It is a bit unsettling when a team’s offense gets as many first downs by penalties as from its own called plays. It is even more unsettling when the defense scores as many touchdowns as the offense. Such is the case for the Cornell sprint football team, which was downed by Navy 28-12.
While the defense played a solid game, the offense mustered 18 total yards. Quarterbacks Ryan Dwyer and tricaptain Andrew Goodman combined for 44 yards on 8–for–21 passing. For the second time in three games, the rushing game couldn’t find its footing, losing 26 yards on 29 carries.
The Red tried to establish a passing game early on as Dwyer threw on six of the first seven plays. He completed his first two passes to senior Bo Sangosanya, who muscled his way for 11 yards and a first down. Unfortunately, a sack and a bad snap over Dwyer’s head resulted in 30 lost yards, forcing the Red to punt.
On its second possession, Navy used its power running and a beautiful 23–yard floater to score its first touchdown.
“In terms of passing, this is the best team we’ve faced all year,” senior tri-captain Imad Baggar said. “[The defense] made a couple of mental mistakes, allowing their receivers to get to the outside and catch some deep balls. We didn’t force them to the inside, to get the safeties to help.”
After Cornell was forced to punt, Navy used another bomb, down the sidelines, for a 27–yard touchdown pass. The score now 14–0, the special teams unit decided to give the team a huge boost as Baggar took the ensuing kickoff 40 yards to the Navy 40–yard line.
With the crowd excited, and the team pumped, the offense took the field ready to rumble. On its first play of the drive, Dwyer dropped back to pass, looked deep, and tried to thread a pass between two defenders. Unfortunately, one of them turned around, intercepting the pass, and consequently, the momentum.
“It was a little bit frustrating to see the turnover,” Baggar said. “Especially after we had made a big play, and got good field position. It makes it tough on the defense when the other team only has to go 40 yards to score. If they have to go 80, 90 yards, we can usually force a turnover.”
It took Navy only three plays to score following the interception. A 41–yard pass and a pass interference call, led to an 11–yard touchdown run.
The end of the first half saw the game turn in favor of the Red as junior Angelo Palmeri stepped in front of another bomb down the sideline, and almost returned it back for a score, finally being pushed out at the 26–yard line.
In its second possession of the second half, Cornell ran one of its most impressive drives of its season thus far. The offense rode sophomore Trey Younger’s legs for a four-play first down. Then Dwyer nailed sophomore Charlie Tam over the shoulder, down the middle of the field, for a 22–yard gain.
On third and goal from the nine yardline, Dwyer pitched the ball to Goodman, who ran to the right sideline. Surrounded by Navy defenders, he suddenly pulled up and hit freshman tight end Michael Ormsby for a touchdown. It was Ormsby’s first collegiate touchdown.
“It felt pretty great,” Ormsby said. “Especially since the offense had been struggling, the touchdown kind of rejuvinated us.”
The team had only added the play the day before the game. A missed extra point left the score at 21–6.
Navy quickly answered, however, putting together a 11–play 62–yard drive that resulted in a 12–yard touchdown run.
The score now 28–6 midway through the fourth quarter, the defense suddenly came to life as senior linebacker Pat Arangio picked off a 20–yard pass and sprinted down the sideline to record the defense’s second score of the season.
A failed onside kick effectively ended the game.
Senior linebacker Jon Krautmann led the defense with 18 tackles. Perhaps the brightest spot of the day was freshman Henry Kim, who averaged an amazing 37 yards per punt including four 40+ yard beauties.
Cornell will next play at Army (3–0, 0–0 CSFL) this Friday.
Archived article by Sumeet Sarin