PHILADELPHIA - One more. For just the second time in the program's 85-year history the University of Pennsylvania sprint football team will compete for an undefeated season on Saturday, traveling to Waterbury, Conn. to battle Post at 12 p.m. With a win, Penn would cap the finishing touches on a perfect 7-0 season and its first outright CSFL championship since 2000.
The Quakers (6-0) are fresh off a Friday night scare against Cornell on Senior Night last week, having to fight back from being down the entire game to eventually defeat the Big Red in double overtime. Senior captain and quarterback Mike McCurdy led the way on a miraculous 93-yard drive with 1:42 left and no timeouts to tie the game at 20 and force extra time.
Inside the Numbers
McCurdy enters the final game of his career as one of the most decorated players in Penn history. The reigning CSFL Co-Offensive MVP broke the Quakers' all-time passing mark earlier this season against Army West Point and currently owns 5,645 yards through the air. This season, McCurdy owns 1,572 passing yards which sits as third-most all-time and just 110 yards short of the single-season record. His 269.7 yards of offense per game is tops in the league by nearly 100 yards.
Wide receivers Aidan Kelly and Andrew Sutton have been forces deep for McCurdy, giving the quarterback plenty of versatile targets downfield. Kelly has collected 24 passes for 539 yards (third-most in one season) and three touchdowns, while Sutton has also tallied three scores on 21 catches for 464 yards (sixth-most in one season).
Marcus Jones was named the CSFL Offensive Player of the Week after leading the team with six catches for 137 yards and a Hail Mary touchdown in the waning seconds of the first half. Jones has established himself firmly behind Kelly and Sutton on the receiving corps for Penn, averaging 52.2 yards per game.
After last year's first-team All-CSFL selection Max Jones went down in the first game of the season, sophomore Jake Klaus has stepped in valiantly at the running back spot, averaging 43.7 yards a game on the ground with one rushing touchdown. Klaus grabbed the crucial two-point conversion late in regulation against Cornell to help tie the game at 20.
Defensively, Tom Console has led the way for the Red and Blue, totaling 51 tackles on the year with three interceptions, five pass breakups and one fumble recovery. Quinn Karam joins Console at the top of the defensive statistics and as the lone Penn players to earn CSFL Defensive Player of the Week honors this fall. Karam has notched 41 tackles with one interception and one forced fumble.
Senior captain Patrick Boyle has not only performed well for the Quakers as the kickoff man, but leads the team in sacks and ranks in a tie for third in the CSFL with five take downs this season. His 8.5 tackles for loss ranks tied for fifth in the league. Fellow senior captain Robert Diorio notched his CSFL-best fourth interception of the year in the first overtime period against Cornell last week.
Forcing opponent miscues has been a staple of the Quaker defense in 2016 and the statistics prove it, as Penn owns a +13 turnover margin, tops in the league and almost double the amount of the next-best team. The Red and Blue have snatched 17 picks this year.
When called upon, Matt Caltabiano has been a solid force on the punting unit for Penn, leading the CSFL with an average of 36.1 yards per kick, including three boots of over 50 yards.
A win Saturday would be Head Coach Bill Wagner's fifth league championship and first since 2010 when the Quakers shared the title with Army West Point.
The Series with Post
Since the Eagles' arrival to the CSFL in 2010, Penn and Post have split their contests right down the middle, with each side taking three wins. The Quakers have a one-game winning streak in the series after defeating the Eagles 34-18 in 2015.
Scouting the Eagles
Post enters Saturday's contest winless on the season with an 0-6 record. The closest game for the Eagles came against Cornell on the road, as Post fell 27-13. Buddy Enriquez has taken on the role of quarterback, completing over 50 percent of his passes on the season and averaging 142.40 yards per game. Chris Leggio leads both the team and the CSFL in total tackles, having made 67 stops this year for an average of 11.2 per game.