WATERBURY, Conn. – After finding success on its first drive of the game and connecting on a field goal, Penn’s sprint football team played from behind the rest of the way, falling to Post in its first-ever trip to Waterbury, 43-12.
The Quakers went 60 yards over nine plays on the game’s first drive, putting the game’s first points up via a 36-yard Michael Bass field goal. The Red and Blue marched down to the Post 9-yard line, the big gain coming via a 34-yard Mike McCurdy scramble.
Sandwiched around a Penn three-and-out were two Post touchdown drives to build a 14-3 lead for the Eagles. The first scoring drive was a quick one, lasting just three plays and covering 60 yards in 52 seconds. On 2nd-and-10 from its own 40, Greg Volpe connected with Jay’Len Mahan on a 47-yard pass to bring Post into Penn territory at the Quakers’ 13-yard line. On the next play, Renard Whyte scampered in for a touchdown.
Post’s second touchdown drive of the game was another quick-strike affair. It took just four plays and 44 seconds for the Eagles to move 95 yards, Volpe calling his own number from one yard out for the touchdown. Mahan was again the big contributor on the drive, hauling in a 67-yard completion to bring the ball to the Penn 23. On the next play, Whyte sprung for 22 yards to push Post to the brink of paydirt.
The Quakers attempted to settle the game down, possessing the ball for the next 5:01 of game play, marching 56 yards and driving into the red zone. On 2nd-and-11 from the Penn 37, McCurdy found Michael Bass for a 14-yard gain, a roughing the passer penalty on Post adding another 15 yards and giving Penn a first down at the Eagles’ 34. McCurdy hit Jack Epstein for 13 yards on the next play, setting up 1st-and-10 from the Post 21. Mike Beamish only managed one yard on first down, and McCurdy was sacked for a loss of nine on the next play. Faced with 3rd-and18 from the 29, McCurdy managed to get 13 yards back on a completion to Bass, but the Quakers were forced to settle for a 33-yard Bass field goal to cut Post’s lead to 14-6.
Any hope of Penn gaining momentum and finding traction in the game was erased in a third bang-bang drive from the Eagles on the ensuing series. Volpe twice found Daniel Awwad, the first for 25 yards and then on a 45-yard completion which went for Post’s third touchdown of the first quarter and a 21-3 Eagles lead. The scoring drive took all of 40 seconds and the Quakers were never able to get back in the game.
It took until the fourth quarter for the Quakers to get back on the scoreboard, scoring a touchdown to cap a six-play, 34-yard drive. The scoring play was a 12-yard Mike McCurdy touchdown pass to Brendan Dale after the Quakers stopped the Eagles on a fourth down conversion attempt at their own 38-yard line.
Post’s work in the aerial game was the difference as the Eagles outgained the Quakers, 378-167, in the passing game. The difference in yards came despite Post attempting just two more passes than the Quakers. Awwad was the game’s leading receiver, with five catches for 148 yards. Seven different players had catches for Penn, led by Michael Bass who had four receptions. Dale was the leader in yards gained in the air by a Penn player with 44 yards.
Mike Beamish rushed 14 times for Penn, gaining 89 yards. Almost half of that total came on a big gain of 44 yards. Whyte was the leader for the Eagles with 107 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
Defensively for Penn, Jose Nino Domond led all tacklers with seven stops – each of the solo variety. He finished the game with one sack and two total tackles for loss. Andrew Green also had a sack for Penn, part of a two-tackle game. Derek Shnider was in on seven tackles, making six solo stops. Zach Plona recorded five tackles – each an individual stop.
The Quakers return to Franklin Field on Oct. 25 for Senior Night against Princeton at 7 p.m.