It’s always nice to go out on top, and Penn sprint football’s seniors did it in convincing fashion.
The Quakers were able take apart an undermanned Princeton squad on Senior Night and obliterate the Tigers, 72-29, to win the Ivy League title in their seniors’ final game at Franklin Field.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and [Senior Night] is always exciting,” coach Bill Wagner said. “It’s a bittersweet ending for a lot of these guys.”
Princeton (0-6) may have come into the game without a win on the season, but they were fast out of the gates.
In fact, after receiving the football to start the game, Princeton was able to take advantage of a muffed punt and pounded the ball into the end zone for their first rushing touchdown of the season.
However, Penn (3-3) responded in impressive fashion. The Quakers moved down the field with a 40-yard connection from freshman quarterback Mike McCurdy to senior wide receiver Freddy Ordonez and punched the ball in with a one-yard touchdown rush from sophomore running back Joe Raso.
Following their score, the Red and Blue’s defense became increasingly aggressive. Sophomore defensive end Ed Cai forced a fumble by Princeton quarterback Chad Cowden which was recovered by the Quakers on Princeton’s three-yard line.
A short touchdown run by Mike Beamish put the Quakers up 14-6 and opened up an onslaught by the Penn offense.
The Quakers went on to score three more unanswered touchdowns, putting the Quakers up 35-6 in the middle of the second quarter and all but ensuring a Penn victory way before the half.
The Penn offense was ignited by McCurdy, who completed his first seven passes of the game. Even Penn’s cheerleaders, who do push-ups for each point the Quakers score, had trouble keeping up with the Red and Blue.
Leading 51-14 at the half, the Quakers were able to take their foot off the gas pedal. With the game securely in hand, coach Wagner opted to give everybody on the roster playing time.
“Guys who broke their backside all week on our second team got a chance to play,” coach Wagner said. “That made it a pleasant night.”
Princeton, despite being out-manned and outmatched, did not go down without a fight. The Tigers fought through a litany of injuries and managed to score a season-high 29 points in the contest.
But with 8:37 left in the fourth quarter, injuries had simply taken too great a toll on the Tigers, and the game had to be called due to Princeton’s lack of healthy personnel.
In the end, the night belonged to the Penn seniors.
“Playing in a place like Franklin Field for four years has been such an honor,” senior receiver Andrew Donald said.
“As a freshman, you never thought would get to this point,” senior defensive back Nick Rush added.
“I’ve enjoyed all four years.”
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