Ivy League Release
PHILADELPHIA - For the first time in school history, the University of Pennsylvania football team had three simultaneous Ivy League Players of the Week. On Monday, the league announced sophomore quarterback Billy Ragone as the Ivy Offensive Player of the Week, junior Matt Hamscher as the Ivy Defensive Player of the Week, and freshman Aaron Bailey as the Ivy Rookie of the Week.
It has been 11 years since three Ivy players from the same school were honored in the same week. Each member of the trio played a huge role in Penn's biggest rout over Princeton in the 102-game history between the schools. The Quakers (7-1 overall, 5-0 Ivy) also had their highest scoring output of all-time against the Tigers with the 52-10 victory Saturday at Princeton Stadium.
Ragone tallied 257 yards of total offense in the biggest offensive outburst of the season for any Ivy League team. The Quakers gained 600 yards offense, 23 rushing first downs, 7.9 yards per rush, 396 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, seven total touchdowns and 52 points. Ragone averaged 8.3 yards per carry, finished with 75 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Through the air, the Cheshire, Conn., native set a career high with 182 passing yards while completing nearly 70 percent of his passes (11-of-16). This is the second Ivy offensive recognition of the year for Ragone and the third weekly Ivy award of his career. Ragone also earned the Offensive Player of the Week distinction on Oct. 4 after a four-touchdown performance against Dartmouth and won Rookie of the Week honors as a freshman following a win at Dartmouth on Oct. 3, 2009.
Hamscher won the Ivy defensive award for the second time this season. The Whitehall, Pa., native led a dominating defensive effort with a career-high 11 tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss in addition to a forced fumble. All of those numbers were also team highs on a day when Penn held the Tigers to just 60 rushing yards and 1.6 yards per carry. The Tigers no-huddle passing attack was shut down by Hamscher and the Penn secondary. Princeton had just 110 yards passing - despite trailing throughout the game - and completed less than 40 percent of its passes (13-of-33). The Tigers finished with just 170 total yards of offense and had a total of 2.4 yards per play (Penn averaged 7.9). Princeton’s only touchdown came off of an interception deep in Penn territory. The former running back currently leads the team in sacks and also garnered this honor on Oct. 18 after a decisive 27-13 win over Columbia.
Bailey earned his first weekly Ivy award with a career day. The Brownstown, Mich., native scored his first two career touchdowns as the receiver ran four times for an average of 20.5 yards per carry. Each of his carries went for at least 10 yards — his two shortest runs of the day were only stopped because of the goal line. His first carry went for 18 yards, and two plays later, on another reverse, he scored his first touchdown in the Red and Blue uniform from 10 yards. Later in the quarter, his 38-yard run directly set up a touchdown on the next play. Then in the fourth quarter, Bailey ran it once more and took it into the end zone from 16 yards away. His 82 rushing yards were a career high and were second on the team on a day when Penn ran for 396 yards.
In the first eight weeks, Penn has had eight weekly Ivy honorees - tied with Brown for the most this season - and has now earned Defensive Player of the Week accolades on four occassions. Jason Schmucker (Sept. 20) and Jonathan Saelinger (Oct. 25) also claimed that title earlier this year.
The Ivy title is on the line this weekend as the Quakers can clinch their second consecutive league championship with a win. However, it won't come easy as the Red and Blue face their toughest league competition of the season in second-place Harvard (6-2, 4-1 Ivy). Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. at Franklin Field.