After a dominant 33-0 win in the alumni game, which ultimately amounts to a season warm-up, the lightweight football team is primed to sprint into the season. They open up on the road tonight at 7 p.m. in Ithaca, N.Y., against Ivy foe Cornell.
If the alumni game is any indication, the Quakers may often look to junior running back Mike Bagnoli who led the way with 106 rushing yards and a touchdown. Last season he led the Quakers with 429 rushing yards on the season, including 52 yards to go with 16 receiving yards against Cornell.
The Quakers beat the Big Red 17-3 last year in what was also season opener. In fact, Penn has opened against Cornell every year since 2005, which was the last year they beat the Big Red before last season. In 85 all-time contests against Cornell, Penn trails 50-35. The conference rivals play twice every season because of the limited number of schools that carry teams in the Collegiate Sprint Football League.
The 2008 matchup started slowly as the first half ended scoreless. Penn broke through with a field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter and followed up with a 70-yard touchdown drive.
The Quakers' defense held its ground and stopped the Big Red from coming back. Current junior linebacker Gage O'Connell led the team with eight tackles, while current seniors John Curran and Michael McMullen recorded six apiece.
Departed from last year's squad is quarterback Michael D'Angelo, who had started since his freshman year. A two-time first team All-CSFL selection, D'Angelo completed 100 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns while running for 122 yards and five more scores on the season.
Sophomore Todd Busler replaces him at quarterback. He threw for 117 yards against the alumni, including a 34-yard pass to senior captain Clarke Armatis. Busler saw action in six games at quarterback last season and finished the year with 29 passing yards.
Coach Bill Wagner is entering his 40th season at the helm.Comments powered by Disqus
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