After its first offensive possession last Friday, the sprint football team looked like it was capable of pulling off a big upset. Cornell (0-1) opened its 2003 campaign by marching easily down the field against defending Collegiate Sprint Football League champion, Army, in taking a 7-0 lead. But then, the heavily-favored Black Knights (1-0) woke from their opening-game slumber in hammering the Red, 41-14.
“They’re a really good team, and we’re a really young team,” freshman quarterback Nick LiVigne said. “It’s hard to open the season against a team that has so much experience.”
Cornell struck first with freshman Michael Fullowan capping off an impressive 10-play, 74-yard season-opening drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. On the drive, sophomore quarterback Alec Macauley completed all six of his passes for 53 yards.
However, after opening its season brilliantly, Cornell stumbled, as Army tied the score less than six minutes later when Russell Burnett hauled in a 32-yard scoring strike from George Feagins.
Army would continue forcing the issue, as it scored 20 more points to take a commanding 27-7 halftime lead. Burnett put the Black Knights up 21-7 when he scored on a one-yard touchdown run. Kicker Kurt Cheeseman also chipped in with a pair of 27-yard field goals before the intermission.
The Black Knights extended its lead to 27 points early in the third quarter when Feagins fought his way through the Cornell defense on a five-yard scamper.
The Red managed to narrow the margin behind the play of LiVigne, however. LiVigne led the Red to its second score of the season, connecting with senior wide receiver Henry Kim for a 40-yard pass play before scoring on a two-yard run himself.
“I’m used to high school,” LiVigne said of his first collegiate action. “I felt rushed and it was a lot faster than I’m used to.”
Army closed out the game, however, with a late touchdown for the final 41-14 margin.
The Black Knights dominated on both the scoreboard and the stat-sheet. Army ran for 369 yards and had 482 yards of total offense compared to just 182 yards for the Red.
“On the first drive, we really mixed the pass the run. But as they caught on, they made us move to the passing game, which was the only thing really moving,” LiVigne said.
In particular, the Red had a hard time moving the ball on the ground, as it gained just 22 yards on 23 carries. Cornell, however, was missing its entire starting backfield, as senior fullback Dean Coccaro and sophomore tailback Chris Mascaro were both out due to ACL injuries.
“It’s tough to be without those key players,” LiVigne said. “It’s probably going to get easier. It’s good to start against a good team.”
Archived article by Alex Ip