PHILADELPHIA - On the night senior quarterback Mike McCurdy broke the University of Pennsylvania sprint football all-time passing yards record, the Quakers accomplished something they hadn't done since 2008: beat Army West Point. Penn jumped out to an early lead and held on late to take down the Black Knights by a score of 14-9.
Inside the Numbers
Penn (2-0) opened the scoring for the night on their first drive, after holding the Army West Point offense to a three-and-out to start the contest. The Red and Blue overcame tough false start penalty calls before McCurdy found Aidan Kelly on the sideline for a 40-yard pass to paydirt.
While the offense shone early, the defense for Penn was key late as Army West Point featured several drives deep into Penn territory. The Quakers implemented the "bend but don't break" mentality, stifling the Black Knights time after time and forcing the visitors to settle for field goals. Army West Point tacked on its first field goal to end the first quarter, and that's all they would get in the first half of play.
The Black Knights added points quickly after the break, driving down to the Penn 19 before getting held up again and settling for another John Abercrombie field goal. The Red and Blue quickly went three-and-out, giving Army West Point the ball again. The Black Knights used a 29-yard rush from Quay Gilmore to reach the Penn 17, before yet again having to kick for three.
McCurdy was able to link up to Kelly soon after, going deep again for 37 yards before the Black Knight defense tightened and Penn turned the ball over on downs. Into the fourth quarter, the Quakers had several chances to ice the game but failed to do so. Army West Point held steady and gave itself a chance to win at the end after Keegan West rushed down to the Penn 43 and the Red and Blue was called for a personal foul, giving the visitors an extra 15 yards.
It all came down to one final play with six seconds left, where West threw deep before being intercepted by junior Quinn Karam to seal the victory for the Quakers.
As a team, Army West Point outgained Penn 357-269, but the Quakers featured timely big plays on offense opposed to the Black Knight's methodical approach that sputtered in the red zone. The Red and Blue added to their interception totals for the year with three on the night, none more important than Karam's to vault the home squad to a win. Penn has yet to commit a turnover this season.
McCurdy broke the passing record, previously held by Todd Busler (2008-11), late in the second quarter on what would be the winning touchdown for Penn. Deep in his own territory, McCurdy found Andrew Sutton sprinting down the left sideline for an 85-yard touchdown pass for the Quakers' second touchdown of the night. McCurdy now owns 4,615 passing yards in his career.
Making Moves in the CSFL
Prior to tonight's contest, Army West Point had won eight consecutive games after capturing the CSFL trophy a year ago. Penn now sits with a record of 2-0 in the league, while the Black Knights fall to 1-1.
The Quakers return to action next Saturday, hitting the road for the second time this season to battle Franklin Pierce at 1 p.m.