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Penn 17, Harvard 7

11.14.09

Pennsylvania ruled the scrimmage line at rain-drenched Harvard Stadium on Saturday. The Quakers scored on a 51-yard pass play in the third minute of the game, built a 17-0 halftime lead, and emerged with a 17-7 victory.

The loss effectively doused Harvard’s hopes of a third consecutive Ivy League championship. The Quakers (6-0, 7-2 overall) are now assured of a share of the title, and can win it outright by defeating Cornell (1-5, 2-7) next weekend.

Harvard (5-1, 6-3) had compiled an 11-game winning streak against Ivy opponents.

Penn’s top-ranked defense, which had given up just under 11 points per game, had the upper hand against a league-leading Harvard offense that had been averaging 28 points per game. No Crimson squad had been held to a single touchdown since the Penn game of 2002 (Penn 44, Harvard 9).

The lone Harvard score came in the third period, on a 45-yard pass from quarterback Collier Winters ’11 to receiver Chris Lorditch ’11.

Penn outdid Harvard in line play, pass coverage, and play selection.

The offensive line, Harvard’s strongest asset for much of the season, couldn’t open holes for the team’s top running backs, Gino Gordon ’11 and Treavor Scales ’13. The two were limited to a total of 59 yards on 22 carries. Winters, who was often forced to scramble, finished as the game's leading ground-gainer, netting 57 yards on 18 carries.

With his receivers tightly covered, Winters completed just 10 of 23 passes for 135 yards. The Penn defense sacked him four times and was credited with 11 quarterback hurries.

Kyle Olson and Keiffer Garton, alternating at quarterback for the Quakers, hit on 20 of 32 pass attempts for 181 yards and Penn's initial touchdown.

Two lost fumbles and seven penalties helped break whatever momentum the Harvard rushing and passing attacks might have generated. An errant punt snap early in the second period gave Penn a short field, and the Quakers cashed in with a 29-yard scoring drive to go up, 14-0. With 31 seconds left in the half, a 28-yard field goal widened the lead to 17-0.

Harvard’s defenders kept Penn in check in the second half. With less than three minutes to play, a final Crimson drive put the ball inside Penn’s one-yard line. Winters tried twice to punch it in, but the Quaker defense was unyielding.

Penn’s win was its first at the Stadium since 2003. The Quakers remain Harvard’s toughest Ivy rival. During the past decade the teams have split their series, 5-5.

 

In other Ivy action: Princeton (2-4, 3-6) confuted the oddsmakers with a 24-17 defeat of Yale (2-4, 4-5), putting both teams into a four-way tie with Dartmouth and Columbia for fourth place in the league standings.…The Crimson faces the Blue at Yale Bowl at noon on Saturday. The game will be televised nationally on Versus TV.…Harvard has won seven of the last eight meetings with Yale. A victory on Saturday, coupled with an unlikely Cornell upset of Penn, would give Harvard a half-share of the Ivy title.…Those planning to drive to New Haven should know that Yale has issued new parking restrictions. General admission parking is no longer available. To park at the Bowl, you must now have a prepaid parking pass that costs $15 and requires the purchase of at least two tickets to The Game. Order tickets and passes from the Yale Ticket Office (203.432.1400 or [email protected]).

 

The score by quarters:

Pennsylvania      7   10    0   0  —    17
Harvard                0     0    7   0  —     7

Attendance: 7,424

 

THE SEASON SO FAR

Holy Cross 27, Harvard 20
Harvard 24, Brown 21
Harvard 28, Lehigh 14
Harvard 28, Cornell 10
Lafayette 35, Harvard 18
Harvard 37, Princeton 3
Harvard 42, Dartmouth 21
Harvard 34, Columbia 14
Pennsylvania 17, Harvard 7