Ivy League Wrap-Up: Penn Beats Cornell
Rose Elected Captain, Morris Named MVP
Just one team in the conference has another game left on the schedule. Columbia has rescheduled its postponed game from the first week of the season. The Lions will play at Fordham in a cross-town match-up on Thanksgiving Day.
Harvard, of course, won the Ivy League Championship in its first perfect season since 1913. In the final computer rankings, the Crimson (9-0, 7-0 Ivy) is ranked as high as 9th in Division I-AA and 95th out of all football schools in the country.
Harvard will loses 12 starters to graduation but returning to defend the title will be the offensive tandem of quarterback Neil Rose and wideout Carl Morris.
Morris, the junior who holds eight school receiving records, was named 2001 MVP of the squad yesterday at the annual football banquet and Rose was elected as the 2002 captain.
Pennsylvania came in second in the league with only one loss to its name—that coming in The Stadium two weekends ago. In its final game of the year, Penn (8-1, 6-1 Ivy) defeated Cornell 38-14 off the strength of 152 yards rushing courtesy of tailback Kris Ryan.
Ryan finished his Quaker career with 3,213 yards rushing—a Penn record and the fifth-most ever recorded in the Ivy League.
Gavin Hoffman, last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, also finished his Quaker career on Saturday. Hoffman finished as the all-time Penn leader in passing yards (7,542), completions (651), and passing touchdowns (50).
Penn will lose 18 starters to graduation this off-season including Hoffman, Ryan and wide out Rob Milanese, but Penn still has a plethora of young players waiting to fill the gaps and keep the Quakers competitive next season.
Brown defeated Columbia 45-21 in its final game of the season and finished third in the conference.
The Bears (6-3, 5-2 Ivy) were led to victory by Michael Malan’s 183 yards rushing on just 22 carries.
Brown is losing 14 starters to graduation this season including Malan, quarterback Kyle Rowley and kicker Steve Jensen. Junior receiver Chas Gessner will be back for another year of action with the Bears and will likely be its key returning offensive threat after a breakout season.
Columbia and Princeton finished tied for fourth place. The Lions (3-6, 3-4 Ivy) were the surprise team of the league. Led by running back Johnathan Reese—who has accounted for thirty percent of Columbia’s total offense—the Lions shocked Yale and Dartmouth in November.
Shortly afterwards, the Lions learned that senior defensive end Matt Stary was academically ineligble to play. On Nov. 15, the Ivy League ruled that the Lions would not have to forfeit either of their two victories as a result of the incident.
But Columbia’s win tally remained at two with its loss to Brown on Saturday.
The Princeton Tigers won their final match of the season. A 35-14 victory over Dartmouth that assured them of a place in the top half of the Ivy standings.
Princeton was led by Chisom Opara, who recorded 149 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns.
The Tigers look to be a solid competitor next year, returning Opara, running back Cam Atkinson, and quarterback David Splithoff. Princeton will be hurt by the loss of NFL-caliber kicker Taylor Northrop.
With its 38-14 loss to Penn, Cornell (2-7, 2-5 Ivy) finished a tough season under first year coach Tim Pendergast.
The Big Red was at the losing end of its bout with Pennsylvania this past weekend in Philadelphia, 38-14.
The Big Red loss marked the end of the stories career f quarterback Ricky Rahne. In his final game in a Cornell uniform, Rahne passed for 271 yards and made the Ivy League Honor Roll.
Cornell will lose only nine starters to graduation and could be a sleeper team in the league next year if they can replace Rahne’s production.
Yale and Dartmouth tied for last place in the league. The Bulldogs (3-6, 1-6 Ivy) and Big Green (1-8, 1-6 Ivy) each managed only one win in disappointing seasons.
Dartmouth started out its season strong with a close loss to Penn and a victory over projected contender Yale, before suffering a key injury to quarterback Greg Smith.
After Smith’s injury they would not win another game, but the Green has several reasons for optimism. Among these is tight end Casey Cramer, who hauled in 525 yards and six touchdowns and developed into one of the better tight ends in the league.
In its final match of the year, Dartmouth dropped yet another game, this time to Princeton, 35-14.
The Big Green will lose ten starters off of this year’s squad keyed by Michael Gratch, the third leading rusher in the League with 921 yards.
Yale will lose many of its key performers to graduation. Receiver Billy Browne, as well as quarterbacks Peter Lee and T. J. Hyland will all move on after this season.