Sept. 13, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Junior quarterback James Wartski threw for 293 yards while notching three touchdowns as the Army sprint football team defeated the University of Pennsylvania, 35-12, in the season opener for both teams on Friday evening at Shea Stadium. With the win, the Black Knights improve to 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the Collegiate Sprint Football League, while the Quakers open 0-1 and 0-1.
Wartski completed 16-of-24 passes for Army, while freshman running back Marqus Burrell ran for 74 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his college debut. Freshman receiver Lane Holmes led the Black Knights with 119 receiving yards while hauling in two touchdowns, and sophomore wide receiver Kevin O'Brienmade three grabs for 41 yards and reached the end zone once.
"It's always nice to get the first win of the season," said Army head coach Lt. Col. Mark West. "Defensively, we played the way I expected, they kept our offense in the game. The offense is young and I knew it would take a little while to get the jitters out, but once they did, we started rolling."
Senior Patrick Franco made a team-high 15 tackles for the Black Knights, while classmates Dylan Doty and Jake Stecklereach picked up a sack.
For Penn, junior quarterback Keith Braccia completed 16-of-28 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns, while classmate Mike Beamish caught a touchdown and finished with 52 receiving yards and 49 yards on the ground. Freshman Robert Diorio made 10 tackles and picked up a sack.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the Quakers picked up the contest's first touchdown, as Braccia and sophomore receiver Jack Epstein hooked up for a 66-yard score with 10:04 left in the second frame. Army blocked Penn's extra point attempt to keep the score at 6-0. The Black Knights responded by crossing the goal line 2:48 later, when Holmes caught a 25-yard pass from Wartski to make the score 7-6 after the extra point. O'Brien hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Wartski with 29 ticks remaining in the half to extend the hosts' advantage to 14-6.
Burrell's three-yard run for the score 3:15 into the second half gave the Black Knights a 21-6 lead before Beamish's 40-yard touchdown reception with 6:57 left in the third cut the Quaker deficit to nine. Penn was unsuccessful on its ensuing two-point conversion attempt. Burrell found the back of the end zone for the second time 4:13 later to extend the Black Knight lead to 28-12, and Holmes caught an 87-yard touchdown pass just 13 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Army returns to action on Friday, Sept. 20, when the Black Knights welcome Post to Shea Stadium for a 7 p.m. conference tilt.