Hartigan's Running, Staunch Defense Leads Bears to a 34-20 Victory Over Penn
Oct. 29, 2005
Providence, Rhode Island - Brown's football team moved into a first place tie in the Ivy League standings with a dominating 34-20 Ivy victory over Penn at Brown Stadium. The victory puts the Bears, now 6-1 overall, into a four-way tie for first place in the Ivy standings at 3-1 with Penn, Princeton and Yale
Bears' senior All-American running back Nick Hartigan rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns against the number one rushing defense in the nation, going over the 100 yard rushing mark for the 20th time in his Brown career. Penn came into the game yielding just 49.17 yards per game.
Following an interception by senior Tim Cotter, Brown got on the scoreboard first with a 47-yard field goal by sophomore Steve Morgan, the fifth longest kick in Brown history. The boot was Morgan's 14th of the season, tying the Brown record for field goals in a season.
The Bears built a 10-0 lead when junior quarterback Joe DiGiacomo connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass to senior Carson Brennan with 6:18 remaining in the second quarter, capping a 70-play scoring drive.
Senior corner back Jamie Gasparella picked off a pass at the Penn 40 yard line on Penn's next play from scrimmage, setting up Brown's next score. On second down, DiGiacomo went back to pass and was flushed out of the pocket. He weaved his way downfield, breaking several tackles, and burst into the end zone for a 40-yard score, giving the Bears a 17-0 advantage.
Brown struck again following a Penn fumble that was forced by junior All-American Zak DeOssie and recovered by Gasparella, who returned it 13 yards to the Penn 23-yard line. Hartigan capped the 23-yard scoring drive with a one yard plunge into the end zone to give the Bears a 24-0 lead with 3;20 left in the first half. The big play in the drive was a 15-yard reverse by senior Efran Blackledge.
The Quakers got on the scoreboard before the end of the first half to cut the Bears halftime advantage to 24-7. Penn struck again at the beginning of the second half with an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown to pull to within 24-14 of the Bears with 10:40 left in the third quarter.
With the momentum in favor of the Quakers, the Bears offense came to life once again following a 55-yard kickoff return by sophomore Nkosi Still. Hartigan took over for Brown and capped the 55-yard scoring drive with a 24-yard touchdown run with 8:37 remaining in the third quarter to give the Bears a 31-14 advantage.
Brandon Markey's 44-yard punt return set up Brown's next score, a record-breaking 28-yard Morgan field goal with 10:56 left in the game that gave the Bears a 34-14 lead. Morgan's 15th field goal broke the old mark of 14 held by the Bears' Bob Warden in 1994. Morgan's 15 field goals rank 4th best in the Ivy League record book.
The Quakers got back into the game with a touchdown on their next possession to pull to within 34-20 of the Bears with 9:34 left to play, but missed the extra point.
Hartigan's 167 yards gives him 1,113 yards for the season, rushing for 1,000 or more yards for the third time in his Brown career. He now has 3,878 career yards, fourth best in Ivy football history. With two touchdowns, Hartigan moved into a tie for third place in Ivy League career touchdowns with 44.
Brown's tremendous defensive effort was sparked by DeOssie, who made 13 total tackles, including 8 solo hits, one tackle for a loss, forced a fumble and broke up two passes in pass coverage.
Gasparella also turned in a sparkling performance with six total tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, the interception return for 13 yards and a 13-yard fumble return. Senior James Frazier helped limit the Penn rushing attack to just 110 yards on the ground with 7 total tackles and a half tackle for a loss.