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Sophomore Justin Watson has had a hot start to the season.

Credit: Horia Clement

Penn football’s stunning win over Villanova last Thursday earned its players some hardware this week.

On Monday, sophomore wide receiver Justin Watson was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week. The Bridgeville, Pa., native reeled in five passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns, doing all his damage in the first half before exiting the Quakers’ upset due to an injury.

Watson, the only player from either team to find the end zone in the first half, helped spark the Red and Blue on their way to a wire-to-wire victory — their first win over the Wildcats in over 100 years.

The underclassman’s performance came less than a week after his dominant showing in Penn’s season opener against Lehigh. In the Quakers’ 42-21 loss on Sept. 19, he totaled 10 catches for 143 yards, the first time in his career he crossed double digits in receptions and went over the century mark in yards.

Watson will look to continue his hot start to the season in Saturday’s Ivy League opener against Dartmouth at Franklin Field. The sophomore has racked up 230 yards and three touchdowns through the season’s first two games.

But the offensive weapon wasn’t the only Penn player to receive recognition after the Quakers’ first-ever road win over a top-five ranked opponent. Junior linebacker Donald Panciello had eight tackles (seven solo), a pass breakup and, of course, the 90-yard fumble return touchdown that sealed the victory.

As a result, the Succasunna, N.J., native was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week and College Sports Madness National Defensive Player of the Week. Panciello has 15 total tackles through two games and adds this week’s accolades to Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors in 2013.

Penn coach Ray Priore earned his first career victory on Thursday against Villanova. He’ll look to find the conference win column when the Red and Blue kick off against the Big Green on Saturday.

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