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Penn Defense Leads Quakers To 44-13 Football Win At Princeton

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 11/08/2002
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Nov. 9, 2002

Box Score

PRINCETON, N.J. - Mike Mitchell threw for 248 yards while the Penn defense limited Princeton to 29 first-half yards as the Quakers stayed perfect in the Ivy League with a 44-13 win at Princeton Stadium. The loss eliminates Princeton from title contention this season.

The Penn defense made an early statement, sacking quarterback Matt Verbit in the end zone on Princeton's first possession to open a 2-0 lead. The Quakers capped three other first-half drives with one-yard touchdown runs, including two by Michael Recchiuti.

The lone third quarter score came on a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Fred Plaza. Both teams traded fourth-quarter touchdowns, including Branden Benson's first career score, a one-yard run, and a 14-yard touchdown reception by Blair Morrison, his second straight game with a touchdown catch.

Penn's top-rated rushing defense got the job done against the Tigers, who gained 32 yards on 32 carries. The biggest loss of yardage in that category was a play that was never intended to be a rush. A low snap on a punt attempt late in the first half was scooped up by rookie punter Eliot Bishop, who had one knee on the Princeton three-yard line at the time. Penn scored two points later, turning a 16-0 lead into a 23-0 lead right before halftime.

Princeton will travel to Yale next weekend. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 34-14 last season. Penn will host Harvard at Franklin Field for at least a share of the Ivy League championship.

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