After a dominating victory against Princeton for the second time this year, the sprint football squad faces its most daunting task of 2003 when it attempts to defeat Ivy rival Penn tonight in Philadelphia. With a win, the Red would improve its chances to finish the season with a winning record.
“This is a very big game,” remarked head coach Terry Cullen. “Penn is an outstanding team. They lost to undefeated Navy, 10-6, on a long pass at the end of the game, and to a good Army team, 17-14, when they had a bad snap on a punt.”
The Red knows that it has to continue shutting down its opponents’ offensive attack by creating turnovers. The defensive unit played inspiring football this past week when it forced seven Princeton turnovers.
“Our defensive team as a whole had a great game,” Cullen said. “[We] blocked two punts, recovered three fumbles and had two interceptions. Best effort of the year.”
A similar defensive stand tonight, at Franklin Field, may be the key to the Red pulling out a road victory. Penn is ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Sprint Football League in total defense, allowing a stingy 171 yards of total offense per game. If the Red defense can create turnovers and give its offense a shorter field, the Red’s offense, second ranked in the league, is primed to score some points.
“The offense must continue to score points,” Cullen reiterated. “Penn is probably the strongest defensive team in the league.”
Three stars who continue to put up strong numbers have led the Red offensive attack this season. Sophomore quarterback Alec Macaulay has thrown for 520 yards, good for second in the league, behind Navy’s Chris Ashinhurst, as well as four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Macaulay’s success is a tribute to his powerful weapons, freshman tailback Michael Fullowan, and senior wide receiver Henry Kim. Fullowan has taken the league by storm in his rookie season. He leads the league in rushing with 360 yards on 63 attempts, good for 5.7 yards per carry, and seven touchdowns. Kim leads the league in two receiving categories with 19 receptions and 273 yards; he also has one touchdown.
The injury list for the Red in its fifth game of 2003 remains the same. The team will play without senior captain Dean Coccaro for the second consecutive week. He re-injured his right knee in practice last week and will miss his second game of the year.
“Several regulars remain on the injured list,” Cullen explained. “But they have been there for some time so basically no change. We should start the same team as last week.”
Cullen was clearly proud of the performance by his team last week, coming off of a defeat the prior week to Navy. He gave game balls to junior offensive guard Eion D’Anjou, who provided superior blocking on the line, senior defensive end Ryan Walker, who blocked a Tiger punt, and freshman punter Jason Zittel on special teams. The 47 points the Red scored in the contest were more than any of the team’s scoring outputs from 2002. Fullowan had three touchdowns in the contest, while fullback John Falzone added two. Kim received a 12-yard touchdown pass from Macaulay in third quarter to extend the Red’s margin, and put the rest of the game in cruise control.
Some stars on defense for the Red were senior Billy Mascaro, who had seven tackles and a fumble recovery, and freshman Eli Northup, who had an interception and a fumble recovery. Defensive backs Timothy La France and LaRue Robinson each had an interception.
Archived article by Josh Fox