Sports

Football drops battle of Ivy unbeatens

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, November 1, 2010

The football team (4-3, 3-1 Ivy League) was unable to contain No. 21 Penn (6-1, 4-0) Saturday, as the Quakers’ offense rushed for 321 yards to lead the defending Ivy champions to a 24-7 victory. The teams entered the game tied for first place in the Ivy League, and the win puts Penn alone atop the table. Brown now sits tied for second with Harvard and Yale, whom Bruno will take on next week at Brown Stadium.

For the second time this season, the Bears lost their starting quarterback to injury. Joe Springer ’11, who had been starting in place of injured tri-captain Kyle Newhall-Caballero ’11, left the game late in the second quarter. Springer did not return, and he was relieved by Patrick Donnelly ’13, who led the Brown offense in both passing and rushing for the game.

Penn struck first in the second quarter when quarterback Billy Ragone took a keeper right up the middle 54 yards for the touchdown. The sophomore quarterback eluded the first wave of Brown defenders, then outran everyone else to the end zone. Ragone ran for a team-high 151 yards in the game, in addition to his 92 yards through the air.

Brown’s only score of the day came on the ensuing kickoff. Mark Kachmer ’13 took it back 85 yards for the touchdown, evening the score at 7-7 and taking the momentum out of the Quakers’ hands. The run back was Kachmer’s second kickoff return for a touchdown of the season, giving him seven scores on the year.

Penn reclaimed the lead on a one-yard touchdown run by fullback Luke DeLuca on its next drive. The short-yardage plunge capped off an efficient nine-play, 80-yard drive in which Ragone threw for 52 of his 92 yards.

The Quakers added another score right before halftime, shifting all momentum in their direction as the teams headed into the locker rooms. Starting at midfield with 1:50 remaining in the half, Penn moved the ball to the one-yard line after a 35-yard rush and 14-yard pass by Ragone. From a yard out, running back Brandon Colavita capitalized on another goal-line touchdown rush, extending Penn’s lead to 21-7 at halftime.

Penn added a quick field goal in the third quarter, but the insurance proved unnecessary, as Brown was unable to put any points on the board in the second half. Kicker Alex Norocea ’14 had a 32-yard field goal attempt blocked, and the Bears twice turned the ball over on downs.

Penn’s defense held Bruno in check all game. The normally dangerous rushing attack of Kachmer and Zach Tronti ’11 amassed only 32 yards on the ground, and Brown’s leading receiver Alex Tounkara ’11 was held to a season-low four catches for 33 yards.

On the other side of the ball, Penn — and Ragone in particular — could not be stopped. Brown had no answer for the Quaker running attack, which averaged seven yards per rush, and the front seven was unable to get after the quarterback and disrupt the opposing offense’s rhythm as they have done so often this season.

The win puts Penn in the driver’s seat in the Ivy League with only three games remaining on the schedule, including matchups against bottom dwellers Cornell (2-5, 1-3) and Princeton (1-6, 0-4). Brown, now in a three-way tie for second, in all likelihood will have to win out — and get some help — if the team is to gain a share of the league title. Bruno will face Yale (5-2, 3-1), Dartmouth (4-3, 1-3) and Columbia (3-4, 1-3) in its remaining three games.

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