ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy took to the ground on Friday night in the Collegiate Sprint Football League’s season finale, rushing for four touchdowns to keep Penn at bay in a 35-14 loss for the Quakers at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
What was a defensive battle for the first quarter and a half quickly got away from the Quakers, the Midshipmen scoring 27 points over the second and third quarters to build an insurmountable lead. In all, Navy amassed all 35 of its points before the Quakers were able to get on the board early in the fourth quarter.
Passing yards were pretty much even in the game, 180 for Navy to 176 for the Quakers. It was on the ground that Penn was unable to keep up as the Midshipmen rushed for 271 yards to just 51 for a Penn team which was depleted on the offensive line. Eric Wellmon had 191 yards on 22 carries for the Middies, including two touchdowns.
The Quakers put together an impressive drive to start the game, rattling off 11 plays and moving to the Navy 34-yard line. A heavy dose of Mike Beamish was dialed up, the running back carrying five times for 30 yards. On third-and-17 from the Navy 34, though, Mike McCurdy was picked off on a pass down to the 10 yard line, depriving the Quakers of points early on.
After Navy missed a 30-yard field goal early in the second quarter, Penn was unable to capitalize and went three-and-out, punting the ball to Navy’s 45 which was returned to Penn’s 34 for a net gain of 20 yards. The good field position resulted in the first score of the game as the Midshipmen needed eight plays to put together a seven-yard Willia Hampton touchdown pass to Tracy Daniels. That score sparked a 34-0 run for the Midshipmen.
It took Penn until the fourth quarter to reach the endzone. Penn went 63 yards over six plays, McCurdy finding Andrew Donald from two yards out to cap the drive. The big play on the series was a 37-yard McCurdy completion to Michael Bass which gave Penn first-and-goal from the two.
On their final series of the game, Penn again put together a six-play drive, covering 38 yards for a touchdown. Joe Raso did the bulk of the work, rushing 30 yards on five carries before Paul Rogofsky tossed an eight-yard touchdown to Brendan Dale.
McCurdy was 12-for-27 with a touchdown and two interceptions in the game, spreading his completions around to six receivers. Beamish, Donald and Dale each had three catches in the game.
Robert Diorio led all players with 10 solo tackles, part of a 14-tackle night. Stu Helgeson had seven solo tackles and 11 total stops, adding a pass breakup. The Penn defense dialed up four sacks, one each for Patrick Boyle, Ben Ballintyn and Carl Wittig with Jeff Barsamian and Ed Cai combining on another. Zach Plona had an interception in his final collegiate game.
The Quakers finish the 2013 season with a 3-4 record.