PHILADELPHIA – If Head Coach Bill Wagner wanted a test of his 2016 University Pennsylvania sprint football team before its season opens in earnest next weekend, he surely got one from his Alumni as the 2016 Quakers needed a last-minute touchdown from Marcus Jones to knock off the feisty veterans, 26-21.
Jones reeled in a 17-yard pass from freshman quarterback Edward Jenkins with 0:44 left to stave off the Alumni. The result would not be settled, though, until a 4th-and-10 pass from Danny Reyes intended for Andrew Donald from 20 yards out was incomplete for the Alumni with 0:03 remaining.
A talented Alumni offense which featured former standout wide receivers Whit Shaw and Henry Mason and one of the all-time great quarterbacks in Mike D’Angelo mounted a rally in the second half, taking a 21-20 lead with 12:00 minutes remaining D’Angelo started the rally with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Mason, and Keith Braccia would dive in from one yard out with 12:00 left to play to give the Alumni a lead.
Jenkins had his team moving for a score on the next drive, but fumbled after a 26-yard run. The Varsity defense picked up their rookie QB, forcing the Alumni to punt seven plays later – a punt that took an extremely fortunate bounce for the 2016 team and gave them great field position at the Alumni 40. Four plays later, Jenkins tossed one to the back of the endzone where Jones came out of a scrum with the winning score.
As a team, the Varsity ran for 148 yards – averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Max Jones had six carries for 40 yards while Jenkins ran for 40 yards and a touchdown. Mike McCurdy was 8-for-15 for 109 yards and a touchdown in the air. Marcus Jones finished with six catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, James Juliano was in on nine tackles – including eight solo stops. John Hennigan made seven solo tackles and had an interception.
Senior Chris Colavita had three tackles – including a sack – but his biggest play was a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The 2016 regular season opens on September 17 when the Quakers head to Mansfield. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.