PHILADELPHIA - A battle of unbeaten teams will take place at Franklin Field on Friday night as the University of Pennsylvania sprint football team plays host to the Navy Midshipmen. The winner will emerge as the leader of the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) at the midway point of the season.
After defeating Army West Point on Sept. 23, Penn (3-0) seeks to take down both service academies in one year for just the second time ever, and the first since 2000.
Inside the Numbers
Reigning CSFL Co-MVP Mike McCurdy continues to pace the Quaker offense, averaging a league-high 243 passing yards per game, owning six touchdowns through the air and completing 37-66 passes on the year. McCurdy has yet to throw an interception this fall. Junior Andrew Sutton leads the CSFL in receiving yards/game, averaging 109.7 with two touchdowns. Aidan Kelly owns one touchdown of his own and over 20 yards per catch.
Penn's defense has shown to be rock solid, led by several playmakers including CSFL Defensive Player of the Week, sophomore Tom Console, who collected two interceptions and a fumble recovery for touchdown last weekend at Franklin Pierce. Robert Diorio leads the team and league with three interceptions this fall, while Matteo Murgia also hauled in two picks against the Ravens. The Quakers rank third in the CSFL in team defense, allowing just over nine points a game and three touchdowns through three contests.
On special teams, junior Matt Caltabiano averages 35.9 yards a punt, ranking second in the CSFL, and owns two punts of 50+ yards, the only player in the league to do so. Mario Del Cueto has made 2-3 field goals this season with a long of 30.
The Series with Navy
Penn has struggled against the Mids (3-0) over the years, as Navy owns an all-time record of 73-6-2 against the Quakers. The last win for the Red and Blue came in 2010, the year of the last CSFL championship for Penn, as they defeated Navy 24-14 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Scouting the Midshipmen
Navy has dominated its opponents to begin the 2016 season, owning a 3-0 record and outscoring its opposition 144-20. The Midshipmen have used a handful of options at the quarterback position, led by Jon Saadey, who averages 107.3 yards a game. The true threat on offense for Navy stems from the rushing game, as running back Brendon Clements averages over 115 yards each contest, owning five touchdowns on the year and over six yards a carry. Clements' average is the most in the CSFL, followed by teammate Nick Deterding who averages 72.5 yards a game. Defensively, the Mids boast a balanced attack as Luke Coughlin and Bryant Schlade lead the team with 14 tackles this season, followed by Sheppard Wilson with 13. Kendall Mackey has collected two interceptions, helping to man a Navy defense that has allowed just three total touchdowns in three games.