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Sprint football senior tight end gets tackled by Cornell after catching a pass at Franklin Field on Oct. 22.

Credit: Julia Van Lare

Trap games are defined as “typically found sandwiched in between two massive games or near games that are massive for some teams on the schedule, trap games can really trip up a team’s season. They’re typically games that you would expect the better team on paper to win, but they end up getting upset in a game they shouldn’t have lost.”

Penn sprint football’s game against Alderson Broaddus on Friday night seemed to have all of the makings of a trap game. Coming off of a win at home against the previously one-loss Caldwell University, and with an upcoming season finale against the undefeated U.S. Naval Academy, this week’s one-win opponent would have been easy to overlook.

The Quakers did no such thing. Instead, they demonstrated their discipline, fought the Battlers (1-6) as hard as they would have any other team, and emerged with a dominant 38-7 victory. Penn (5-1) opened the scoring early with a safety, as freshman defensive back Adrian Montemayor took down Battlers freshman running back Eric Winbush for a loss in the end zone. Both offenses went a bit quiet after that, until senior running back Laquan McKever went on an 11-yard jaunt to paydirt to extend the Quaker lead.

From that point on, it was the Ben Klaus show. The senior tight end became junior quarterback Andrew Paolini’s go-to target in the latter half of the game, en route to an eight-catch, 86-yard, three-touchdown performance. McKever would net a second touchdown as well to cap off his fifth straight game with over 100 yards on the ground.

And while the offensive firepower made it somewhat unnecessary, Penn’s defensive unit pitched a shutout until the early fourth quarter. The Quaker defense held the Battlers to that one score and allowed only 280 total yards. They also recorded two sacks, forced and recovered a fumble, and picked off junior quarterback Tim Tillman twice, with linebackers Lewis Evans and Cam Janock doing the honors.

The Quakers' matchup next week comes against Navy (6-0). The Midshipmen have defeated their opponents by an average of roughly 41 points (not including a COVID-induced forfeit by Cornell). The Naval Academy has historically had Penn’s number, holding an all-time record of 12-4 over the Quakers and taking the two most recent matchups, but this is one of the better Penn teams we’ve seen in recent years. 

In what should be a stellar battle at Franklin Field next week, the Red and the Blue will seek to continue their five-game win streak and hand the Midshipmen their first loss of the season.