PHILADELPHIA - Junior Donald Panciello earned a pair of Ivy League Player of the Week awards on Monday. The linebacker was named Ivy Defensive and Co-Special Teams Player of the Week after several game-changing plays in the University of Pennsylvania football team's wild 26-23 overtime victory over Princeton on Saturday.
Panciello single-handedly sent the homecoming crowd into a frenzy, and the game with archrival Princeton into overtime. Panciello blocked the potential game-winning field goal as time expired, and Penn went on to win in the first overtime to keep its Ivy League title aspirations alive.
A native of Succasunna, N.J., Panciello also added nine tackles (four solo), including back-to-back, game-saving tackles and the biggest tackle for loss of the season. With Penn trailing, and Princeton facing third-and-goal from the 3-yard line in the fourth quarter, Panciello made the final hit to stop the Tigers rusher just short of the goal line. Then on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, he came off the edge and made the tackle at the two to give Penn the ball back with just a three-point deficit. A few minutes later, the Quakers hit the game-tying field goal, which held up due to his blocked field goal as time expired in regulation.
This is the second and third Ivy Player of the Week awards for Panciello, who was also the Defensive honoree following his game-changing, fourth quarter 90-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the historic win over No. 5/4 Villanova (Sept. 24).
Penn (5-3, 4-1 Ivy) controls its own destiny toward a league-record 17th Ivy title. The wild win over Princeton sets up a showdown with unbeaten Harvard on Saturday in Cambridge.The Quakers can move into a tie for first in the Ivy League with a victory. Kickoff from Harvard Stadium is set for noon and the game can be seen on the American Sports Network and Ivy League Digital Network.