PHILADELPHIA - Following a bounce-back 48-35 win over Post last week, sprint football (2-1, 1-1 CSFL) will look to make it two wins in a row this Friday night when Mansfield (1-3, 1-3 CSFL) comes to Franklin Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. With the five home games at the beginning on the season, Penn fans will have just one more chance to see sprint football at Franklin Field after this week's game. For fans unable to make Friday's game, the Penn Sports Network will be providing live video of the game. Live stats will also be available.
Penn comes into the game Friday with the fourth-ranked offense in the CSFL, pounding out 286 yards per game. In the two games that Penn has won this season, the Quakers averaged 420 yards of offense. The Quakers also bring the sixth-ranked defense into the game. In the victories over Post and Princeton, Penn has allowed the opposition just over 300 yards per game.
The run game has been very solid for the Quakers this season. Just under 60 percent of Penn's total offense has come in the ground game during the first three games. Mike Beamish comes into the game Friday as the second leading rusher in the CSFL. He has carried the ball 36 times for a total 282 yards this season, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Last week, he ran for 139 yards in the win against Post. Jeff Grimes has also carried the ball 16 times for 71 yards, which comes out to just under four yards per carry. Quarterback Todd Busler has run for 113 yards this season when he pulls it down and takes off from the pocket.
When he is throwing, Busler is completing over half his pass attempts and is tied for second in the league with seven touchdown passes. He has thrown for 344 yards this season. Last week, Busler and his receivers looked to be hitting their collective strides as Busler threw for 200 yards and four touchdowns. Freshman Keith Braccia has also seen time under center this season.
The leading receiver to date has been Mathew Wetherell. Wetherell has hauled in eight catches for a team-high 96 yards. 82 of his receiving yards and both of his touchdowns came last week against Post. Andrew Donald has caught six passes for 86 yards and a team-high three touchdowns, including one last week against Post.
Whit Shaw has a team-high nine receptions for 74 yards. He caught his second touchdown of the season last week against Post. Shaw also has seven rushing attempts as the team looks to get him more touches. Beamish has caught five passes out of the backfield, while Kamil Okroj has added three receptions in the early part of the season. Freddy Ordonez and Danny Reyes each have one reception this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Matt Cuccinello earned his second CSFL Defensive Player of the Week award with his 12 tackle performance against Post. Cuccinello also recovered a fumble and had two tackles for loss. For the season, Cuccinello has 33 tackles, 22 solo, with eight and half tackles for loss. Cuccinello is currently tied for third in the CSFL in total tackles. The senior captain also has three sacks and the aforementioned fumble recovery.
Eight other players have also recorded 10-plus tackles for the Quakers this season. Anthony DiBella is second on the team in tackles with 17, while Jack Miller (16 tackles) and Chris Twombly (15 tackles) are third and fourth. Nick Rush has also recorded 13 tackles through three games. Antony Krumbhaar and Alexander Starr each have 11 tackles, while Rolando Lyles and Kai Peng have made 10 tackles.
Brandon Batzel has a team-high four sacks this season and Hassan Siddiqui has gotten to the quarterback three times. Carl Wittig and Miller have each added a sack this season to a unit that has sacked the quarterback 12 times in three games for a total loss of 80 yards. Penn also has 31 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, resulting in a net loss of 132 yards. Lyles made two interceptions last week and is now the team leader. Twombly and Peng each have one pick on the season. The Quakers' defense has also recovered six fumbles this season.
Shaw has been the main returner on special teams for the Quakers. He has returned four punts for a total of 44 yards this season, including a long of 36. Shaw has also returned seven kicks a total of 157 yards, which is an average of 22.4 yards. His longest return this season went for 44 yards.
Michael Bass and Peng have split the kickoff duties so far this season. Bass kicked off eight times last week and averaged over 43 yards per kick. Peng has handled kickoffs seven times for a whopping average of 59.1 yards per kickoff. Beamish became the second member of the team to earn CSFL weekly honors when he was named special teams player of the week. He punted three times for an average of 42 yards with two punts landing inside the opposition's 20. He has handled all the punting duties so far this season.
Mansfield comes into the contest with the sixth-ranked offense and the fifth-ranked defense. Freshman Quarterback Mike Maniscalco has completed 53 percent of his passes this season for 460 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite targets this season have been sophomore Pat Mackewicz and freshman Sean Green. Mackewicz leads the team with 12 catches for 158 yards and three touchdowns. Green has added 11 receptions for 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
On the ground, freshman Josh Harrison has carried the ball 40 times for 165 yards, an average of 3.8 yards per carry. He also has three rushing touchdowns this season. Maniscalco has been a true dual-threat quarterback. In addition to his passing numbers, Maniscalco has run for 191 yards and three touchdowns. Chao Porch and Dylan Flynn have also seen significant time in the backfield for Mansfield.
Defensively, Jake Myers is tied for the league lead in tackles with 42. Cody Croasdale and Paul Houseknecht have added 30-plus tackles to the defensive unit. 11 players for Mansfield have recorded at least 10 tackles this season. The Mountaineers have recorded eight sacks this season through four games and have 28 tackles for loss. Troy Taylor has also added a league-high four interceptions to a secondary that has intercepted a total of six passes this season.
After splitting its first two league games, Penn is currently fourth in the CSFL standings. The Quakers are just a half game out of third and just one game out of second. Mansfield is in sixth place overall and will be looking to rebound after a hard fought loss at Navy, 30-19. The Mountaineers have also beaten Princeton, while falling on the road at Cornell and Army.
Last season, Mansfield jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead against Penn by taking its first offensive play 90 yards for a touchdown. However, Penn would run off 27 consecutive points, including 21 in the first quarter. The Mountaineers added a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer in Penn's 27-14 victory at Mansfield's Karl Van Norman Field.