How the West Was Won ? Penn Rolls in Opener

Box Score

San Diego, Calif. – Sam Mathews scored a career-high three touchdowns and rushed for 102 yards on 19 carries as No. 23 Penn made its return to the West Coast a successful one, defeating San Diego, 61-18. Evan Nolan nailed a career-long 49-yard field goal to end the first half tying him for the fifth-longest in Penn history.

The Red and Blue (1-0, 0-0) broke onto the scoreboard early with a pair of Mathews scores from close range. The first came from two yards out at the 6:15 mark of the first quarter. The junior running back scored his second of the day two minutes, 15 seconds later from one yard out to make the score 14-0 with four minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

Pat McDermott made his 2004 debut with a 13-for-27, 181-yard, two-touchdown effort. McDermott threw his first touchdown of the season to tight end Matt Boyer from six-yards out at the 3:22 mark of the first quarter to make the score 20-0 in favor of Penn. He later found Dan Castles in the back of the end zone for a 35-yard scoring strike, giving Castles three catches for 62 yards and the score, and giving the Quakers a 40-6 advantage with 3:58 to go in the third quarter. Michael Recchiuti added a pair of TD’s for Penn, scoring from 32 and three yards out. Von Bryant scored his first touchdown as a Quaker, taking a nine-yard sweep to the house with 2:01 left in the game.

Nolan made good on both field-goal attempts, kicking from 33 and 49 yards out. His second make was a line drive that placed in the Penn record books. Nolan’s kick tied Andy Glockner for the fifth-longest field goal in Penn history. The senior also made five-of –six point-after attempts.

San Diego’s (1-2) Todd Mortensen broke a school record with 57 attempts, throwing for 331 yards and one touchdown. Mortensen was picked off once by Chad Slapnicka. Michael Johns and Scotty Williams paced Penn defensively with eight tackles apiece.

Penn will face Villanova on Saturday, Sept. 25 in the 2004 home season opener. The game can be heard exclusively on and kick off is schedule for 7 p.m. at Franklin Field.

Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications