On a weekend that saw the varsity football team get shut out and held for under 200 total yards of offense, the sprint football team had an easier time moving the ball, to say the least.
Though Penn was not able to get the win it needed, the Quakers and Army put on an offensive display in their 58-44 duel, exchanging punch for punch over 60 minutes.
The Quakers’ offense was running on all cylinders against the Black Knights, racking up 520 total yards of offense in the losing effort. Penn quarterback Todd Busler was the cornerstone of the team’s efforts, passing for 390 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception, as well as as leading Penn’s rushing attack with 72 yards and another touchdown.
Andrew Donald and Kamil Okroj, had over 100 receiving yards, and wideout Whit Shaw accounted for over 200 total yards both through the air and on kickoff returns. Penn (5-2, 3-2 CSFL) also won the time of possession battle, holding onto the ball and running more offensive plays than Army (5-1, 5-0).
“They were just letting us sit back and pass, and our offensive line did a great job, so once we had that time to sit back and pass our offense really came together,” Shaw said. “We really were doing everything we wanted to do offensively.”
If Penn’s offense was prolific, however, the Black Knight’s could only be described as devastating. Army put up 634 yards of total offense, scoring eight touchdowns. The Black Knights rushed for 223 yards, as well as going a perfect five for five on touchdown opportunities in the red zone.
A critical aspect of Army’s offense was its use of the hurry-up, which successfully kept Penn off balance for much of the game. The Black Knights scored three touchdowns in under five minutes of possession in the second quarter.
“I think it’s a different feel of the game, compared to the rest of the teams in our league,” Shaw explained. “Their no-huddle offense gave us a lot of problems.”
Leading the Penn defense Friday night were junior defensive lineman Anthony DiBella and senior linebacker Matt Cuccinello, who accounted for 14 and 12 total tackles, respectively.
“All of a sudden they would throw something at us we might not have schemed,” DiBella said, “and because they were throwing it at us so quickly it was hard for us to adjust.”
With losses to both Army and Navy, Penn heads into next week’s game at Princeton hoping to clinch the third-place spot in the CSFL.
This will be Penn’s second time facing Princeton this season. The Quakers beat the Tigers 34-0 in their preseason meeting on Sept. 16.