as the crew's sideline reporter. Today’s game, heard on WFIL 560 AM, will feature former Quaker offensive lineman and 2005 captain Don Snyder C’06 as the halftime guest.

Nifty Fifty
Today opens a milestone Ivy League football season for the Quakers — it is the 50th season of Ivy football to take place on Franklin Field. To celebrate the League’s 50th anniversary, a new website,, has been launched profiling student-athletes from all eight members over the years. The first official Ivy League football game took place 50 years ago yesterday, on Sept. 29, 1956, when Brown defeated Columbia, 20-0, in New York City.

Last Week
It was deja vu all over again for Penn fans last Saturday at Franklin Field. Again, the Quakers trailed Villanova on the final drive of the game, and again Penn couldn’t win with a chance in the red zone as time expired. Ultimately, The Quakers fell, 27-20, in the face of an offensive onslaught from Villanova that included quarterback Marvin Burroughs’ 274 yards and three touchdowns passing. Penn was held to just 132 yards on the ground and 173 yards in the air.

The Final Drive
The final drive of last week’s game is sure to be one Quaker fans will remember for quite a while. Quarterback Bryan Walker, in for a shaken-up Robert Irvin, started on his own 32 and marched the Quakers down to the Villanova 29-yard line with less than 30 seconds to go. Kelms Amoo-Achampong ran a draw play to the 10-yard line, but Penn couldn’t capitalize on the chance to tie the game and send it to overtime. On first down, Walker’s pass to Chris Mizell fell incomplete in the end zone, Walker ran for three yards on second down, and two more passes went incomplete as time ran out on the Quakers’ chances.

Wild Wild Wildcats
How wild was Penn’s 27-20 loss to Villanova last week? All 47 points were scored in the first half, including 34 points in the lightning-paced second quarter. The two teams also committed eight turnovers (four interceptions and four fumbles), including two on the same play. All told, the two sides combined for 847 yards of total offense.

A Game of Two Halves
If you were sitting in the stands last Saturday at halftime after the second quarter scoring blitz, you’d have thought the final score would have been pretty high. Instead, the two teams committed seven of the game’s eight turnovers and gained just 307 of the 847 total yards of offense in the second half. The final score ended up matching the 27-20 halftime line.

The Dartmouth Series
Penn has the upper hand in the series with Dartmouth, leading 40-31-2. This is the 74th meeting between the sides, with the first meeting occurring 110 years ago. The Quakers have won the last eight straight over the Big Green, who have struggled since the game was moved to an early-season match-up in 1990. Since then, Penn has gone 12-4 against Dartmouth. Last year, Penn visited Memorial Field and walked off with a 26-9 victory behind a program-record four field goals from kicker Derek Zoch. The Quakers made six trips to the red zone in that game and scored on all of them, with Billy May and Chris Mizell catching touchdowns to match Zoch’s 12 points on field goals.

Century Man
Head Coach Al Bagnoli got his 100th win with the Quakers in the team’s opening-week win over Lafayette. Bagnoli, who stands at 100-40 with Penn, is 24 wins behind the legendary George Woodruff for first all-time at Penn. He is also the second-winningest active coach in Division I-AA with a .719 winning percentage - only Dayton’s Mike Kelly (.830) is better.

Friendly Confines?
Franklin Field has not been so kind to the Quakers as of late. Penn is in the midst of a three-game home losing skid that dates back to Nov. 5, 2005 when it fell to Princeton. The last home win was back on Oct. 22, 2005, against Yale. Since Princeton, Penn lost to Cornell (11/19/05) and Villanova (9/23/06). To find the last time that happened, you’d have to go all the way back to the 1989 and 1990 seasons, when Penn dropped the last two home games of 1989 to Dartmouth and Cornell and the first two of 1990 to Holy Cross and Lehigh.

The Captains
Seniors Sean Estrada (OL) and Scotty Williams (DB) have been selected by their teammates as Penn’s captains for the 2006 season. Both are returning starters and 2005 Honorable Mention All-Ivy selections.

Sandberg’s Versatility
Running back Joe Sandberg proved how versatile he could be against Villanova. A week after being named the Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week, the senior showed he could do it all. He not only ran for a career-long 74-yard touchdown, his third of the young season, but he also completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Kelms Amoo-Achampong in the second quarter.

The Return Game
Penn had a strong night in the return game against Villanova. Greg Ambrogi opened the scoring in the first quarter when he returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown, making it the first time since 1998 that a Quaker had done so. Ambrogi racked up 91 total yards in punt returns, while Sam Shepherd had 58 yards on two kick returns, including a 31-yarder, and Tyler Fisher — in his career debut — took two kickoffs for 45 total yards.

Spreading It Out
Robert Irvin, Bryan Walker and Joe Sandberg combined to find seven different receivers in the Villanova game. Braden Lepisto led the Quakers with four catches for 49 yards, while Chris Mizell also caught four balls for 38 yards. Matt Carre had three catches for 29 yards, while Kelms Amoo-Achampong (two for 24 yards with a touchdowns), Billy May (two for 21 yards), Sandberg (one for 11 yards) and Josh Koontz (one for one yard) were all targets, as well.

