PHILADELPHIA - After an exciting second quarter sent Penn to the locker room against Army with just a two-point deficit, the Quakers and Black Knights both did not want to seize control of the game in the third quarter, doing everything they could to hand the game over to the other side. However, Army gathered itself first, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 36-21 win at Franklin Field.
Trailing 23-21, Penn had a chance to take the lead at the tail end of the third quarter, moving the ball to Army's 26-yard line. However, after two incomplete passes, Raiam Santos sailed a 44-yard field goal wide left.
Army took over on its own 26, and moved swiftly down the field, helped out by a big Tim Meier 21-uard pass to James McCarthy which moved Army inside the red zone. The completion was Meier's only of the night as the CSFL's leading passer was held out from under center most of the night. On the next play - which started the fourth quarter - Meier ran for 12 yard, moving the ball to Penn's four. After a two-yard gain from Marquis Morris, Meier had trouble with the snap and coughed the ball up at the two, with Penn's Matt Cuccinello pouncing to provide Penn with what could have been a momentous turnover.
The Quakers were unable to carry any momentum from the turnover, going three-and-out before punting back to Army. On the second play of the drive, Javier Sustaita hooked up with Cody Nyp for a 41-yard completion to move to Penn's seven-yard line. Two plays later, Sustaita found Joshua Scott from five-yards out to give Army a 29-21 lead. Kevin Scruggs missed the extra point - his second PAT miss of the night, keeping Penn within one score.
The Red and Blue could not mount any sustained drives the rest of the game, going three-and-out twice despite starting at their own 44 and 49-yard lines. After the second punt, Army went 86 yards in nine plays while eating 4:59 of clock to double its lead. The scoring play was a Michael Meier 22-yard run. He had 35-yards on that drive alone.
With Penn turning to the air looking for two quick scores in the final two minutes, Busler found some passing lanes, moving Penn down to the Army 31. On third-and-10, it appeared as if Busler found Bagnoli for a big 15-yard gain, but Penn was called for an illegal block and instead faced third-and-25. Busler was sacked on the next play and during a timeout, Penn was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, pushing the Quakers back to fourth-and-46 from their own 33. Busler's pass went incomplete and the game was all but over.
The second-half downfall for Penn overshadowed a second quarter where Penn used the big play to stay in the game. Mike Bagnoli scored on a five-yard scamper with 13:14 left in the second quarter to tie the game after Army scored late in the first period.
Although Army scored 10 consecutive points to pull away for a 17-7 lead, Penn wasted no time after a Scruggs 38-yard field goal to get back in the game. On the ensuing kick off, Whit Shaw took it to the house for an 87-yard kick return.
Army used a 44-yard kick return of its own to set up a short field, moving 46 yards for a third touchdown of the half in just six plays after Shaw's long TD. The Quakers responded even quicker, with Busler finding Andrew Donald from 43-yards out to close the gap to 23-21.
Busler finished 12-27 for 173 yards and a touchdown but was sacked four times. Sustaita was 27-42 for Army for 362 yards and two scores. He had attempted just 27 passes all season entering the game.
Army outgained Penn, 533 to 248 and had a 35:09 to 24:51 advantage in time of possession, keeping Penn from mounting the sustained drives it is accustomed to putting together in close games.
Penn finishes its 2010 season at home against Princeton Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. Army heads to Navy. If the Quakers can defeat archrival Princeton, they will share the CSFL title with the winner of the Army-Navy game.