Tough Defense Helps Sprint to 3-3 Overall Season
Jan. 9, 2004
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.
In the first of two meetings between Penn and Navy this season, 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 McCaddie'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 receiving. Donapel inched closer to Tommy Frankel's 20-year old passing record of 1,960 yards. With 130 yards in the game, 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 quarter, broke Frankel's previous record of 1,960 yards.
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.
Junior Pat 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 Logudice 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. Logudice 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 a tough-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.
Neither team was able to put points on the board in the first quarter, but Army was able to find the end zone in the second stanza. Clay Bib rushed for a 1-yard touchdown and Kurt Cheeseman's extra-point attempt was good to give Army a 7-0 advantage heading to the locker rooms at halftime.
The Black Knights took a 14-0 lead on a 20-yard rushing touchdown by Fabio Castro to open the third quarter. Penn answered back when Donapel threw a touchdown pass to sophomore David Derr for the Quaker's first points of the game. Army added to their lead when Cheeseman connected on a 34-yard field goal attempt with 12:21 left in the game.
Tim Murphy caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Donapel late in fourth quarter to bring Penn within three. The Quakers proceeded to try an onside kick, but Bibb was able to scoop the loose ball up. The Black Knights ran the clock out to preserve the victory.
Murphy and Monaghan combined for 159 yards receiving, while Bagnoli led the team in rushing with 64 yards. Senior John Goldschmidt blocked a 21-yard field goal attempt by Cheeseman with less than two minutes left in the game to prevent the Black Knights from scoring.
Senior Chris Caputo led the Quakers on defense with four solo tackles and assisted on five. Junior Mike Russo made five solo tackles and assisted on another.
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. Donapel rushed from the 1-yardline to put the Red and Blue on the board. Junior Evan Nolan nailed the extra-point attempt allowing the Quakers to take a 7-0 lead with 3:33 remaining in the first quarter. Cornell had a chance to put points on the board first, but a field goal attempt by Chris Garnic fell just short of the goal post.
In the opening minutes of the second quarter, Murphy ran 33-yards to put the Quakers on top 13-0. Nolan's extra-point attempt sailed through the goal post for the 14-0 advantage. 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 the late in the fourth quarter. After a combination of passes from Nick LiVigne to John Falzone and Ryan Vaugh, Falzone rushed for a 12-yard touchdown to prevent the shutout. Jason Zittel's extra-point attempt failed.
Halloween was Penn's last home game of the season and 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.
The Mids struck first as Eric Shuey connected on a 38-yard field-goal attempt with 9:49 to go in the first quarter. Nolan then missed a 31-yard field-goal attempt to start the second quarter.
The Midshipmen struck again when Jamie Glines ran in a nine-yard touchdown to put Navy up 10-0 with 3:06 left in the half. Navy took over with just under two minutes to go in the first half after Penn was called for pass interference, Chris Ashinhurst found Joel Gow with a 29-yard bomb to move the Mids into Quaker territory. Randall Leslie rushed for another 14 yards to put Navy in the red zone. An eight-yard run by Ashinhurst and a nine-yard rush by Glines put the Mids on the two-yardline, setting up Trevor Garabedian-Prophet who took the ball into the end zone for a 17-0 lead with 36 seconds left in the half.
Navy opened the second stanza with another score, as Leslie rushed for a 60-yard touchdown to put the Mids up 24-0. On the Mids' second drive of the third quarter, Navy took over on its own 10-yardline after Penn turned the ball over on downs. The Mids charged 90 yards up the field to take a 31-0 margin as Glines added his second touchdown of the night.
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.
In the last game of the season Penn returned to top form to top 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 first after the Tigers elected to take a safety rather than a risk a punt out of their own end zone midway through the first quarter. 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. Princeton responded when quarterback Dennis Bakke found receiver Cleland Welton sliding for the catch in the end zone.
The Tigers could not keep the momentum however, as 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. Princeton ran an efficient 75-yard drive on the next possession, ending with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Bakke to receiver Adam Farren. They recover and onsides kick, but were unable to convert as the Quakers cushion was too great.
Monaghan also returned four kicks for 111 total yards. Donapel rushed 11 times for 87 yards to lead all rushers. Goldschmidt lead the Quaker's on defense, making seven solo tackles and assisted on another.
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 Jimmer Donapel (QB) and Chris Malachowski (LB) and junior Par Monaghan (WR). The Red and Blue had 10 student-athletes make the second-team including junior running back Greg Bagnoli, seniors Tim Murphy (WR), Matt London (DT), Brian Raphael (DE) and Rayford June (DB) and juniors Doug Pires (DT), Mike Russo (LB), Evan Nolan (PK) and sophomores David Derr (TE) and Jordan Cloyd (OL).
While seniors John Goldschmidt (DB) and Chris Caputo (DB), junior Brian Baldwin (OL), sophomore Ben Drane (OL) and freshman J.T. Hutchinson (RB) received honorable mention honors.
Penn finished the 2003 campaign with a 3-3 overall record and 2-2 in the League. The Red and Blue regained the trophy for a second-straight year as the best Ivy League team in the conference. Although 10 student-athletes will graduate from the team in May, a core of sprint football players, led by captains Doug Pires, Mike Russo, Greg Bagnoli and Pat Monaghan, will return with the desire to win and the heart to play football.