WEST POINT – The University of Pennsylvania sprint football team came up just short in its bid to move into first place in the Collegiate Sprint Football League, falling to Army West Point, 16-13, in double overtime.
The Quakers found themselves trailing the Black Knights, 10-0, entering the fourth quarter and put together a rally to force overtime.
Army had not given up a point in its five previous games, but a Mario del Cueto 35-yard field goal with 8:16 to play in regulation ended that streak and closed the Quakers to within one score. The field goal from del Cueto ended a run of 383:22 of game play without allowing a point for Army dating back to the final game of 2014.
Penn forced Army to punt on the ensuing drive, and a kick catch interference penalty on the Black Knights set Penn up at the Army 32 with 6:26 to play. Six plays later, Mike McCurdy connected with Jack Epstein for a 20-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 4:08 to play.
The Quakers again put together a strong defensive stand, Quinn Karam sacking Army West Point quarterback Brady Miller to force a Black Knights punt with 2:12 remaining.
Starting at the Army West Point 42, McCurdy connected with Henry Mason on two consecutive pass plays to get Penn to the Army West Point 22, but McCurdy was tackled for a loss of nine on a rush to move Penn back to the 32 with 0:04 on the clock. Penn lined up for a 49-yard field goal, but it was no good and resulted in overtime.
Army West Point had the ball first in overtime, and moved to the Penn 6 before settling for a field goal. The Quakers answered with a field goal of their own, unable to take advantage of a roughing the passer penalty which had Penn start in essence from the Army 12.
Penn only was able to gain five yards on the next possession and a 37-yard field goal was short. After gaining eight yards, Army West Point connected on a 34-yard field goal to secure the win.
Neither team put together a remarkable offensive performance, Penn gaining 189 yards and Army West Point finishing with 246.
James Juliano led all players with 13 tackles, including 10 solo stops and three tackles for loss. Quinn Karam had five solo tackles and five assisted stops, finishing the game with 2.5 of Penn’s seven sacks and also recording an interception. Rob Diorio also had an interception for the Red and Blue to go with three pass breakups.
Penn is now 4-2 this season, while Army West Point improves to 6-0. The Quakers finish 2015 on October 30, hosting Princeton on Senior Night at 7 p.m.