PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Senior quarterback Mike Fritz (Houston, Texas) threw for 255 yards, but it wasn’t enough as the Penn Quakers held off Dartmouth, 17-10, in the Ivy League opener for both teams.
Fritz completed 22 of 38 passes, and rushed for 64 yards, as the Big Green failed to capitalize on several opportunities in the red zone. The most damaging may have been at the start of the second half when the Big Green forced the Penn kickoff unit into a fumble, recovered by Dartmouth’s Joe Battaglia (Manlius, N.Y.).
With the Big Green trailing, 7-3, and the Dartmouth offense taking over at the Penn 26, the Big Green got as deep as the two-yard line, but came away with nothing when kicker Andrew Kempler’s (Westport, Conn.) 22-yard attempt was just wide.
“We expected to play well,” said Coach Buddy Teevens, “and certainly Penn is a good football team. We had our opportunities and unfortunately didn’t capitalize when we needed to.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Penn broke through when quarterback Robert Irvin hooked up on a 33-yard pass to Braden LePisto at 7:34 of the second period.
The Big Green answered about four minutes later. Dartmouth advanced to the three-yard line of Penn, and settled for a 20-yard field goal by Kempler.
In the third quarter, after Dartmouth failed to capitalize on Battaglia’s fumble recovery, Penn went 80 yards and took a 14-3 lead when Irvin completed a 12 yarder to Billy May at 7:31. The Quakers pushed their lead to 17-3 with 5:24 left in the game when Derek Zoch made a 23-yard field goal.
Dartmouth still had chances, though. On the next series, the Big Green couldn’t convert, despite driving to the Penn six-yard line. The Quakers then turned the ball over on downs, giving the Big Green possession at the Penn 18. Fritz completed an 18-yard pass to sophomore Philip Galligan (Moraga, Calif.) to make it 17-10, but Penn recovered the Big Green’s onside kick attempt.
“I’m proud of my guys,” said Teevens in the post-game press conference. “They are playing hard. We will keep pounding and banging away, and we look forward to next week.”
Dartmouth, still looking for its first win of the season, hosts Yale on October 7 and Holy Cross on October 14.