October 12, 2006

Sprint Football Finds New Success

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In defeating Navy for the first time in 15 tries, the Red moved into sole possession of first place in the Collegiate Sprint Football League, and handed Navy only one of a handful of losses it has suffered in the past nine years. The defense, a staple for the Red success in 2006, was its usual dominant self, and the offensive unit, led by first year starting quarterback Zak Dentes, was effective, especially in the closing minutes of regulation.

“Our team showed a lot of character and a great ability to come back,” said Coach Cullen. “It’s big any time you beat Navy and our team showed an intensity and readiness to play that I was very proud of.”
The key play, which forced the game into overtime, came on a fourth down with 13 yards to go on the Navy 42-yard line. Dentes hooked up with fourth receiver Jason Remillard on a short pass, which was followed by a 33-yard run after the catch to set up a first and goal on the Navy 9-yard line.

“I knew we only had a certain amount of time to score,” said Remillard. “We had some great senior leadership on our team, and all they were talking about was beating Navy. I tried to do what I could and I’m glad I was able to come up with the big play. At the time, I probably wasn’t aware of how important it was, but it was quite an experience.”

[img_assist|nid=18877|title=Road grader|desc=Senior running back Michael Fullowan (23) drags tacklers in a game last season. Fullowan and the team are a perfect 3-0 after beating Navy this past weekend in overtime.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=71]

Remillard had a tremendous day for the Red, both offensively and defensively. The junior starts on defense as a strong safety, where he amassed 7.5 total tackles (4 for losses and a total of 18 yards lost), one sack for a loss of four yards and an important interception. As an inside receiver, Remillard caught 5 passes for a total of 153 yards, which led the team. Remillard’s play was significant after the strong Navy cornerbacks did a good job of shutting down one of the Red’s best options, receiver Sam Coe (3 catches, 13 yards).

“[Jason] Remillard is one of the first two way players in the last 30 years I’ve seen,” said Cullen. “He was a huge factor for us this past week, and stepped up big on both sides of the ball. We were able to exploit a Navy weakness with their safeties, allowing Remillard to come open as an inside receiver.”

On the season, Remillard leads the team in catches (six), total receiving yards (407 yards), touchdowns (two) and average yards per game (85). On the defensive side of the ball, Remillard has been an effective member of the secondary and an overall strong defensive unit.

“Our defense has been known for its dominance,” said Remillard. “It’s been really fun and quite a compliment to be able to play on both sides of the ball. Whatever I could do to help the team win is my goal, and I’m happy I’ve been able to do that.”

The overtime victory has put the Red in a terrific position to capture its first sole CSFL championship in a while. By beating Navy and Penn already, the Red have certainly gained confidence and displayed the composure necessary to win every week. Sitting with a 3-0 record, the remaining games for Cullen’s squad certainly seem like winnable games. Two home games, against Princeton and Penn, are followed by the final exhibition of 2006, a match-up with a feisty and experienced Army squad.

“Anytime you could beat a team like Navy, that certainly gives the team a huge lift,” said Cullen. “We have a really tough game with Penn in a couple weeks, and they look like one of the best Penn teams I’ve seen; we came back to beat them too. I am really proud of the progression of this team this year, and how it has happened at the perfect time.”