October 29, 2001

Sprints Fall to Penn, 41-3

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The Penn sprint football team (3-1, 1-1 CSFL) ensured there would be no fourth quarter thriller this time around, trouncing Cornell, 41-3.

While the Red offense found a number of gears it hadn’t reached earlier in the season, it continued to make mistakes which sealed its fate. For the first time this season, Cornell (2-3, 1-2 CSFL) outgained its opponent in yards, 219-208, but time and again could not move from the red zone to the end zone.

“We felt like we could beat that team,” sophomore Dean Coccaro said. “But as soon as we got off the bus, they jumped out in front, and that set the tone. After that, our intensity wasn’t the same.”

After only one quarter, Mark Gannon carried the Quakers to a 21-0 lead on three short touchdown runs. He finished with 102 yards and four touchdowns. Penn capitalized on each one of the Red’s four turnovers. Four of its five scoring possessions started inside the Cornell 35-yard line.

“We weren’t really ready to go,” junior defensive back Greg Drakos admitted. “We had an easy game against Princeton [a 27-6 win] and shortened practices this week. We didn’t take this game seriously enough.”

Early in second quarter, Penn scored again on a 12-yard quarterback keeper. The Red finally got on the board late in the first half when freshman Chris Garnic kicked a 36-yard field goal, but in the third quarter, junior quarterback Charlie Tam fumbled the ball as he was hit, and the Penn defense recorded the team’s fifth touchdown of the night.

“We were definitely able to move the ball, but we just kept stalling in the red zone,” Coccaro noted. “If our passing game would come around, we would be a force to be reckoned with.”

Senior tri-captain Sunil Gupta recorded 52 yards through the air while Coccaro continued his impressive season with 124 yards on the ground.

“Our offensive line is coming around and picking up its blocking assignments,” Coaccaro added. “And [senior] Brian Allen is a great fullback and a great blocker.”

Cornell hopes to solve its scoring woes during practice this week, in preparation for its season finale against Army at Schoellkopf Field.

Archived article by Sumeet Sarin