Taking care of business.
That’s what the Quakers’ sprint football team had in mind Friday night, and that’s exactly what they did with a 42-7 victory over the Post Eagles.
Penn (4-1) wasted no time getting on the board, as junior running back Jake Klaus opened the scoring with a 13-yard rushing touchdown on the Quakers’ first drive of the ballgame.
The run was set up by linebacker Connor Ashton’s interception of Post (0-5) quarterback David Mosley’s pass in the Eagles’ territory.
The following time on the field for the Penn offense yielded the same result, starting with quarterback Eddie Jenkins' 53-yard bomb to wide receiver Aidan Kelly.
The very next play, Jenkins displayed his dual-threat ability, bursting through the hole on his way to a 14-yard rushing touchdown to give the Quakers an early 14-0 lead.
The rest of the first half, however, was far from perfect for the Red and Blue offense, as the team traded punts with Post for the majority of the half.
Penn coach Bill Wagner attributed part of this lackadaisical play to last weekend's bye.
“We needed to get a little bit of the rust out, since we hadn’t played a game for 14 days,” Wagner said.
The offense, despite some of its struggles, garnered some momentum going into the second half, as Jake Klaus found the endzone on a 2-yard run with less than a minute to go in the half.
The last second drive, however, was carried by junior running back Max Jones, who threaded through the Eagles’ defense with a 27-yard run and followed that up with a 24-yard reception on a screen pass.
Jones suffered a fractured ankle in the first game of last season and, as a result, had not been able to bear a solid workload until tonight.
“It was nice to see Max come to light,” Wagner said of the junior running back, who totaled 47 yards and a touchdown, his first of the season, on the ground in just four carries. “He’s a hell of a runner.”
While the offense was trying to find its stride for most of the first half, the Quakers’ defense played as well as it had been playing all season, pitching a shutout in the first half.
The stout Penn defensive unit was tasked with shutting down an option attack led by the scrappy Mosley, who was under center for the Eagles.
“[Mosley] was definitely very elusive, and he could run the ball well,” said freshman linebacker Connor Ashton, who tallied seven tackles and one interception on the night. “It took us a while to get a hang of [Post’s offense], but once we did, we settled in.”
Post’s lone score of the game came off of a fourth quarter 10-yard touchdown reception by freshman wide receiver Golden Borden via the arm of Mosley, who threw for 74 yards and rushed for an additional 42.
The overall dominance of the Penn defense should come as no surprise, as the Quakers entered the game giving up a mere 58 total yards per contest.
The Quakers’ offense, for its part, quickly returned to form by lighting up the scoreboard to start the second half.
One big boost was the special teams play of freshman defensive back Michael Doulong, who returned the second half kickoff to the Penn 46-yard line and, just minutes later, ripped off a 49-yard punt return to set up the offense deep in Post’s territory.
As a result, the Quakers scored 21 points in the first five minutes of the second half, matching their total from the entire first half.
The first of these touchdowns was a Klaus 4-yard run, his third touchdown of the night. Additionally, he finished with 78 yards rushing and 34 yards through the air.
Max Jones completed his stellar night with a 23-yard sprint to the endzone, and senior wide receiver and captain Marcus Jones (64 receiving yards) culminated the scoring for Penn by beating the Post cornerback down the sideline and hauling in a dime from Jenkins.
From there, it was smooth sailing for the Quakers, as most of the second string players were able to log significant minutes on the gridiron. Notably, four different quarterbacks saw action for the Red and Blue.
Wagner expressed the importance of getting everyone playing time.
“It’s great for the spirit of the game,” Wagner said. “It was a good thing we scored those points so that we could get everyone in, and they all did well.”
On Friday, the Red and Blue will face an opponent in Navy that is sure to give them more trouble than did the Eagles.
The winner of that showdown under the Friday night lights in Annapolis, Maryland is guaranteed a spot in the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) Championship on Friday, November 10.
No pressure though.
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