PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania sprint football team will put its title hopes on the line on Friday, traveling to take on Army West Point at 7 p.m. in West Point, N.Y.
With two games left in the season, the Quakers (4-1) look to end the perfect run the Black Knights (5-0) have experienced to this point in the season. The Red and Blue are in control of their own destiny in the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL), as wins over Army West Point and Princeton next week would guarantee at least a share of the conference title.The Quakers have not beaten Army since a 20-13 win at Franklin Field in 2008.
Friday’s contest pits the best defense in the CSFL against one of the best offenses. The Black Knights have yet to give up a point this year, while Penn’s 28.8 points per game rank third in the league.
Army has not allowed net positive rushing yards on the season, opponents mustering just -9.8 yards per game. Although the Red and Blue are third in the conference in rushing defense, they have allowed 113.4 yards per game.
While the Black Knights’ offense is the best in the CSFL (368.8 ypg), Penn stands close behind, moving the ball an average of 344.2 yards per game.
Junior quarterback Mike McCurdy leads the Quaker offense and is first in the league in both total offense (257.6 ypg) and passing yards per game (233.4).
McCurdy (131.3) is third, however, in pass efficiency, with Army’s Keegan West (140.5) and Brady Miller (136.3) holding the top two spots.
In Henry Mason, McCurdy has the best threat out wide in the league. The senior leads the league in scoring (7 TDs), receptions (6.2 rec/gm), and receiving yards (106.0 ypg).
Just behind Mason in scoring is the Black Knights’ Warren Kay, who has scored 7.8 points per game for Army (4 FG, 27 PATs), and Marqus Burrell (6.0 ppg, 5 TDs).
While the Red and Blue boast a standout offense on one side of the ball, the Army defenders have earned as many plaudits on the other. Philip Choi (1st, 9.5 sacks), Arran Rounds (3rd, 6.0), and Curtis Jerzerick (5th, 4.0) pace the CSFL in sacks, with all three also at the top of the conference in tackles for loss, trailing only Navy’s Temple Sloan.
In terms of takeaways, the Black Knights’ Tanner Andrews (4) and Jake Marchillo (3) stand one-two in interceptions, while Penn’s Brandon Lilley (3) and Marcus Jones (3) lead the league in fumbles forced and recovered.
The Quakers (+4) and Black Knights (+13) also boast the best turnover margins in the CSFL.