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Sprint Football vs. Cornell September 27 2014 Credit: Ilana Wurman , Ilana Wurman, Ilana Wurman

For 13 minutes, Penn sprint football and Post were merely playing an uneventful field position battle.

However, that suddenly shifted when the Quakers’ senior star running back Mike Beamish was taken out of the game due to a bone-crushing hit by Post’s freshman corner Trevor Patterson with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter.

Patterson would be ejected for targeting and the Red and Blue would respond with a touchdown fueled by the emotion of seeing their captain go down. But ultimately, Post would emerge on top 28-21 in a high-energy contest between the two teams .

“We were just fired up ... We wanted to get this win for him,” sophomore defensive back Chris Colavita said in reference to the atmosphere on the sideline after Beamish was taken out.

Beamish would return to the game briefly but would finish the game with negative two rushing yards before being taken out for good.

On the other sideline, Post (2-2) was fired up as well. Despite being ejected, Patterson was receiving congratulatory handshakes as the whole team started jumping with excitement.

Just one minute later, junior wide receiver Jack Epstein hauled in a 50-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Mike McCurdy to put Penn up 7-0. However, Post came back with a long touchdown of their own. Sophomore quarterback Greg Volpe threw an 81-yard bomb to junior wide receiver Jay’Len Mahan to even the score.

McCurdy led the Red and Blue offense back onto the field hungry to regain the lead. However, Penn lost any momentum when Post junior defensive back T.J. Piland hauled in an interception with 11:15 remaining in the half.

Colavita and the defense kept Penn’s spirits up with consistent pressure. But unfortunately for the Red and Blue, mistakes allowed Post multiple chances to capitalize.

“The bottom line was we had too many turnovers ... and we just can’t do that,” coach Bill Wagner said.

Wagner also commented on the defense, which let up a couple crushing big plays that led to Eagle touchdowns, saying, “We gotta start tackling better. That’s all.”

Down 21-7 with seven minutes remaining in the third, the Quakers’ offense finally found their way into the red zone . Junior wide receiver Henry Mason was McCurdy’s man all drive. Well over six feet tall, Mason did a great job of getting separation and taking advantage of his height to exploit the shorter Eagles defensive backs. It was Mason who caught McCurdy’s second touchdown pass of the night on an 11-yard score, cutting the Post lead to seven.

After a Post rushing touchdown that made the score 28-14, it was again Colavita who gave Penn a spark after he returned the kickoff to midfield. McCurdy, however, would again make a costly decision when he threw his third pick of the night two plays later.

Still Penn wasn’t ready to give up. After another tackle for loss by Colavita, Penn got the ball back with four minutes left. This time, McCurdy found freshman receiver Andrew Sutton for six as Penn cut the deficit in half.

In the end, Penn’s comeback hopes would fade when McCurdy fumbled with 1:32 remaining.

“I couldn’t protect the ball. So, I gotta do a better job of that next week,” McCurdy said of his four turnovers. He took all the blame and refused to pin the absence of Beamish or the play of his lineman for his miscues.

Now the Quakers will need to focus on a tough home matchup with Army this Friday. The Red and Blue hope to play spoiler to the Black Knights in what will be the senior class’ final home game.

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