No. 20/23 Football Holds Off Yale, 27-20

Box Score |Postgame Notables

Highlights: Pregame Video Clip | DeLuca's Game-Winning Touchdown

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - In a battle of Ivy unbeatens, the No. 20/23 University of Pennsylvania football team extended its league winning streak to 11 games with a 27-20 win over Yale on Saturday at the Yale Bowl.

Penn, which trailed 3-0 before scoring 20 unanswered points,won for the 13th straight time in the month of October and for the 13th consecutive time against an unranked opponent to move to 5-1 overall on the season and 3-0 in the Ivy League. Yale's loss was the third straight to the Quakers as they dropped to 4-2, 2-1 Ivy.

On each team's first possession, both faced 4th-and-1 decisions deep in opposing territory. Yale decided to punt from the Penn 40-yard line, while the Quakers went for it, but failed, from the Yale 27-yard line.

The Bulldogs then took over and marched back into Penn territory with two passes of 29 and 25 yards. The Quakers stiffened at the 22-yard line and Yale settled for a 39-yard field goal at the 3:50 mark of the opening quarter.

Both teams punted once more before Penn's offense moved back into Yale territory. Freshman quarterback Ryan Becker entered for his first series of the afternoon and methodically worked Penn down the field. The Quakers took over from their own 13 and on the 12th play of the drive, sophomore running back Jeff Jack hauled in a screen pass and dodged several defenders en route to the end zone. Senior Andrew Samson missed the extra point for the first time in his career to put an end to a school-record streak of 88 consecutive made point after attempts, but five minutes into the second quarter, Penn led by three.

Immediately thereafter, the Quakers used some trickery and executed perfectly with a surprise onside kick. Sophomore Scott Lopano placed a one-bounce kick precisely in the hands of sophomore Dave Twamley who was streaking down the Yale sideline. Penn got inside the Yale 40-yard line, but had to punt.

On Yale's ensuing punt, senior Bradford Blackmon raced 53 yards through the coverage, found the open field and scampered into the end zone for a 13-3 lead with 4:30 to go in the half.

Becker was picked off near midfield with 1:33 to play until intermission, but a stout Penn defensive effort and several Yale offensive penalties, kept the Bulldogs out of field goal range, sending the Quakers into the half with a 10-point edge.

Penn extended that lead to 20-3 on the first drive of the second half. The Quakers took up nearly seven minutes on 14 plays, converting on all four third downs - the biggest of which came when Billy Ragone hooked up with senior Matt Tuten over the middle of the field for 14 yards to the Yale 28. A short while later, senior Luke DeLuca plunged in from a yard out.

Yale scored its first touchdown in 12 quarters against the Quakers to close the gap to 20-10 with 14:50 remaining in the game. The Bulldogs picked off Becker's deep pass into the end zone and returned it to the 18. Eight plays, two pass interference penalties and 82 yards later, Patrick Witt hit Allen Harris from two yards out in the back corner of the end zone.

On Yale's next possession, sophomore Brandon Copeland batted Witt's pass out of the air and intercepted it. He stumbled seven yards to the 11-yard line and four plays later, DeLuca was back in the end zone. On first-and-goal from the one, DeLuca pushed the line ahead to give Penn a 27-10 edge with 10:03 to play.

Yale tried to make it interesting in the final 90 seconds. Witt, who became the first quarterback in 30 games to throw for 300 yards against the Quakers (dating back to Oct. 13, 2007 against Columbia), threw for his second touchdown of the game with 1:22 left. Yale then recovered the onside kick, but had to settle for a field goal with 13 seconds remaining. The final onside kick attempt went harmlessly out of bounds and Penn escaped the Yale Bowl with a victory.

Sophomore Brandon Colavita led the Quakers with 73 rushing yards on 15 carries. The Quakers outrushed Yale, 149-29. Returning home to his native Connecticut, Ragone was 8-for-16 passing for 102 yards and also ran for 19 yards in leading an offense that gained 308 total yards. Senior Ryan Murray was Penn's leading receiver with three catches for 38 yards. Becker was 4-of-8 for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Twamley led the team with 10 tackles and three pass breakups - both career highs - while three other Quakers had five tackles apiece. Junior Jason Schmucker and senior Drew Goldsmith accounted for Penn's two sacks as the Red and Blue held the Bulldogs to just 1.5 yards per rush. Goldsmith also had a fumble recovery for the second week in a row.

Next Saturday, the Quakers host Brown on Homecoming. Kickoff from Franklin Field is at 1:30 p.m. The game can be seen in HD online on the Penn Sports Network.

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