Junior running back Mike Fullowan rushed for 232 yards on 20 carries as the Red sprint football squad was able to move the ball seemingly at will and posted its second win of the season Friday night against Princeton at Schoellkopf Field. The 31-13 victory upped the Red’s record to 2-3 and 1-1 in CSFL play, while the Tigers dropped to 0-4 and 0-2, respectively.
The Red was able to establish the running game on its first possession when Fullowan scampered for 44 yards to put the ball deep in Princeton territory. Though the drive ultimately stalled, junior Jason Zittel drilled a 33-yard field goal to put the Red on the board and claim a 3-0 lead. Three points became 10 early in the second quarter when the Red marched 87 yards in 11 plays to take a 10-0 lead. Fullowan capped the drive by rushing into the end zone untouched for his fifth touchdown of the season.
While the Red game plan going in was to pass the ball against what was perceived to be a weak Princeton secondary, early struggles forced head coach Terry Cullen to turn to his workhorse, Fullowan.
“Our passing attack was so horrendous, it just didn’t work,” Cullen said. “The weather was terrible so that didn’t help, but after a while we just decided we had to go with what was working.”
The score remained 10-0 going into halftime, but Princeton was not ready to roll over, and on its first play of the third quarter, cut the deficit in half. An 80-yard touchdown pass from Alex Kandabarow to Lon Johnson made the score 10-6, and the game’s momentum continued towards the Tigers on the Red’s next possession. Zittel, preparing to punt, allowed his knee to touch the ground as he caught the snap and was ruled down in his own backfield. The Tigers took over on the Red 14-yard line and appeared ready to strike. However, the Red defense stood strong, and the drive ended with a missed field-goal attempt.
Having gotten itself out of its toughest jam yet, the Red proceeded to put the game out of reach. Two consecutive Princeton drives ended with a blocked punt and an interception, respectively, and set up a pair of touchdowns from senior running back and Sun Sports Editor Chris Mascaro. Mascaro’s first scores of his career gave the Red a 24-6 cushion and signaled the beginning of the end for the Tigers.
The loss of Fullowan to injury early in the third quarter, as well as the ineffectiveness of the passing game, placed added pressure on different members of the Red squad to step up in key moments. Among those who stepped up, according to Cullen, were Mascaro, sophomore Glenn Palmer, and Ian Murray, who snagged an interception in the fourth quarter that lead to the Red’s final touchdown.
“We got big plays from those guys, and without them and other role players we could not have won this game,” Cullen said.
The fourth quarter saw each team add one touchdown to the scoreboard, with Palmer rushing for a 47-yard score for the Red, and Princeton answering with another Johnson touchdown to end the scoring, and the game, at 31-13.
The most successful part of the Red offense was the rushing attack, which churned up 336 yards on the ground. In addition to Fullowan’s 232, the Red got 61 yards from Palmer and 38 from Mascaro. The Red topped Princeton in total yardage 416-203, and the defense was able to hold the Tigers to four yards rushing, while sacking Kandabarow seven times.
Despite winning in convincing fashion, the Red did not come away from the game feeling as high as it did after the Navy game a week earlier, which it lost 7-0 to the two-time defending league champions.
“[The game] was sloppy. I was more satisfied with the play against Navy the week before,” Cullen said. “We played as well as we can play against Navy. Against Princeton we didn’t play particularly well. We were fortunate and we were able to just muscle them.”
Next weekend the Red will travel to Philadelphia for a rematch with Penn, which beat Cornell in the teams’ last meeting on Sept. 16 by a 13-6 margin.
Archived article by Jacob Lieberman
Sun Staff Writer