There is no place like home.
On the heels of last week's 54-21 win over Mansfield, Penn looks to build off its momentum Friday night as it welcomes Cornell — the only other Ivy League team in the Collegiate Sprint Football League — to Franklin Field for its home opener.
The Quakers (1-0, 1-0 South) clicked on all cylinders last week offensively behind junior quarterback Eddie Jenkins, who put up gaudy statistics, accounting for five touchdowns through the air and one on the ground. His favorite target was senior wide receiver Aidan Kelly, who caught three passes for eighty-three yards and a touchdown.
Penn's ground game was equally as impressive as senior running back Jake Klaus ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, pitching in to a Penn offense that gained 569 total yards. Additionally, freshman wide receiver Sam Mintz, an alumni game standout, scored his first career touchdown late in the second half. The Quakers moved the chains thirty times, and were 60 percent on third down conversions compared to Mansfield's 11 percent conversion rate.
However, the game did not always have the makings of a blowout.
Mansfield (0-1, 0-1 South) started off strong after freshman Quinn Henry retuned the opening kickoff for a 93-yard touchdown. Jenkins and the Quaker offense answered immediately, capping off the drive with a four-yard Jenkins touchdown run, and kept the gas running, taking a 34-21 lead into the locker room.
After giving up two touchdowns in the first half, Penn’s defense will look to emulate its success from the second half, when the Quakers kept Mansfield scoreless.
In order to do that, Penn will have to stop Cornell (1-0, 0-0 North) quarterback Connor Ostrander, who torched Caldwell for two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Cornell defeated Caldwell convincingly, taking a 28-11 victory on the road.
Though last years game was not very close, Cornell has played Penn tough in recent years, most notably in 2016, when the Quakers came from behind in a 27-20 dramatic double-overtime victory to clinch that season's CSFL championship.
Penn hopes to continue its success at home, with eyes set on the CSFL standings after losing to Army in the inaugural championship game last season. This weekend’s contest against Cornell could be a good gauge of Penn’s propositions for the season.