Philadelphia The sun shined down on Franklin Field on Saturday but the football gods did not shed much on the Quakers as Penn lost to Harvard, 31-10. Dan Castles caught his eighth touchdown of the season and the 27th of his career, passing Miles Macik for the all-time lead in touchdown receptions at Penn.
The Quakers (7-1, 5-1 Ivy) took their opening drive 77 yards and put the game’s first points on the board with a 24-yard field off the foot of freshman kicker Derek Zoch. The Kinnelon, N.J. native is now a perfect 2-of-2 in his collegiate career after nailing a 27-yard field goal to beat Princeton a week ago. The Crimson, who had gone three-and-out on their first drive, put together a 13-play, 77-yard scoring drive, which culminated with Ryan Fitzpatrick finding Brian Edwards in the corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown. Harvard took a 7-3 lead after a Matt Schindel extra point and never looked back, scoring 31 points on 447 yards of total offense.
The Red and Blue’s offense was held in check for most of the afternoon as senior punter Josh Appell recorded a season-high eight punts. Freshman Bryan Walker made his collegiate debut in place of the injured Pat McDermott and performed exceptionally, completing 18-of-30 passes for 178 yards and his first career touchdown pass. It was a historic toss as it put Castles on top of the Penn all-time touchdown receptions list. The touchdown came at the 2:13 mark of the fourth quarter, capping an eight-play, 82-yard drive.
Sam Mathews had over 100 all-purpose yards, rushing the ball 21 times for 57 yards and recording five receptions for 53 yards. His 32-yard catch down to Harvard’s one-yard line set up Castles touchdown catch. Luke Hadden registered his third-straight game with double-digit tackles, stopping the Crimson ball carriers on 10 occasions (seven solo). Bryan Arguello picked off his second pass this season, giving Fitzpatrick his sixth thrown interception of the year. The senior signal caller finished with 186 yards and two touchdowns on 13-of-26 passing.
Cliffton Dawson paced the Harvard ground attack with 160 yards on 33 carries. The sophomore scored from one-yard out to the Crimson a 14-3 lead with 17 seconds remaining in the first half.
Penn will finish the season on the road with a noon contest at Cornell (4-5, 4-2 Ivy) on Nov. 20. A win, coupled with a Harvard loss to Yale, would give the Red and Blue a share of their 14th Ivy League title in program history. The game will be televised on the YES Network and on DirecTV (Channel 622) and can be heard live on the Internet at www.pennathletics.com and on the radio at ESPN Radio 920 AM.
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications