PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania sprint football team and alumni were greeted to a beautiful afternoon in historic Franklin Field for the annual alumni game, which saw the current Quakers down the former greats, 31-14.
In a break from tradition, players from both the current team and alumni donned only the split ‘P’ helmets and blue and white jerseys, instead of the full assortment of pads. In addition, the teams played three quarters, rather than the traditional four.
Regardless of the modifications, the annual alumni game was as competitive as ever, entertaining the crowd thatincluded the Penn marching band and cheerleaders.
On the third play of the game, freshman Quinn Karam leaped for an interception and set up the Quakers deep in Alumni territory. However, a 36-yard field goal sailed wide left and the game remained scoreless.
The Alumni struck first when former quarterback Michael D'Angelo, C’08, led the former sprint footballers to a score on six plays that covered 60 yards. Electing to go for two-points, the Alumni converted, making it, 8-0.
The current Quakers scored for the first time at the end of the first quarter on a 19-yard pass from freshman Guiseppe Bevacqua to junior Henry Mason. Their two-point attempt failed, leaving the Alumni leading 8-6 after the first.
Penn would take a 14-8 lead on a 45-yard pass and catch from sophomore Mike McCurdy to juniorJack Epstein, with McCurdy finding senior Mike Beamish in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Later in the second quarter, junior Stu Helgeson wrestled away an Alumni pass, intercepting the ball and returning it 33 yards for a touchdown making it, 21-8, after the extra point.
Early in the third quarter Epstein hauled in his second touchdown reception of the game, this time from Bevacqua from 28 yards out, pushing the lead to 28-8.
The Alumni answered the Quaker touchdown scoring once more, when former quarterback Todd Busler, C’11, found an open receiver in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown pass, making it 28-14 with 12:18 remaining, after a failed two-point conversion.
That would be the end of the scoring for the Alumni, as Penn’s defense held the former Red and Blue players in check for the remainder of the game.
The 2014 team would take a 31-14 lead later in the quarter on a booming 39-yard field goal by sophomore Patrick Boyle.
With the victory today, the current Quakers have now dispatched of the Alumni team for the fourth time in the last five years.
Following the game, all Penn sprint football players, family and friends gathered at The Inn at Penn to celebrate the efforts of the Coach’s Endowment Campaign, spearheaded by longtime coach Bill Wagner, who is in his 45th season at the helm of the Penn sprint football team.
The Quakers officially open the 2014 campaign at Mansfield on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m., with the home opener set for Sept. 27 against Ivy League rival Cornell at 7 p.m. in Franklin Field.