PHILADELPHIA - In anticipation of the release of the All-CSFL teams later this week, today we will take a look back out some of the record breakers and standout performances from the 2011 sprint football season. The Quakers went 5-2 this past season to capture the William R. Wagner trophy and finish in third place overall in the CSFL. Offensively and defensively, there were several standouts.
Perhaps nobody was more consistent week in and week out than senior captain and linebacker Matt Cuccinello. In his final season at Penn, Cuccinello always seemed to be in the middle of things and finished the year with a CSFL-leading 74 tackles. His 74 stops were just one behind the program's all-time record for tackles in one season. Remarkably, 46 of his stops were made unassisted. In addition, Cuccinello was constantly disrupting team's rhythm by making 12.5 tackles in the backfield, including 3.5 sacks this season.
Ultimately, the most telling stat about Cuccinello's remarkable consistency in 2011 is the fact that he led the team in tackles for each of the first five weeks of the season. He also had 10-plus tackles in each of the first six weeks, including a season-high 13 tackles, 11 solo, against Mansfield. Cuccinello finished six tackles clear of the league runner-up and 16 tackles ahead of the third highest tackler. Cuccinello earned two CSFL Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Another defender that opponents constantly had to keep an eye on this season was fellow linebacker, Alexander Starr. Starr picked off four passes in 2011, which was the second-highest in the CSFL. Starr really come on strong late in the season and had his breakout performance of the season against Mansfield. In that game, the junior intercepted three passes on his way to earning CSFL Defensive Player of the Week honors. The following week, he then intercepted another pass against Cornell. To cap off the season, he finished with 10 tackles in both the Army and Princeton games. Chris Twombly and Rolando Lyles also intercepted two passes each to finish tied for the fifth-highest mark during the CSFL season.
Offensively, the Quakers engine in 2011 was senior quarterback Todd Busler. Another captain, Busler finished second in the league with 1,681 yards passing and 20 touchdowns. This was the second-highest single season total, behind only his sophomore season when he threw for 1,682 yards. In all but one game, Busler threw for at least two touchdown passes. He also had 200 or more yards passing in each of the last five weeks. In back-to-back weeks, he had 398 yards passing against Cornell and followed that up with 390 yards and five touchdowns against Army.
Busler will graduate as Penn's all-time leading passer with 4,423 passing yards over four seasons and 45 touchdowns through the air. He added 12 more touchdowns rushing. He also owns eight of the top-10 single-game passing performances in program history and three of the top-five single-season passing records.
When Busler was not throwing, freshman Mike Beamish led a rushing attack with 681 yards on 112 carries this season, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. He found the end zone four times in his rookie season. His rushing total was the second-highest mark in the CSFL this season. He ran for over 100 yards in three of the first four games this season, including a 139 yards rushing and one touchdown in the season opener against Princeton. He then had another 139 yards rushing and a season-high three touchdowns against Post two games later. He followed that performance with a season-high 163 yards rushing against Mansfield.
Using a diverse attack through the air, no Penn receivers finished in the top-five in the CSFL in receiving; however, there were several standout performances of note. Mathew Wetherell finished with 420 yards receiving, the fifth-highest single season total in program history. He also had 134 yards receiving against Cornell, the 11th-best single receiving game in program history.
Kamil Okroj had 370 yards receiving on the year, the eighth-best mark in program history. His best single receiving game came against Army when he had 111 yards catching the ball, the 17th-best game all-time at Penn. Andrew Donald finished with 361 yards, which was the ninth-best single season total in program history. His best game also came against Army when he had 108 yards receiving, the 18th-best game in program history.
Also of note, in the career receiving yards, Whit Shaw tops the list at 1,757 yards receiving after three seasons and will look to add to that total next year. After two seasons, Donald has 620 yards receiving, the ninth most receiving yards in program history. Wetherell finished his career with 584 yards receiving, 12th-most for a career at Penn.