Saturday, November 15, 2014

Harvard wins Ivy crown in Bagnoli's Penn home farewell

Philadelphia, PA --  Paul Stanton, Jr., rushed for a career-high 235 yards and added three TDs on the ground, helping Harvard knock off Penn, 34-24, Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field. With the victory, the Crimson clinches a share of its 16th Ivy League title and eighth under Tim Murphy.

Stantons 235 rushing yards was the third most for a single-game in school history behind Matt Johnson 92 (323 yards at Brown in 1991) and Chris Menick 00 (261 yards vs. Holy Cross in 1997). Stanton ended up with 276 all-purpose yards on the day -- the most for a Harvard player since Matt Johnson ran for those 323 yards at Brown and his 235 rushing yards is the most since Menick's game in 1997.

Scott Hosch went 13-of-20 for 174 yards and a TD for the Crimson, which finished with 469 yards of total offense. Andrew Fischer recorded five catches for 63 yards to pace the Crimson in both categories. Defensively, Chris Evans led the squad with nine tackles, including 2.0 for a loss, and two pass breakups.

Penn (1-8) finishes its 2014 schedule and the final season of Al Bagnoli's storied tenure at Cornell next Saturday.  Sophomore quarterback Alek Torgersen completed 15-of-23 attempts totaling 98 yards. He ran also for two first downs, but sophomore running back Brian Schoenauer was limited to 32 yards on nine carries.

Whatever occurs, Bagnoli will exit the program and slide into retirement as the winningest head coach in Quakers football history which stretches back to the late 19th Century. 

With the Crimson trailing, 24-20, early in the fourth, Hosch found Stanton for a 19-yard pass play, moving the chains to the Penn 38. Two plays later, Hosch tossed a pass to Hamblin for a 28-yard TD, giving the Crimson a 27-24 advantage with 10:31 to play.

Harvard quickly forced Penn to punt on the next Quaker possession and started a drive at the Penn 44. Following four straight rushing plays, including three by Stanton, Hosch handed off again to Stanton, who finished with a 14-yard score, giving the Crimson a 34-24 edge with 6:42 remaining.

After forcing Penn to three and out on the Quakers first series, Harvard took over at the Penn 41, and Stanton accepted a handoff from Hosch and ran for a 41-yard touchdown, giving Harvard an early 7-0 lead at 13:40 of the first quarter. The Crimson attempted an onside kick on ensuing kickoff, but the Quakers grabbed it and took over at the Harvard 49. Penn used 10 plays to move the chains to the 7-yard line, before settling on a 24-yard field goal by Jimmy Gammill, making it 7-3.

With 4:47 left in the opening stanza, Penn took a 10-7 lead on a jump pass by Adam Strouss to Ryan OMalley on fourth and goal from the 1. The Crimson stuffed the Quakers on the first three chances from inside the 2, but the Quakers went for it on fourth down and converted for the score. The series began after Hosch threw an interception that was returned by Jack Madden to the Harvard 40.

The Crimson took over at its own 12-yard line at the 8:12 mark  of the second quarter. On the first play of the drive, Hosch rolled to his right and found Andrew Fischer for a 13-yard gain. On the next play, Stanton rushed right up the middle, untouched, for a 75-yard score, as the Crimson regained the lead, 14-10. Stanton finished the half with 10 carries for 173 yards and two scores.

In the second half, Penn scored two touchdowns early in the third to go up, 24-17. First, Alex Torgersen found Mitchell King for a 12-yard pass and catch TD at the 9:31 mark, tying the game. After forcing Harvard to punt from deep inside its own zone, the Quakers took over at the Crimson 38. Following a 25-yard pass play by Torgersen to Justin Watson, Torgersen ran up the middle for a four-yard score, 24-17.

With 1:38 left in the third, Gammill had a 38-yard field goal-attempt blocked, keeping the score 24-17. The Crimson took over and eventually concluded a drive with a 38-yard field goal by Andrew Flesher, as Harvard cut the deficit to 24-20.
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