Bill Wagner is coaching his 50th and final season for Penn sprint football. It seems fitting, then, that his team scored 50 points in the first half on Saturday afternoon.
Riding a strong running game and a stifling defense, the Quakers dominated Post, 57-7, for their second straight win and their fourth straight win against the Eagles. The Red and Blue (2-1) entered the game having a 113-37 advantage over Post (0-3) in their last three contests, and this time marked no exception.
Penn took just 51 seconds to get on the board on a quarterback sneak from senior Eddie Jenkins. After forcing a Post three and out on its first possession, the Quakers scored again as Jenkins found sophomore running back Laquan McKever for a 15-yard score. On the ensuing possession, Penn forced a Post fumble, and McKever punched in another score to extend the Penn lead to 21-0.
McKever was able to find success early on thanks to a dominant offensive line and a dual-threat quarterback, and he finished the day with three total touchdowns.
“I think our offensive line does a really great job with pretty much protecting every type of run we do. We do inside zone and outside zone, and earlier today, specifically, I think the outside was definitely working well for me,” McKever said.
In the second quarter, Penn continued to pile on points. McKever scored on a one-yard run with 12:45 left in the half, while Jenkins added two more rushing touchdowns and sophomore running back Sam Mintz found paydirt on a 10-yard run. Penn also forced a Post safety, and the Quakers entered the half with a 50-0 lead. This marked their second straight game with a halftime lead of at least 47 points.
McKever was impressed with the defense's performance, and he pointed out that this week was not much different from last week's dominant performance at Cornell.
“We have a great defense this year, and it showed up against Cornell as well. We didn’t let Cornell score until the fourth quarter, in which they only scored one touchdown. I definitely think our defense has been doing really well this year,” McKever said.
In the second half, Post was able to find more room to operate on offense. Constant back and forth between the Quakers and Eagles led to some exciting play. Overall, the teams tied in points in the second half, with one touchdown each.
Overall, the Quakers were dominant on both sides of the football, easily out gaining the Eagles both on the ground and in the air. Every facet of the game showed statistical dominance on the part of the Quakers.
On the defensive side of the ball, Penn proved to be equally impressive. The Red and Blue held the Eagles offense to just one touchdown — late in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand — and scored points of their own with a safety. Penn also had several takeaways granting the offense short fields that helped put the game out of reach early.
“I think that our offense has a lot of confidence," McKever said. “We have a lot of confidence in our O-line, pass game, and in our run game. In general, as a team, we have a bunch of confidence. I definitely think that keeping this confidence up and believing that we are one of the best teams in the League is going to be what drives to be able to finish out the season and hopefully beat Navy, which would give us a bid to the championship."
After the commanding win, the Quakers look ahead to next weekend’s matchup, where they will take on Chestnut Hill at Franklin Field. They will try to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss, when they nearly recovered from a 17-point deficit.
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