PHILADELPHIA - Fresh off a bye-week following a thrilling overtime victory over Navy, the University of Pennsylvania sprint football returns to action for the fifth time this year, hosting Chestnut Hill at historic Franklin Field Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.
Penn (4-0) is riding a historic start to the year, having defeated both service academies (Army West Point and Navy) for the first time since 2000 and only the second time ever. The Quakers are the lone undefeated team remaining in the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) with three games remaining.
Inside the Numbers
Led by reigning Co-Offensive MVP and senior captain Mike McCurdy, its no surprise that Penn sits atop the CSFL in passing offense, averaging 251 yards per contest. The Bethesda, Md. native has thrown seven touchdowns this year and averages over 10 yards each pass. The senior had a standout performance on the ground against Navy, totaling 74 yards rushing and adding a touchdown on the ground against the Mids in a pivotal win.
Sophomore Tom Console leads the squad with 36 tackles this fall, averaging nine each contest. Console has corralled two interceptions and recovered one fumble, helping to pad Penn's impressive league-leading turnover margin of +11.
Andrew Sutton continues to lead the CSFL in receiving yards per game with 98.0. The junior has caught 16 passes from McCurdy, totaling 392 yards with two touchdowns. Sophomore Aidan Kelly adds to the Quakers' dynamic receiving corps with impressive stats of his own, boasting 77.8 yards a contest and equaling Sutton's total of 16 catches.
Jake Klaus had a career night the last time out for the Red and Blue, amassing 60 yards for an average of 2.6 a carry. In addition to his return duties against the Mids, sophomore Charles Augustini also notched a career-high in receptions with four for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Penn allows just 12.8 points a game, the third-best mark in the CSFL. The Quakers own 13 interceptions, five more than the second-best team in the league. Robert Diorio leads the way with three picks, followed by Console and Matteo Murgia with two each.
Junior Quinn Karam earned CSFL Defensive Player of the Week honors after the win over Navy, as the Clarks Summit, Pa. native notched 13 tackles against the Mids, the third-highest total of any player in the league this season. Karam sits tied with Sam Smallzman for second on the team with 26 tackles this year.
In regards to the kicking game, punter Matt Caltabiano ranks second in the league, averaging 36.9 yards a kick on 23 punts this season. The junior has notched a 60-yard kick this season, the longest to date in the CSFL, and has pinned his opponents inside the 20-yard line five times. Mario Del Cueto has three field goals in four tries this season, the third-most in the league.
The Series with Chestnut Hill
Friday's contest will mark the first ever battle on the gridiron between the Quakers and Griffins. Chestnut Hill's first season in the CSFL was last fall.
Scouting the Griffins
Chestnut Hill boasts a record of 2-2 on the year, owning wins over Post and Cornell with losses to Army West Point and Navy. The Griffins took down Cornell 29-24 and defeated Post 14-12. Last week, Chestnut Hill lost to Navy 43-0. Offensively, Chestnut Hill averages just over 10 points per game, while allowing over 29. Freshman Michael Marino has started each game for the Griffins, completing almost 47 percent of his passes and averaging 159.8 passing yards each time out. Marino has thrown four touchdowns with three interceptions. Freshman Jonathan Barber leads the rushing corps, averaging 37.8 yards on the ground with one touchdown this season. On the receiving end, Lewis Roman has hauled in 15 catches on the year, averaging 73.7 yards a game. Tony Wilson and Luke Daub both own 25 tackles this season, tops for the Griffins, while Reginald Robinson Jr. has forced two fumbles.