MANSFIELD, Pa. – It was a thrilling 2014 season opener for the University of Pennsylvania sprint football team in more ways than one, as the Quakers scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat Mansfield, 14-13, on Saturday evening.
With the game being televised on ESPN3.com, Penn put together drives of 97 yards and 73 yards in the fourth quarter, both capped off with Mike Beamish touchdown runs, the last coming with just 1:42 remaining in the game.
The senior captain Beamish rushed 24 times for 125 yards, pushing him to fifth all-time in rushing in Quakers history.
Penn (1-0) saw itself down quickly allowing Mansfield to return the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The Red and Blue would find themselves down, 13-0, heading into the final quarter.
Despite the 13-point deficit and three turnovers, Penn stayed resilient and was able to keep close to the Mountaineers (0-1) thanks to a defense led by sophomore Robert Diorio, freshman Quinn Karam, and sophomore Chris Colavita – all collecting eight tackles. The Red and Blue also forced a turnover with junior Ed Cai hauling in an interception off a deflected pass.
Sophomore quarterback Mike McCurdy completed 20-of-33 passes for 191 yards, including connecting four times with junior Henry Mason for 71 yards.
With the victory, Penn has now won all seven meetings against Mansfield. The Quakers also snapped their two-game season opener losing streak.
Penn returns to action on Friday, Sept. 26, in its home opener against Cornell. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Franklin Field.