PHILADELPHIA - Fresh off a thrilling win over Navy in the Adirondack Trust Allegiance Bowl, Penn's sprint football team is back on the road this weekend to take on Mansfield (Oct. 9, 1 p.m.) in a crucial CSFL game. The Quakers are 1-0 in league play to start the 2010 season and a win over the Mountaineers keeps Penn in line with either Army or Cornell atop the league standings.
Mansfield is coming off its first win of 2010, a 10-6 win at Princeton. The Mountaineers put points up on the first play from scrimmage - a school-record 57-yard rush by Michael Wallace. Princeton closed to 7-6 with a two-yard rush later in the first, but couldn't find pay dirt from that point on. A third-quarter field goal provided some breathing room for Mansfield.
While Mansfield prevailed in a defensive struggle against the Tigers last week, it will have a tough time matching that performance this weekend when Penn comes to town. The Mountaineers have allowed an average of 309 yards-per-game over three games and the Quakers enter with an average offensive output of 359 ypg. At the same time, Mansfield's offense has been struggling to accumulate yards on its own. The Mountaineers have 500 yards of total offense in 2010, less than half of Penn's output of 1,078 yards. In fact, Penn has more yardage just off carries (630 yards) than Mansfield does in total offense.
Quakers Claim Allegiance Bowl
Penn appeared in its second Adirondack Trust Allegiance Bowl last weekend, returning from Saratoga Springs with its first championship. The Quakers came back on three-time defending CSFL champs Navy, scoring 14 unanswered points in the second half to down the Midshipmen, 24-14. Mike Bagnoli rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown in the win, claiming game MVP honors. Whit Shaw had an 83-yard reception in the fourth quarter to five Penn a 17-14 lead. Special teams and defense clinched the victory for Penn as Raiam Santos pinned Navy on its own five-yard line with a punt, leading to an Anthony DiBella strip-sack in the end zone which Matthew Cuccinello recovered for the touchdown.
Allegiance Bowl Win Snaps Streaks
Penn's win over Navy in Saratoga Springs ended multiple streaks. For the Quakers, the victory was the first in 10 tries over Navy, dating back to 2000. The loss was Navy's first in 25 games.
DiBella Snags Weekly Honors
Sophomore defensive lineman Anthony DiBella caused havoc for Navy players on Saturday in the Allegiance Bowl, finishing with six tackles. Two of those stops were sacks of the quarterback, including the decisive fumble-inducing sack in the waning moments of the game. He finished with three total tackles-for-loss and was named CSFL Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
Penn vs. Mansfield All-Time
The rivalry between Penn and Mansfield is a young one, with just two meetings all-time between the schools. The Quakers hold a 2-0 record against the Mountaineers, with wins in 2008 (34-12) and 2009 (49-0).
Last Time Out
Penn dominated at Franklin Field, outscoring Mansfield 49-0 through three quarters before playing to a draw in the final period. Mike Bagnoli had three rushing touchdowns while Whit Shaw scored three times on receptions to pace the offense. Penn's offense was on fire, outgaining the Mountaineers by a 530-72 margin. When Mansfield did attempt a play, it usually ran into the arms of Sam Biddle. Penn's linebacker was in on 11 tackles in the game, including four solo stops. He also finished with two fumble recoveries.
Shaw Closing in on All-Time Record
Sophomore receiver Whit Shaw has 1,130 career receiving yards and is now second on Penn's all-time list. In just one-and-a-half seasons, Shaw has worked his was to within 216 yards of Patrick Monaghan's career mark of 1,346 yards (2001-04).
Busler is Busy Under Center
Junior quarterback Todd Busler is also making moves up Penn's career record books. With 2,159 passing yards, he is now third all-time among Penn signal-callers. Last week, he bypassed Michael D'Angelo (2,098 yards from 2005-08). Two of the all-time greats in the 80 years of Penn sprint football are the next targets for Busler - James Donapel (2,442 yds. from 2000-02) and Mike Loguidice (2,693 yds. from 2003-06).
Bagnoli Chasing History
Only four players in Penn sprint football history have rushed for 2,000 yards in a career. Senior tail back Mike Bagnoli is angling to make it a fifth. His 104-yard performance last time out leaves him with 1,941 rushing yards for his career - just 59 away from joining this exclusive club.
Quakers Get Defensive
As a team, Penn has recorded 116 solo tackles in 2010. That number combined with another 43 tackles of the assisted variety leads to a busy defense. Alexander Starr is the leader in tackles with 24 (13 unassisted), followed by Zak Klinvex who has recorded 19 stops (10 solo). In all, five players have 10 or more unassisted tackles, including DiBella, Ted Rawlings and Gage O'Connell. The defense has done a solid job of halting plays before they get started, jumping in on 28 tackles-for-loss, including nine sacks. DiBella, Cuccinello and Mike Paci each have five TFLs.
Santos Sticks 'Em
Senior kicker Raiam Santos has not given opposing offenses much room to work with in 2010. Of his eight punts, Santos has pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line four times. Last week against Navy, Santos delivered punts downed at Navy's 3, 14, 3 and 5-yard lines.