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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mansfield Kicks Off 116th year of Football -- Hosts Cornell in First-Ever Sprint Football Game

History will be made this Saturday afternoon when Mansfield University host Cornell University in an intercollegiate football game. It marks the 116th year of football at Mansfield and its first as a member of the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL).

Admissions for the game is free as part of Mansfield’s Fabulous 1890s Weekend and Parents and Family Day. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.

The Mountaineers first fielded a football club in 1891. This season marks the rebirth of the football program after a one-year hiatus. Mansfield ended its NCAA Division II program after the conclusion of the 2006 season.

This also marks the anniversary of Mansfield hosting the world’s first night football game. On the evening of Sept. 28, 1892, Mansfield University, then known as Mansfield State Normal School, welcomed Wyoming Seminary for a football game at Smythe Park in downtown Mansfield.

The game was held in conjunction with the Great Mansfield Fair and featured an exhibition of the miraculous and new-fangled electric light provided thanks to a traveling dynamo by General Electric.

It would be another five years before the borough of Mansfield would have electricity and the game ended in a 0-0 tie after it was called a halftime because of poor lighting conditions.

Mansfield’s sprint football team had its first intercollegiate competition last week when the Mountaineers hosted Princeton University in a scrimmage. The Mountaineers put on a spirited performance before more than 1,000 curious fans and supporters.

The offense, led by quarterback Danny Moss, mounted a number of scoring drives. Moss connected with leading receivers Luke Bailey, Desmen Johnson, Kevin Valentine, Ryan Bernaiche, Matt Gant and Adam Breon.

Bailey and Johnson also had a strong afternoon running the ball, along with Mike Steele and Paul Frederick.

The offensive line of Jerred Keltz, Will Brown, Andrew Licwinko, Jake Burdick and Terrell Lehman performed well and are expected to improve as the season progresses.  

The defensive line has been a bright spot in the preseason. Defensive ends Cody Croasdale and Josh Depew, along with tackles Daniel Krause and noseguards Daniel Edmonson and Brian Caldwell, provided plenty of pressure against Princeton.

The linebacking corps of Jim Wronski, Williams, and Solomon Isom led the team in tackles, while he secondary of Colin Hammerstein, Brett Butler, Ray Shaffer and Cedric Ingram also played well.

Terry Cullen, now in his 44th season with the Cornell sprint football program, will share the head coaching responsibilities with Bart Guccia this season.

Cornell, which won the CSFL title in 2006, suffered a rare offensive setback in an opening-season 17-3 loss at the University of Pennsylvania Friday night.

The Big Red finished the 2007 campaign with a 4-2 overall record and 2-2 league mark.

They are led by quarterback Zak Dentes. Last season Dentes, despite missing a game with injury, led the CSFL in passing yards and earned his second consecutive CSFL First Team selection.

Senior Mike Brennan is also one of the all-time greats in Cornell sprint history and had a 39-yard catch last week at Penn.

Clay Hemminger, John Parke and Jeff Soffen led the Big Red defense.

Mansfield will host the University of Pennsylvania next Saturday for Homecoming starting at 1 p.m.


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