PHILADELPHIA – On Senior Night, three graduating wide receivers combined for 209 yards and two touchdowns as part of a complete team effort in a 72-29 win for Penn over Princeton at Franklin Field. The Quakers improved to 3-3 in the Collegiate Sprint Football League with the win.
Over the first 5:41 of play in the opening quarter, the two teams gave a sign of what was to come with a combined 20 points as Penn took a 14-6 lead. Princeton was first to score, capitalizing on a muffed punt by Penn to score the game’s first touchdown on a 17-yard John Wolfe score 2:42 into the game. After a Penn blocked PAT was negated due to an illegal touching penalty on the return, Princeton went for two and was incomplete to keep its lead at 6-0.
The Quakers would answer quickly, needing four plays to cover 64 yards and take a 7-6 lead. The big play on the drive was Penn’s first from scrimmage – a 40-yard completion from Mike McCurdy to senior Freddy Ordonez. Three plays later, Joe Raso would plunge in from one yard out.
Penn’s defense would come up with a big play on Princeton’s next drive, as Ed Cai strip sacked Chad Cowden in the shadows of the Tigers’ endzone and Patrick Boyle would recover the fumble at the Princeton three. Two plays later, Mike Beamish stuck the ball in from one-yard out.
That flurry would be all the scoring in the first quarter, neither team scoring until a second Raso rush from one-yard out early in the second quarter. That run capped an 11-play, 95-yard drive for Penn which covered 5:24 of play. In all, Penn would score 35 unanswered points after allowing the game’s opening touchdown – three of which were one-yard rushes and one more from two yards out. After Penn had built a 35-6 lead, Princeton would get back on the board with an eight-play, 57-yard drive finished by a five-yard Cowden pass to Chris McCord with 4:18 left in the first half. Mike Beamish would answer with his third touchdown of the half, finding paydirt from seven yards out on Penn’s next drive. Ed Cai would take advantage of a high snap from Princeton on a punt, tackling the punter in the endzone for a safety, and an eight-yard touchdown catch from Freddy Ordonez would give Penn a commanding 51-14 lead at halftime.
Princeton would find offensive footing after Dale’s score, marching 69 yards on 10 plays and finishing the drive with a one-yard Cowden touchdown to Kevin Ma. On the last play of the third quarter, backup quarterback Paul Rogofsky scampered in from four yards out for Penn’s final touchdown of the night. Princeton would again put together an impressive drive, totaling 10 plays and moving 65 yards over a span of 4:56 before Cowden snuck in from one yard out.
Midway through the next drive, the game was called after an agreement between both coaches after injuries were piling up for an already shorthanded Princeton squad.
For the Quakers, 72 points scored were the most in a single game since putting up 70 on Princeton in 2010.
First downs were practically even in the game, Penn notching 23 and Princeton with 22. It was Penn’s dominant edge in the running game which was the difference in the end. Penn ran the ball 33 times – just four more than Princeton – and recorded 224 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Beamish accounted for 98 of those yards, increasing his career yardage to 1,966.The Tigers accumulated 70 yards and two touchdowns in their 29 rushes.
In the air, Penn threw for 352 yards on 15-for-18 passing. Mike McCurdy had all the throws for the Quakers, tossing four touchdowns. McCurdy’s 352 yards are fourth-most in a single game by a Penn passer, and his 1,235 yards slot him fifth all-time on Penn’s single-season passing list.
Andrew Donald was his favorite target, the senior making the most of Senior Night with a career-high 119 yards on five catches. His 119 yards are 15th-most in a single game all-time by a Penn receiver and move Donald into fifth-place all-time on Penn’s career receiving yardage list with 848.
Defensively, Stu Helgeson had 10 total tackles, making eight solo stops. Ed Cai was in on seven tackles, making five by himself. He added 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss, forcing a fumble and breaking up a pass. Robert Diorio matched Cai’s seven tackles, pitching in the only interception of the game. As a team, Penn broke up nine Princeton passes and forced three fumbles.
The Quakers will conclude their season at Navy on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.