Maugle’s Big Night
Cornerback Tyson Maugle, playing in just his second career game, certainly wasn’t deterred by the Villanova air attack last week. The sophomore made a career-high 13 tackles, forced a fumble, recovered another, and had two pass break-ups on the evening. Numbers-wise, it was the best defensive game for a Quaker since former linebacker Ric Sandoval laid out 14 tackles against Brown on Oct. 29 last season.

Anastasio Leads League in Tackles
Linebacker Joe Anastasio has stepped into the starting linebacker role quite nicely, and he leads the Ivy League in tackles after two games. Anastasio has 20 total tackles, including 11 against Villanova.

Noting Dartmouth
No one in the Ivy League envied the Big Green’s task last weekend, hosting No. 1 New Hampshire in the Granite Bowl at Memorial Field. Dartmouth was overmatched by the nation’s top team, losing 56-14 as UNH’s David Ball caught three touchdowns to tie Jerry Rice’s Division I-AA receiving touchdown record with 50 career scores. Dartmouth’s Ryan Fuselier was a bright spot, catching two touchdowns of 10 and 21 yards for the Big Green’s lone scores. Fuselier ended up with 10 catches for 152 yards.

Preseason Ivy Poll
The preseason Ivy League media poll tabbed Penn to finish second in the League and Dartmouth seventh. The Quakers received 99 points, including two first-place votes, while the Big Green received 31 points. Harvard was picked to finish first overall.

On Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio, available to subscribers nationwide, will air an Ivy League game of the week for the second straight year, and the Quakers will be heard on the service twice this year. Penn’s game with Columbia on Oct. 14 and the rivalry game at Princeton Nov. 4 will both be heard on Sirius.

Beginning on Oct. 21 with the Yale game, Penn will have four consecutive games on television down the home stretch. The Yale game will be on CN8, the Homecoming game with Brown will be on CSTV, and Princeton and Harvard will both be on CN8.

New Faces on the Sideline
Four new coaches will assist Bagnoli on the sidelines this year. Offensive coordinator Shawn Halloran moves in from the head spot at Franklin & Marshall to replace Andy Coen, who departed for the top job at Lehigh. Rick Ulrich returns to the Quakers for his second stint as wide receivers coach after offensive coordinator jobs at Georgetown, Trinity and Ursinus. Jon McLaughlin will be the offensive line coach, moving from a graduate assistantship at Iowa. Cornerbacks coach Jon Dupont comes to Penn from a similar position at Trinity.

Penn Milestones
This season represents several milestone anniversaries for members of the Penn football family. Dan “Coach Lake” Staffieri, the team’s emotional leader on game day who has more Ivy championship rings than fingers, celebrates his 30th season with Penn. Defensive coordinator Ray Priore enters his 20th season, and Penn equipment manager Mark Stewart is in his 20th season as well. Head Coach Al Bagnoli, defensive line coach Jim Schaefer and quarterbacks coach Larry Woods each begin their 15th seasons on the sidelines. The Penn football program itself marks its 130th year in 2006, while the Ivy League celebrates its 50th anniversary.

“Invincible” Makes a Splash
The Disney feature film “Invincible,” about the life of former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale, was released this summer and has earned over $48 million at the box office. Much of the film’s game action was shot at Franklin Field, which can be seen in the try-out scenes, and Veteran’s Stadium was digitally recreated based on footage shot at Penn’s historic stadium.

Alumni Notes
Former Penn quarterback and two-sport star Mark DeRosa is having a breakout season as an infielder with the Texas Rangers. Through Sept. 26, DeRosa was batting .301 in 505 at-bats with 74 RBI and 13 home runs. Earlier in the summer, he was named American League Player of the Week on Aug. 14 after hitting .433 with a .900 slugging percentage and 15 RBI in seven games ... Former Penn running back Jim Finn is once again the New York Giants’ starting fullback this season.

At the Half
Senior wrestler Matt Valenti will be honored at halftime of this week’s game. Valenti won the NCAA championship at 133 lbs. last March and will be presented with his national championship ring by his coach, Zeke Jones, and Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky.

Quaker Notemeal
Pat Kimener has forced two fumbles already this season ... Brian Fairbanks has racked up 5.5 tackles for loss in two games ... This is the 130th season of Penn football ... While Penn's first season of football was 1876, no intercollegiate team was fielded in 1877 but football has been played every year since ... Penn and Villanova are located just 9 miles apart ... Penn has not been shut out since losing to Harvard, 33-0, on Nov. 15, 1997, a span of 80 games ... The Penn football offices were renovated over the summer and will be dedicated in honor of Jack LeFort, Sr., W’48 prior to today’s game ... Part of the renovation includes display areas commemorating Penn’s football history.

Next Time Out
Penn hits the road for its final non-League game, a tilt with Bucknell, at 1 p.m. on Oct. 7.

Download: game 3 notes - Dartmouth.pdf