PHILADELPHIA - With the core of the last year's league-leading offense returning, the Penn sprint football team has high hopes heading into the 2010 season, as it starts the season where it left off in 2009; a road trip to Princeton. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Friday at Princeton Stadium.
2009 in Review: Penn finished 4-3 overall and 2-3 in league play for a fourth-place finish in the CSFL. The season went in streaks for the Red and Blue, as it won its first three games against Cornell, Princeton, and Mansfield, then dropped the next three to Army, Cornell, and Navy. The Quakers finished the year on a high note with a 91-13 thrashing of Princeton. A Penn player stood atop every offensive category, including passing, receiving, and rushing, while the team outscored its opponents 278-133 and averaged 468 yards of offense per game.
Passing Game: Returning junior quarterback Todd Busler broke the program's single-season passing record last year, throwing 1,682 yards. As a freshman, wide receiver Whit Shaw caught a total of 886 yards, topping Patrick Monaghan's previous single season record (572 yards) set in 2004. With the graduation of Penn's second-leading receiver Clarke Armatis, newcomer Freddy Ordonez and seniors Dave Hubscher and Joe Squadroni will also be viable looks for Busler.
Ground Game: Returning for his senior year, running back Mike Bagnoli has led the CSFL in rushing for the past two seasons, including 984 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 2009. Freshman Wesley Zhao and sophomore Chris Twombly also have potential to put up big numbers in Penn's running game.
The Defenders: Last season's top defensive leader, senior Sam Biddle returns on the line for 2010. He recorded 63 tackles last year, while recovering two fumbles. Fellow captain Zak Klinvex also started all seven games, tallying 36 tackles and snatching an interception. With plenty of experience on the other side of the ball this season, including seniors Ted Rawlings, Marcus Goodwin, and Gage O'Connell, who all aided last year's defense that allowed its opponents into the red zone just 16 times on the season, the Red and Blue's adversaries will have a lot of obstacles to overcome to get points on the board.
Remembering Perfection: This season marks the tenth anniversary of the 2000 team's undefeated 6-0 season, the program's first perfect season since 1931. During last weekend's alumni festivities, the team was honored in a dinner ceremony. Will Penn be able to repeat the greatness in 2010?
League Honors: Penn returns six first-team All-CSFL selections from last year, including Biddle, Klinvex, punter Raiam Santos, as well as Busler, Bagnoli, and Shaw.
Last Meeting with Princeton: Penn wrapped up its 2009 season with a bang, overwhelming Princeton, 91-13, at Princeton Stadium on Oct. 30. Seven Quakers contributed to the scoring action as Penn totaled 728 yards of offense and 13 touchdowns.
Let's Make it Fifteen Years: Penn looks to top the Tigers for the 29th consecutive meeting, topping Princeton twice a season for the past fourteen years. The Tigers' last victory over the Quakers came in 1995 with a score of 39-13.