With a strong senior class leading the way, 2006 seemed like a year that would be memorable. Though the team had graduated 16 seniors, including the league’s leading rusher (Scott Pickett), Coach Bill Wagner was returning many of the team’s key components, and planned to make a run for the CSFL title. But it wasn’t in the cards for Penn, and for the first time in a long time the sprint football team finished the season with a record below .500, as they went 2-4.
The sprint football team struggled to get its offense together, starting the season far from home, taking on Cornell in the Adirondack Trust Allegiance Bowl in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. First-game jitters seemed to get the best of the Quakers, as they fell to the Big Red in a messy 20-12 loss.
Senior quarterback Mike Loguidice got Penn on the board for the first time in 2006, as he connected with Tomas Altamirano for a 19-yard touchdown catch. Peter Stine’s kick was blocked, leaving the score tied at 6-6. Loguidice would connect again for the Quakers’ second score, but this time with Michael D'Angelo for a four-yard catch. Cornell’s defense came through again, blocking Stine’s kick, and keeping Penn to 12 points in the loss. Loguidice finished the game with 201 yards and two touchdowns, while D’Angelo ended the match-up with eight catches for 117 yards.
Penn bounced back and continued its domination over the Princeton Tigers. With a 50-15 win, the Quakers evened up their season record to 1-1, while improving to 7-0 against Princeton the last four years. Loguidice led the way for Penn again, as he connected with Altamirano for the game’s first score. Senior J.T. Hutchinson also scored, as he ran it in from the six-yard line to put the Quakers up 14-0. Senior Matt McConville also ran the ball in during the first half, giving Penn a 21-0 lead. Just seconds into the second quarter, Loguidice found the end zone again, this time connecting with Marten Basta for 11 yards and the 28-0 lead.
Midway through the third quarter, Loguidice and McConville connected for a score, and a successful two-point conversion put Penn up 36-8. Loguidice continued to find receivers in the end zone, as he completed a pass to Jonathan Rosenberg, for the 43-8 lead. With six and a half minutes left in the game, freshman special teams player Greg Hollander intercepted one of Princeton’s passes and returned it 36 yards for the score, giving the Quakers the 50-15 win.
After their big win over Princeton, the Quakers enjoyed a two-week bye before their game with Army. But the peace was short-lived, as Penn dropped three games in a row to fall to 1-4. Up first was Army, a perennial powerhouse in the CSFL. The Quakers put up a good fight, but ended up falling, 16-7. Inconsistent play, turnovers and penalties did Penn in, as the Black Knights took home the win. Penn’s lone score of the game came when Hutchinson scored on a three-yard run, and Stine made the extra point.
The Quakers’ next loss came to Cornell, as the teams faced off for the second time in the season. Since meeting with Penn in the Allegiance Bowl, the Big Red had gone undefeated in the league with a perfect 4-0 record. And with the 21-7 win over Penn, they improved to 5-0. The Quakers’ lone touchdown came when Loguidice connected with D’Angelo with just five minutes left in the game. The 33-yard touchdown catch concluded a scoring drive that lasted only 20 seconds.
And it wouldn’t get any easier for the Quakers. Under heavy rain in Annapolis, Md., Penn fell 21-2 to Navy and had just 104 yards of total offense. The Quakers got their only score of the game on a safety just minutes before halftime.
Despite a tough stretch, Penn looked to end the season with a win, hosting the Princeton Tigers on Franklin Field for Senior Night. And several members of the senior class had strong performances to help the Quakers earn the 35-12 win. Loguidice was the key for the offense yet again. He connected with senior Rob Lombardi for a 31-yard touchdown and the first score of the game. Later, with just four seconds left in the quarter, Loguidice found D’Angelo in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown and the 14-0 lead. Hutchinson was another target for Loguidice, as he caught a six-yard pass to put the Quakers up 21-0. And with two minutes left in the half, Loguidice found McConville in the end zone to give the team a 28-0 lead at the break. McConville ran it in from the three-yard line with just 15 seconds left in the game to assure Penn’s 35-12 win.
Coach Wagner was happy that Penn has continued to dominate the Tigers.
“I think it was great to have the seniors finish their careers still dominating Princeton, and never losing to them in their four years of play at Penn,” he said.
Coach Wagner’s Words
In his 37th season at the helm of the sprint team, Bill Wagner offered his reflections on his team’s 2-4 season.
“This year was a big disappointment because of the high goals that the team and coaches had set all the way back in the winter of last year. This group of seniors went out and did an off-season conditioning program that was probably the best ever. So it was tough when we didn’t win the league. And yet, we played our hearts out in every game. We certainly gave league champions Cornell everything they could handle, and they still won the league.
“It’s the first time in a while, since ’94 or ’95, that we haven’t been .500 or better. I think that this team accomplished a lot of their goals individually, and they really did an awful lot for the school and the community with the activities that they took part in, as well as doing an outstanding job in the classroom.
“The entire coaching staff and I felt it was a pleasure coaching this group of guys this year. It was a good team, and there were a lot of rewarding things that happened this season; it isn’t all measured in wins and losses on the field.”
Throwing Into the History Books
One of the individuals who accomplished several goals was senior co-captain Mike Loguidice. In addition to holding the school’s single season passing record, with 1,286 yards, he also became the school’s career passing yardage leader with 2,693 career yards. He ended the season with 11 touchdowns and 880 passing yards. He was selected first-team All-CSFL as a punter, and earned second-team honors at quarterback.
Eighteen members of the sprint football team were honored by the CSFL at the end of the season. J.T. Hutchinson, Michael D'Angelo, J. Andrew Feigenbaum and Nicholas Dinges were all selected to the All-CSFL first team. Tomas Altamirano, Michael McMullen and Andrew Migdail earned second-team nods, while Peter Stine, Adam Wolfson, Christian Corrigan. David Lopez, Rob Lombardi, Mike Sanders, Marten Basta, Andrew McGregor, Thomas Davis and Matt McConville earned honorable mention. Senior Mike Loguidice was the only two-time selection, as he earned a first-team nod as a punter, and a second-team honor at quarterback.