New Hampshire Football Report

Defense carries Penn past FPU

RINDGE – Senior defensive end Ed Cai recorded eight total tackles and a team-high two sacks as the University of Pennsylvania sprint football team defeated Collegiate Sprint Football League opponent Franklin Pierce 33-12 during a Homecoming contest Saturday afternoon on Sodexo Field.

The loss dropped the Ravens to 1-2 overall, and 1-2 in the CSFL. Penn improved to 3-0 overall and 3-0 in the CSFL.

The Quaker defense recorded seven sacks, snagged five interceptions, forced three fumbles and held the Ravens to 0 for 6 on fourth down.

FPU did its part on the defensive side as the Ravens held Penn to 200 yards of total offense and 3 net yards rushing. Senior linebacker Josh Castro (Nashua) led the charge with nine total tackles and 1.5 sacks, and Jacques Elias (Amherst) added one sack. The Crimson and Grey’s defense harassed Quaker quarterbacks all day as they matched their counterparts with seven sacks.

Penn capitalized on the weather conditions,  scoring twice on defense thanks to two botched snaps. The first came with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter on an FPU punt as Tom Console jumped on the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown to help Penn take a 21-0 lead.

Their second defensive score came with 14 seconds left in the first quarter, when Raven starting quarterback Mike Mancini (Amherst) mishandled the snap, recovered the ball in the end zone and was signaled down for a safety to put the Quakers up 23-6 after one.

The Ravens got their first points of the contest with 2:42 left in the first quarter when sophomore running back Tyler Zech took a pitch from Mancini and rumbled left through a hole created by his lineman. Zech hit the hole hard and rumbled 44 yards for a score to cut the lead to 21-6 at the time.

The Mike McCurdy and Marcus Jones connection increased Penn’s lead to 33-6 as Jones hauled in a 26 yard pass in the right side of the end zone. The Quakers led 33-6 at the intermission.

At halftime, Franklin Pierce made a change at quarterback as Jose Melo took the reins and threw for 246 yards in the second half with his lone touchdown coming with 5:39 left in the game. Melo hit Alex Powell down the seam in stride for a 55 yard score.

Alex Powell led the FPU offense with a 7-113-1 reviving line. Teammate Alex Revere hauled in six passes for 108 yards.

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