Spring Football Wrap-Up: Offense Impresses in Spring Game

Spring Game Stats

PHILADELPHIA - After four weeks and 12 practices, the 2010 spring football season came to an end for the Quakers on Saturday with an impressive performance from the offense in the annual Spring Game. Here is a recap of the final days of the spring season.

Spring Game Set Up
Last season at the Red and Blue Spring Game the offense only managed a single score - and that came on the final play of the scrimmage. However, that was against a defense that would eventually go on to rank No. 1 in the nation in 2009. This year, the offense saw much more success. For those who don't know and were unable to attend the game, the Spring Game is a simulated scrimmage and not an actual head-to-head matchup of Red and Blue. The offense starts each half around the 30-yard line. If they are stopped after a few first downs, they will then start the next possession deep inside their own territory - just as they would in a real game if the opposition was able to drive and pin Penn inside the 20-yard line. However, if the offense was pushed back, the next possession would start around midfield, just as it would if the Penn defense had pinned back an opposing offense. After scores, the ball would go back around the 30-yard line.

Spring Game Recap
It looked like the defense was going to rule the day once again. Having dominated the last few spring games, the defense stopped the Quakers on each of the first two possessions, forcing a few punts. But on the third possession, the offense took over at the 50-yard line and capitalized. They drove to the 19-yard line in nine plays and Andrew Samson knocked home a 42-yard field goal. The offensive success carried over to the next two possessions as each resulted in touchdowns. Taking over at their own 33, the offense went 67 yards on 14 plays. Quarterbacks Andrew Holland and Billy Ragone split snaps throughout the drive. The biggest play was Holland's 21-yard connection to Zack Perlman on third-and-long. It set up a six-yard touchdown pass from Ragone to fullback David Macknet. Ragone took all eight snaps on the next scoring drive. He was 3-for-3 for 59 yards, including a 37-yard catch and run from David Wurst. Ragone then snuck it in from the one-yard line. The team's broke for halftime and the defense came back with four straight stops. There was just one three-and-out, but another resulted in the game's first turnover. With the offense driving again, the defense got a great rush on Holland, tipped his pass and Stephen Guetig picked it off. The offense responded on the next drive. Michael DiMaggio ran five times for 33 yards, the last of which was a three-yard score to give the offense 24 points on the day. Then, on the final drive of the day, the offense worked its way down to the one-yard line. Jeff Jack ran six times for 31 yards and Holland had a 26-yard rush. However, on second-and-goal, Holland lost the snap on the quarterback sneak and the defense recovered its second turnover on the day. But in the end, the offense came out on top with four scores to the defense's two turnovers.

Other Spring Game Notables
- All-American kicker Andrew Samson has had the same holder for the last two seasons. Kyle Derham held every single field goal and extra point attempt over the last two years, but finished his career in 2009. The new holder looks to be one of two players as Scott Lopano and Billy Ragone each held for Samson during the spring game.

- Both quarterbacks were sacked twice. Penn led the Ivy League in sacks last season and had four different individuals ranked in the top 10 of the league.

- Junior Bradford Blackmon was on the field for a lot of plays at the cornerback position. Blackmon is also a running back/receiver for the Quakers in addition to the team's top kick returner.

Coach Lake
There was clearly one thing missing Saturday from the Spring Game and it was certainly a hard week for the Penn Football family. If you would be willing to share your memories of Coach Lake or would like to read the memories of others, we encourage you to do so. The information regarding Coach Lake’s services are below:

Tuesday April 13, 2010 - 6pm-8pm
Boyd-Horrox Funeral Home
200 West Germantown Pike
Norristown, PA 19404
(610) 277-7000

Wednesday April 14, 2010 - 8:30am-11am
Mass to follow Wednesday morning viewing.
11:30am Wednesday April 14, 2010
St. Helena Church
1489 Dekalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA 19422
(610) 275-7711

Burial will be at a later date and will most likely be private.

Injury Updates
Several notable players sat out the spring game on Saturday, including quarterback Keiffer Garton who injured his knee earlier in the spring. Also sitting out the annual Red and Blue game was Jonathan Saelinger and Matt Hamscher as well as a pair of linebackers in Erik Rask and Jason Rasmussen.

Replacing Positions
Each week we’ll take a look at a particular position in need of some new talent after the graduation of its senior(s).
- Quarterback: After the rash of injuries enveloped the Quakers at this position last year, senior Kyle Olson stepped in to lead Penn to its first Ivy title in six seasons. Olson was undefeated as a starter, going 6-0 and earning honorable mention All-Ivy honors for his efforts. So it will be up to a bevy of other quarterbacks to fill the position. Coach Bagnoli won’t have to look far, he still has three quarterbacks on the roster that each started at least one game last season. That increased depth to the roster slot is certainly a silver lining to watching your first, second and third string quarterbacks suffer injuries within the first three weeks of the season. Though there were some more injuries during the spring to Keiffer Garton and John Hurley, each is expected to return to the playing field at some point in the fall. They will be in the mix with the two quarterbacks that saw snaps in the spring game - Andrew Holland and Billy Ragone. Much like early last season, the Quakers will most likely use more than one quarterback. This is especially true with two actively mobile quarterbacks on the roster. If those two are able to stay healthy, which seems to be a big "if" with Penn quarterbacks in the last few seasons, Keiffer Garton and Billy Ragone will each be under center for the Quakers. Both are experienced and have been productive in the past. Hurley and Holland will each have the opportunity to earn some playing time. Hurley started last year and won in his collegiate debut against Bucknell. Holland took nearly 40 snaps in the Spring Game and went 9-for-17 for 57 yards.

Twitter Posts
Members of the Penn football staff produced live updates during each spring practice on the team's new twitter account. As you would expect from Division I athletes, even the twitter posts turned into a bit of a competition with players vying for a shout out. You can follow the Quakers on twitter here, though you do not need to join the service to read the updates.

Coming Up
The players will certainly be relieved to have wrapped up their spring practice schedule. Now it is back to the classroom with finals fast approaching. Offseason workouts will continue and in each of the last two summers a strong majority of the players returned to campus early to continue their workouts.

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