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Hempel, Hodges Garner Ivy Weekly Awards

Conner Hempel had 306 passing yards in the second half against USD (Thomas Kovtran).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After helping the Crimson pick up a 42-20 victory at San Diego in the season opener Sept. 21, junior quarterback Conner Hempel and junior defensive end Zach Hodges have been named Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week and Ivy League Co-Defensive Player of the Week, respectively.

Hodges, who hails from Atlanta, Ga., was responsible for Harvard's first touchdown of the season, as he picked and returned a fumble for a 53-yard touchdown in the first quarter last week. Hodges, who finished the game with five tackles, became the first Harvard player to return a fumble for a touchdown since 2008.
 
In the third quarter, Hodges grabbed another fumble, this time at the Harvard goal line, helping the Crimson keep the Toreros from scoring. Teammate Joshua Boyd forced the fumble by USD running back Joe Ferguson, and Hodges picked up the ball for his second takeaway of the afternoon.
 
A native of Union, Ky., Hempel made his first-career start last week and completed 25-of-34 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns, all career-bests. Hempel, who at one point completed eight straight passes in the game, was 20-of-27 for 306 yards in the second half alone.
 
All four of Hempel's TD strikes came in the final 30 minutes, starting with a 10-yard lob to Andrew Fischer in the third quarter. In the final stanza, Hempel completed 10-yard passes to Ben Braunecker and Ricky Zorn for touchdowns, and he capped the day with another TD toss to Fischer with 2:43 remaining in the game.
 
Harvard will host Brown in the Ivy opener Saturday, Sept. 28 in a game that will be shown live nationally on the NBC Sports Network.