The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Sprint football takes on Navy Friday night. Penn:14 Whitman Shaw Navy: 42 Stephen Meidus? Credit: Alex Ball

A 65-yard touchdown on the first play of the game, a fake punt and a fumble recovery in the opponent’s endzone.

Those plays are not exactly typical of every football game, but for one day, they were par for the course on Franklin Field.

On Saturday, Penn’s sprint football team took on the program’s alumni in their annual pigskin tradition.

The result ended in a 33-14 victory for the young guys, but the elders kept up their end of the bargain and provided quite a show, especially toward the end.

From the start, however, it looked like it was going to be a long game — even longer than the two 45-minute halves might suggest.

Sophomore receiver Whit Shaw caught a quick pass from quarterback Todd Busler and went 65 yards on a Reggie Bush-esque run, reversing the field from right to left and leaving some of his predecessors in the dust.

“We try to have fun with it every year, especially coming out early, the alumni aren’t really ready for anything,” Shaw said, adding with a smile, “They’re a little slow out there.”

The current sprint football squad would control the rest of the half, heading into the locker room with a healthy margin. However, in the second half, the alumni found some new life.

On fourth down, the alumni pulled out some trickery, faking a punt and gaining 27 yards for a first down — although they eventually turned it over on downs near the goal line.

However, a fumble on the ensuing drive allowed Michael McMullen, a 2010 College graduate, to put the alumni on the scoreboard when he recovered the ball in the endzone.

“I love being on the alumni side; it’s like really no stress,” McMullen said. “Everyone’s really chill on the sideline, and we just kind of throw in blitzes as we want.”

The alumni would score once again, prompting their entire squad to storm the field and celebrate in the endzone — a fitting scene for what was a fun game.

Which is not to say that there was nothing for coach Bill Wagner to take away after the game. Wagner noted that the team’s kicking game still needs improvement — there were a few missed field goals as well as a missed extra point — and reiterated the need for the offensive line to continue to improve.

But in the end, the event, which wrapped up with a reception to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Penn’s undefeated championship team in 2000, came down to fun.

“It’s good to beat the old guys,” Shaw said.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.