Nothing has been able to stand in the way of the Penn Sprint Football team's journey to the top of the Collegiate Sprint Football League. Not even the periodic torrential downpours that showered Cornell's Schoellkopf Field this past Friday night put a damper on charging Penn, as the Quakers (4-0, 2-0 CSFL) soundly defeated the Big Red (1-2, 0-1), 23-0. For the fourth consecutive game, the Quakers walked away from the gridiron victorious. In fact, for three of those four games the Red and Blue have held their opponents scoreless. The Red and Blue's impressive run puts them neck and neck with Army, the only other undefeated team, for the league lead. Penn shared the title with the Cadets two years ago, but Army edged the Quakers for last year's crown. This Friday, the cream of the CSFL crop, the Quakers and the Cadets, will duke it out at Franklin Field for the league lead, and most likely the title. Penn faces long historical odds--the Red and Blue has won just two out of 43 games against Army. But coming into this season, Penn had beaten Navy just six times out of 55. The Quakers beat the Midshipmen in overtime last week. To stop Army, the Quakers must take control of the game from the get-go, like in Friday's decisive victory. Penn freshman quarterback Jim Donapel, making his first start of the season at Cornell, did not take long to prove his competence. He opened the scoring on a draw on third and 13 from the 50-yard line with 3:05 remaining in the first quarter to give the Red and Blue a 7-0 lead going into the second quarter. Donapel was filling in for senior John Kernan, who broke his jaw a week ago at Navy. Kicker Chris Caputo kept the scoring momentum alive less then a minute into the second half with a 30-yard field goal. Donapel, only three minutes later, connected with senior receiver Scott Moore for a two-yard touchdown pass to put the Red and Blue up 17-0 at the half. Moore, the CSFL Player of the Week last week, broke Clinton Schmidt's school record for career receiving yardage of 760, set in 1996. "We dominated the game," Penn coach Bill Wagner said. "We had 80 offensive plays to Cornell's 46 plays. Plus, we had the ball for 39 minutes to their 23." It was not just the Quakers' offense that proved unstoppable. Junior defenseman Matt Ragsdale had an exceptional game. Most notably, he stopped Cornell junior defensive back Angelo Palmieri when he recovered a fumbled punt on Penn's 43-yard line. This proved to be the Big Red's best attempt to score for the entire evening. In addition to Ragsdale, Penn senior Kevin Manning notched a total of seven tackles, which increased his season total by more than half. Overall, the entire defense gave a stellar performance, something not out of the ordinary for the 2000 Red and Blue squad.Comments powered by Disqus
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