It might not have been the most interesting game to watch, but the result of Friday's sprint football contest between Penn and Princeton at Franklin Field made one fact clear. This is the most successful team in the history of Quakers sprint football. No one was holding their breath. But when the clock ran out on Penn's 21-0 romp over the Tigers, the Red and Blue had every right to call themselves undefeated champions of the Collegiate Sprint Football League. Twice since the league's birth in 1934 Penn has won championships, one in 1996 and the other in 1998. But Penn's never won it outright -- until now. "This is the way to go, going out in style 6-0," Penn senior tailback Chris Wright said. "I can't believe it." Now that it's happened, the Quakers have no choice but to believe it. "This is an accumulation of a lot of guys, not just the guys on the field tonight," Penn coach Bill Wagner said. "The guys who played before them set the ground work. The alumni are the bloodline, and the coaching staff, all of them, have been the heart and soul of this program." At the start of the game Friday evening, the Quakers offense came out flat, failing to score in the first quarter. "Everybody was trying to do too much and win the game all by themselves," Wagner said. "That's not how we win. We've been winning games all season as a team." Although the offense got off to a rocky start, the defense did not. From the start, Penn's defense squashed any of Princeton's hopes for a touchdown. Soon enough, the Penn offense picked up. After Penn freshman quarterback Jim Donapel connected with senior Scott Moore on a diving catch to give the Quakers a first down at the 41-yard line early in the second quarter, Robert Reeves got the call. Off a reverse, Reeves scampered down the sideline, leaving a trail of Princeton players behind him for a 60-yard touchdown run. Freshman kicker Chris Caputo booted the point after to give Penn a 7-0 advantage. With senior captain John Clarke, senior defensive end Kevin Manning, sophomore line backer Steve Willard and senior defensive back Brad Gusich leading the way, the Red and Blue defense forced Princeton to punt on its next three drives to set up Penn's offense on the 50-yard line with three minutes left in the half. With a 44-yard Donapel-Moore connection, Penn found itself at the Princeton six-yard line. Sophomore running back Mark Gannon, who ran for a total of 99 yards on 19 carries Friday night, bullied his way through Princeton's defense for the six-yard run touchdown, and the Quakers went into halftime up 13-0. After an uneventful third quarter, Gannon and Wright combined for two separate runs to give Penn a first-and-nine at the nine-yard line with just over four minutes remaining in the game. Then the Quakers put on one last show. Donapel handed the ball off to Wright, who rolled right and reversed it to Reeves. Reeves then went wide left and maneuvered his way down the sideline, leaving a trail of three dumfounded Tigers lying on the ground wondering what had just blown past them. But there was still one last potential Princeton tackler standing, ready to stop Reeves at all cost. That's when Moore showed up. Moore leveled the Tigers' last resort, sending shock waves through the stadium and Reeves to the end zone. He finished the night with 76 yards rushing and two touchdowns on three carries. Penn senior Joe Smith put the icing on the cake with a two-point conversion, muscling his way across the goal line to give Penn a 21-0 triumph and an exclamation mark for an unforgettable season.Comments powered by Disqus
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