Box Score (PDF)
Postgame Press Conference Quotes (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - Facing second-and-goal from the Dartmouth one-yard line in overtime, sophomore quarterback Billy Ragone called his own number, sneaking in for his fourth touchdown of the day to squeeze the University of Pennsylvania football team past Dartmouth, 35-28, in the Ivy League opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field.
Ragone's keeper gave Penn (2-1, 1-0 Ivy) the lead and the defense slammed the door on the Big Green (2-1, 0-1 Ivy) on Dartmouth's overtime possesion, forcing three Connor Kempe incompletions -- including a failed fourth-and-four pass that was knocked down by senior defensive lineman Drew Goldsmith.
The win marked Penn's ninth straight over an Ivy opponent and sixth straight overall at home. Previously unbeaten Dartmouth lost to Penn for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings.
The Quakers wasted no time getting on the board Saturday, scoring on its very first drive. Ragone finished an eight-play, 76-yard drive with a 14-yard scamper into the end zone. It was Ragone's second career rushing touchdown; coincidentally, the first also came against Dartmouth, last year in Hanover. During the drive the Quakers employed some trickery, running a reverse to freshman wideout Ryan Mitchell, who then completed a pass to junior tight end Luke Nawrocki for a 14-yard gain.
Dartmouth answered right away with seven-play, 60-yard drive that covered just a little more than two minutes. The key was a short fourth-and-1 that the Big Green converted at the Penn 41. On the next play, Connor Kempe hit Michael Reilly for 36 yards along the Dartmouth sideline that set up first-and-goal. From there, Nick Schwieger ran it in for Dartmouth and tied it up.
Penn again went right down the field. This time the drive covered 68 yards, took 5:17 and ended in yet another rushing touchdown from Ragone. On third-and-goal from the six-yard line, Ragone found the corner of the end zone. His dive across the goal line to gave Penn the lead back with 1:16 to go in the first quarter.
Dartmouth once again responded with a score of its own. The Big Green drive covered seven plays, took 58 yards and just three minutes. The touchdown came when Kempe found John Gallagher, who made a nice catch in the left corner of the end zone.
After the teams shared punts, Penn went back up with another sustained drive. This time, with Ryan Becker under center. The freshman connected on four of five passes - two of which went to freshman wideout Connor Scott for 29 yards - to get the Quakers down to the Dartmouth four-yard line. From there, sophomore Brandon Colavita bullied his way into the end zone for a 21-14 Penn lead heading into the half.
Penn started with the ball in the second half and marched down the field again. Ragone led a 14-play, 80-yard drive that burned 7:31 off the clock. Ragone was 4-for-5 on the drive, while four different Quakers - Jeff Jack, Luke DeLuca, Bradford Blackmon and Ragone - ran the ball on the drive for 41 yards. On third-and-goal from the two, Ragone rolled right and threw to an open DeLuca for a 14-point lead.
Seemingly with the game in hand, Dartmouth changed momentum and held it for the rest of regulation. First, Chase Womack intercepted Ragone and set up the Big Green at the Penn 20. Then four plays later, the Big Green faked a field goal and converted a first down to set up first-and-goal from the four-yard line. They scored on the very next play when Kempe connected with Gallagher in the end zone for the second time in the game. But Penn still led, 28-21 with 3:46 left in the third quarter.
The lead didn't last long. After a three-and-out, Dartmouth went 75 yards in just five plays and had tied the game before the third quarter was out. The drive was keyed by a 53-yard completion to Reilly that set up a first-and-goal. Kempe then connected with Reilly moments later for the touchdown.
With the game tied, each team had a chance to win in the closing minutes. Penn drove 55 yards to the Dartmouth nine-yard line. Colavita ran in for the go-ahead score, but it was called back due to a holding call and the Quakers eventually settled for a field goal. However, senior Andrew Samson's kick was blocked and with 4:24 remaining the Big Green took over at their own 16.
Three plays later, on fourth-and-inches from their own 25, Dartmouth went for it, and made the first down. From there, the Big Green methodically moved the ball into Penn territory and had 2nd-and-2 from the Quakers' 34-yard line. But an incomplete pass, a false start penalty and another incompletion forced them to punt in the waning seconds, leading to overtime.
Ragone finished 15-for-24 passing for 132 yards, while also rushing for 57 yards. Jack led the team with 95 yards on 17 carries. Colavita finished with 62 yards on nine carries. Senior Matt Tuten had a team-high five receptions for 61 yards.
Against one of the top rushing units in the nation, Penn did hold Dartmouth to just 2.6 yards per carry and 79 total rushing yards. Freshman defensive lineman Brandon Copeland led the team with nine tackles. Senior linebacker Zach Heller had eight tackles, two of which went for a loss.
Next week, the Quakers will have their first real road trip of the season as they head to Lewisburg, Pa., to take on Bucknell. Kickoff at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.
Download: Penn dartmouth Box.pdf