Sprint Football’s League Run Continues
The 2003 Penn sprint football season was highlighted with a 44-0 shutout over Princeton, 19 student-athletes being named to the All-Collegiate Sprint Football League team and senior Jimmer Donapel crushing the all-time program record for total passing yards.
Penn finished the 2003 campaign tied for second with a 3-3 overall record and earned the Ivy crown with a 2-2 mark among Ivy competition. The Red and Blue have now finished in the top-three in the League dating back to 1996, when they won their first CSFL title.
In the first of two meetings between Penn and Navy, the Quakers fell, 10-6, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. With the score tied 0-0 at halftime, the Midshipmen put the first points on the board with 1:12 left in the third quarter on a field goal by junior Matt Clark.
The Quakers fired back, taking a 6-3 lead at 12:41 in the fourth quarter, as quarterback Jimmer Donapel connected with classmate Tim Murphy for an eight-yard completion. Navy blocked James McCarrie's point after attempt and then drove the ball downfield for a touchdown to take the 10-6 lead 51 seconds later. The Mid's Adam Matthews caught a 54-yard pass from quarterback Chris Ashinhurst to give Navy the four-point advantage.
Junior Greg Bagnoli rushed for 50 yards in the game, while classmate Pat Monghan made six catches for 62 yards.
Donapel Surpasses Passing Record
Donapel inched closer to Tommy Frankel’s 20-year old passing record of 1,960 yards. With 130 yards in the season opener, the senior only needed 55 yards to establish a new program record.
Donapel did just that in Penn’s 44-0 victory over Princeton at Franklin Field the following Friday. Donapel’s 12-yard pass to Bagnoli with less than 10 minutes to play in the third quarterbroke Frankel’s previous record of 1,960 yards.
Still Going Strong
After scoring only one touchdown in Penn’s 10-6 season opener loss to Navy, the Quaker’s offense exploded against the Tigers, combining for a total of 405 yards. The Red and Blue rushed for 302 yards on 45 carries, while Donapel passed for 85 yards.
Monaghan ran for two touchdowns on three carries for a total of 57 yards, while on the ground he rushed for 37 yards. Bagnoli rushed for 55 yards on 10 carries and caught one 12-yard pass from Donapel.
Freshmen J.T. Hutchinson and Mike Loguidice both recorded their first collegiate touchdowns. With less than a minute left in the third quarter, Hutchinson carried the ball 15-yards into the end zone for the score.
Hutchinson was the leading rusher in the game, netting 76 yards on eight carries. Loguidice ran the ball 13 yards to score the Quakers final touchdown of the game with nine minutes left in the contest. On defense, senior Rayford June recorded eight tackles and broke up three plays.
In the Quakers next contest they faced tough and undefeated Army. Donapel had another outstanding game as he threw a career-high 197 yards in the team’s 17-14 loss to the Black Knights. Tim Murphy caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Donapel late in the fourth quarter to bring Penn within three. The Quakers proceeded to try an onside kick, but Army was able to scoop the loose ball and run the clock out to preserve the victory. Monaghan and Murphy combined for 159 yards receiving, while Bagnoli led the team in rushing with 64 yards.
The Red and Blue returned to the win column and won their first CSFL game against Cornell, 21-6. Donapel had another strong performance, throwing for 155 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for another score. After several early turnovers, the Quakers found their footing and cruised to a 14-0 lead after 30 minutes of action. The Red and Blue opened the last stanza with a five-yard touchdown run by Bagnoli, giving Penn a 21-0 lead. The Quaker’s defense, led by senior Chris Malachowski and Chris Caputo, held the Big Red scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.
Halloween marked Penn’s last home game of the season as well as senior day for 10 student-athletes. Navy spoiled the Red and Blue’s celebration, shutting out the Quakers, 31-0. Penn’s defense held the Mids to only three points in the first quarter, but Navy turned the game around and scored 28 points in the second and third quarters to remain undefeated on the season. Hutchinson led the Penn offense, rushing for 72 yards on 12 carries, while Monaghan caught six passes for 51 yards. Sophomore Rob DeLaura intercepted a pass from Chris Maloney late in the second quarter, but the Red and Blue were unable to take advantage.
What a Way to Close the Year
In the last game of the season, Penn returned to top form to down Princeton, 37-15. Monaghan only touched the ball five times on the night, but made the most of those chances as he scored three touchdowns to lead the Quakers.
Penn put points on the board with a safety. Five minutes later, Hutchinson scored on a three-yard touchdown run to put the Quakers up 9-0. Monaghan caught his first pass of the game at 9:40 of the second, a six-yard touchdown pass from Donapel as Penn pushed the lead to 16-0. Monaghan scored twice more in the quarter, once on his first rush of the game and again on a 13-yard pass from Loguidice, to help the Quakers take a 30-7 halftime lead.
Penn iced the game in the fourth quarter when Loguidice found Hutchinson on a dump-off pass. Hutchinson raced down the sideline and used a crushing block from Massamba Sinclair to cash in on a 44-yard touchdown.
Monaghan also returned four kicks for 111 total yards. Donapel rushed 11 times for 87 yards to lead all rushers. Goldschmidt led the Quaker’s on defense, making seven solo tackles and assisted on another.
Penn Places 19 on CSFL Teams
Nineteen Quakers earned spots on the all-league team at the end of the 2003 campaign. Senior John Pinto earned a first-team nod for the fourth year, making him the only Penn sprint football player in school history to earn that distinction.
Joining Pinto on the first-team were classmates Donapel and Malachowski along with Monaghan. The Red and Blue had 10 student-athletes make the second-team including Bagnoli, Murphy, Nolan, seniors Matt London (DT), Brian Raphael (DE) and June (DB), juniors Doug Pires (DT), Mike Russo (LB), and sophomores David Derr (TE) and Jordan Cloyd (OL). Hutchinson along with seniors John Goldschmidt (DB) and Chris Caputo (DB), junior Brian Baldwin (OL) and sophomore Ben Drane (OL) and received honorable mention honors.
Sprint Football Hands Out Awards
Senior John Pinto was the recipient of two honors as the Red and Blue handed out their annual team awards. The lineman earned the Lt. Charles E. Schmuker Award (ideal lightweight football player) and the Dr. Paul Mitchell Award for Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman.
On the offensive side, Donapel was given the Tim Ortman Award for Most Outstanding Offensive Back, while Cloyd earned the Dan Doheny Award for Most Outstanding Lineman.
Malachowski earned the Robert J. Mongeluzzi Award. Hutchinson took home the Tom Stillwell Award for Most Outstanding Freshman. The Special Teams Award went to Monaghan. Sophomore Henry Watson and senior Brian Raphael earned the Most Improved Award for their respective performances on offense and defense.
A Fond Farewell to the Senior Class
Fourteen student-athletes played their final game on Franklin Field on Nov. 7 as Caputo, Joe Caulfield, Donapel, Matt Dwyer, Goldschmidt, June, London, Malachowski, Murphy, Pinto, Raphael, Brett Smiley, Nick Vedder and Daniel Weber graduated in May. The players finished their careers with a 16-7 record and a CSFL Championship (2000).