Penn Sports Network Live Video
PHILADELPHIA - Coming off a 34-0 victory against Princeton in week one, sprint football (1-0) will welcome Navy (1-0) to Franklin Field this Friday for a 7 p.m. showdown. Last season, Penn defeated Navy 24-14 in the Allegiance Bowl. That victory propelled the Quakers to their share of the CSFL Championship in 2010. With Navy as a traditional power in the CSFL, the game with Navy will get no easier this season. Fans unable to make the trek to Franklin Field this weekend can follow the game with live video via the Penn Sports Network or by Live Stats.
In week one of the CSFL season, sprint football hit the ground running as it rolled over Princeton, 34-0 in its non-conference matchup with the Tigers. Penn held the Tigers to just 173 yards of total offense in the first week of the season, including negative one yard on the ground. On the offensive side of the ball, the Quakers churned out 436 total yards, scoring five touchdowns in the opening weekend of play.
The 436 yards of offense through one week puts Penn as the second most prolific offense in the league. Only Army, which had just one more total yard, outgained the Quakers in the opening weekend of games. The Quakers produced 128 yards through the passing game in week one, but the real damage was done on the ground game as Penn churned out 308 yards rushing.
For the passing game, quarterback Todd Busler, was a very efficient 10 of 14 passing for all of the passing yards. Busler also threw for three touchdowns on the night. He is currently fifth in the CSFL in passing yardage and tied for the league lead in touchdown passes after the first week. Freshman Keith Braccia also saw limited action under center late in the game.
Busler used an arsenal of weapons in his week one performance as six different players caught passes. Leading the group of receivers in week one was Andrew Donald, who hauled in four catches for 61 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Whit Shaw was the only other receiver to bring down more than one pass from Busler. He caught two balls for 12 yards and one touchdown. Kamil Okroj, Mathew Wetherell, Freddy Ordonez, and Danny Reyes each caught a pass last week.
The rushing game is really what made the Quakers offense go last week. Leading the way was Mike Beamish, who ran for 139 yards on just eight carries, an average of 17.4 yards per rush. Helping his average out significantly was a 79-yard run from scrimmage that went for his first touchdown of the season. Fellow freshmen running backs Jeff Grimes and Bronson Carpenter each carried the ball nine times against Princeton, going for 44 and 42 yards rushing respectively. Not only was Busler good through the air, he also ran for 46 yards on six carries and one touchdown. His most spectacular run of the night came on a 26 yard keeper that set up one of the Penn scoring drives.
After allowing just 173 yards of total offense to Princeton, Penn will bring in the top-rated defense to Friday's game. Most impressive out of the defensive effort in week one was the fact that the Quakers held the Tigers' offense to just negative one yard rushing.
Defensively, Penn was led by its two captains. Linebacker Matt Cuccinello was named CSFL Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Princeton. He made 10 tackles, nine solo, and recorded five solo tackles for loss, which included two and a half sacks. Fellow captain Anthony DiBella made eight solo tackles and assisted on another, while also recording two solo tackles for loss. In total, Penn made 18 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including six sacks.
For Navy, the Midshipmen will bring in the league's third ranked offense and sixth ranked defense. Erik Erlandson was 12 of 21 for 165 yards in his season debut with two touchdowns. Penn's rush defense will certainly get a stiff test this week as the league's leading rusher, David Williams, will look for a similar performance to what he did in week one. In week one, Williams carried a huge workload as he handled 23 carries and ran for 142 yards as he and Penn's Beamish were the only two players to go over 100 yards rushing in the first week of the season.
Defensively, the Midshipmen had 13 players with more than one tackle in the season opener. Navy also had 10 tackles for loss, including one sack, and recovered two fumbles on the day. Will Parker led the defense with eight total tackles, six of which were solo.
Last week, Navy defeated Army, 38-24 in the Allegiance Bowl. The Midshipmen jumped out to the 21-7 lead at half and outscored Army in three of the four quarters, while each side scored seven in the third quarter.
Last season, Penn defeated Navy on the strength on two fourth quarter touchdowns. Trailing 14-10 heading into the final quarter, Busler connected with Shaw for an 83 touchdown reception, while Cuccinello recovered a fumble in the end zone to give the Quakers a lead they would not relinquish. In that game, Busler threw for 167 total yards and Shaw had four catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.
The game with Navy will also serve as the first CSFL League game for sprint football in the 2011 season. Last week with Princeton was the non-conference game between the two rival schools. Princeton and Penn will play their official league game in the final week of the 2011 season.