At the beginning of last season, the Cornell football team entrusted its offense to a quarterback who’d taken all of four snaps during his career.
Startlingly, the risk worked to near perfection, as then tenderfoot sophomore Ricky Rahne rewrote almost every Cornell passing record including completions (225), attempts (388), yards (2,762), touchdowns (25), yards in total offense (2,696) and games with 200 or more yards (9).
Now with a year of starts under his belt, All-Ivy honorable mention in his pocket and a team MVP award on his shelf, Rahne returns for his third season to recoup the Red’s chances at a conference title.
“I just want to go out there and execute the offense better than last year,” Rahne said.
With Rahne’s status as starting quarterback all but set in stone, his two backups, juniors Jay Posner and Andy Russell, are currently vying for the role of second-string.
According to Mangurian, Posner is currently the front-runner for the spot.
“I need to be more solid than Ricky in [the coaches’] minds,” Posner explained what would qualify him for the backup role. “When I come into the game, there needs to be no change at all. There should be no drop-off. I should know things just as well as Ricky, and execute as well as Ricky if not better.”
Posner recorded five completions for 59 yards last year, including a touchdown in the Fordham victory.
“The mindset of a backup quarterback is tough because you have to prepare every game as if you’re going to be playing,” Posner described. “Hopefully we’ll be in situations where the game will be in control and Ricky will have had a good game, and I’ll have an opportunity to go in.”
Russell transfered from Maine by way of North Carolina State, and sat out last year due to NCAA regulations.
“Andy is a guy that makes a lot of big plays in practice, and he’s really picked up [the offense] well,” Posner said.
“Both [of the backups] have a good sense of the offense,” head coach Pete Mangurian acclaimed, adding, “It’s nice to have three juniors playing because there’s a lot of experience between those guys.
“I think we’ve got three guys who can basically run the football team,” he continued.
Rahne chipped in his own two cents about the capabilities of the men waiting in his shadows.
“They’re both great quarterbacks,” he said. “Either of those guys can step in and play really well.”
Nonetheless, it’s Rahne’s show this season, and his duty to lead the Red to an Ivy League crown.
As he simply stated, “It’s the only goal I have.”
Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj