With a strong alumni game, a government shutdown and the mercy rule, Penn sprint football had an interesting 2013 to say the least. The Quakers played a solid schedule in the Collegiate Sprint Football League, winning both of their Ivy games while falling against both service academies. Let’s take a look at the top moments from last fall.
1. Senior Night massacre: Penn came into a matchup with Princeton after losing to Post a week before by 31 points. However, the Quakers turned the tables in a six-day span, beating down rival Princeton on Senior Night, 72-29. It got bad enough that the Tigers had to call the game due to both the score and their shorthanded roster. Then-freshman Mike McCurdy threw for 351 yards on just 17 passes, contributing four touchdowns, while then-junior Mike Beamish ran for three TDs. Needless to say, it was a great way to close out the Red and Blue’s home slate.
2. Overtime unnecessary: The Quakers went to six overtimes against Cornell in 2012, but not a single second of extra time was needed last season. Then-sophomore Joe Raso ran in two touchdowns from short yardage while Beamish had a strong game, rushing for 190 yards. Penn out-gained the Big Red significantly, putting together 516 yards overall on the evening.
It was also a strong defensive effort by Penn, which picked up five sacks. Then-sophomore Ed Cai contributed three of those quarterback takedowns.
3. Airing it out: After losing their opening game, the Red and Blue went to the air to pick up a solid win against Mansfield at Franklin Field. McCurdy teamed with the starting quarterback from the 2012 campaign, Keith Braccia, to throw for five touchdowns, taking down the Mountaineers, 42-14.
For a while, it looked like Penn might fall for the second straight week, as the Quakers were down, 14-7, at the half. However, they found a way to score 35 points in the second half while shutting out the Mountaineers. The Red and Blue finished the game with 294 yards passing compared to just 87 from Mansfield.
4. Cancelled?: The Quakers were preparing for a game at Navy in early October as if it were actually going to happen.
“As far as we’re concerned, we have a game on Friday,” freshman quarterback Mike McCurdy said at the time. “We have to be prepared, be in the right mindset.”
But the Department of Defense announced that all Navy sporting events — other than the Navy-Air Force football game — would be cancelled due to the government shutdown at the time.
Navy’s press release at the time said that the game would be “rescheduled as the calendar allowed.” As a result, Penn added a week to its schedule, heading to Annapolis in early November for its final game of the season. The Quakers ultimately lost, 34-14.
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