Sprint Football Faces Cornell in Home Opener

PHILADELPHIA – After a fourth quarter comeback victory in week one, the University of Pennsylvania sprint football team will host Cornell on Friday evening in the Quakers home opener at historic Franklin Field.

Coming off a thrilling season opener, that saw the Quakers score two fourth quarter touchdowns – the last with 1:42 remaining in the game, and play in a game that was broadcast on ESPN3.com, Penn (1-0) is looking for its first 2-0 start since 2010.

Cornell (1-0) began its season with a dominant ground game, rushing for 204 yards in a 28-7 win over Franklin Pierce in Ithaca, N.Y. last Friday.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., with the game available on the Ivy League Digital Network.


SCOUTING CORNELL: Putting up 321 yards of offense in its first game against Franklin Pierce, Cornell finished the game with 204 yards rushing and 117 yards passing. On the ground and in the air, the Big Red were led by quarterback Rob Pannullo. The sophomore signal caller rushed 15 times for 94 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 19-of-30 passes, including two touchdowns. Junior running back Benjamin Herrera also rushed 10 times for 64 yards, and sophomore back Kevin Nathanson and junior receiver Trevor Marrero caught touchdown passes.

THE SERIES WITH CORNELL: The Big Red lead the overall series against Penn, 46-35, with the Quakers holding a 6-4 advantage over the last 10 years. Penn won last year’s meeting with Cornell in Ithaca, 28-14, where Mike Beamish rushed for 190 yards and Mike McCurdy completed 15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Two seasons ago the Quakers and Big Red played into six overtimes before Cornell outlasted the Red and Blue, 42-34.

PENN HOME OPENERS (PAST FIVE YEARS): The Quakers have put together and impressive stretch of home openers in recent memory, with the last five seeing Penn outscore opponents 191-48. The last time the Red and Blue have lost a home opener at Franklin Field was 2006, in a 16-7 defeat against Army.
2013 - Penn def. Mansfield, 42-14
2012 - Penn def. Mansfield, 16-13
2011 - Penn def. Princeton, 34-0
2010 - Penn def. Post, 42-14
2009 - Penn def. Princeton, 57-7

BEAMISH RUNS INTO THE TOP FIVE: Going into the game against Mansfield, senior running back Mike Beamish had collected 1,961 yards rushing in three years. After carrying the ball 24 times for 125 yards, he moves into fifth-place in Penn sprint football’s all-time top five rushers, with 2,086 yards, surpassing Tom Morrin (1990-93). Beamish is now just six yards away from moving into solo fourth and passing Steve Galetta (2,091 yards, 1975-78).

TACKLING THE OPPOSITION: Penn recorded 67 tackles in game one, and was led by sophomore Rob Diorio, freshman Quinn Karam, and sophomore Chris Colavita – each collecting eight tackles. Sophomore nose tackle Arthur D’Angelo recorded seven tackles, including three sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Junior Ed Cai contributed to the effort with an interception and a key sack late in the game. He also had five tackles, including two for a loss.

2014 PENN SPRINT FOOTBALL CAPTAINS: The Quakers have elected four captains this season. Two seniors, running back Mike Beamish and defensive back Keith Braccia, and two sophomores quarterback Mike McCurdy and Robert Diorio.