September 13, 2007

Special Teams Key For Red

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To score score points on offense, a team must get the ball close enough to it’s endzone to kick a field goal or score a touchdown. It therefore follows that getting good field position to start on offense and getting you ropponent poor field position on defense gives you a better chance for increasing your scoring margin. The Red’s special teams unit hopes to be the catalyst of the offense and defense, and perhaps even score some points on it’s own.
Leading the scoring threat for Cornell’s third unit is sophomore Bryan Walters. The talented underclassman was a sparkplug for the Red offense laast season, returning punts and kicks alike for big gains.
Kicker Peter Zell returns as the starter for a second consecutive season, backed up by senior Jay Harding, who specializes in “specialty” kicks.
“Peter Zell is a guy who has a lot of experience … and he’ll make the big kick for you,” said head coach Jim Knowles ’87. “Jay Harding is our specialty kicker — the ‘pooches’ and the on-side kicks.”
Zell led Cornell in all field-goal kicking statistics, drilling 9-of-14 kicks, icluding a 45-yard field goal. Zell was 8-for-9 from inside the 40-yard line, and was 22-for-22 on extra-point attempts.
Harding had four kick-offs last season.
Junior Nick Maxwell will start over senior Michael Bolling at punter. Maxwell had 44 punts and kicked an average of 37.2 yards per punt. He also had 11 kicks downed inside the 20-yard line,, the highest totals on the team.
Bolling had seven kicks last year, with a 38.4 yards per punt average.
“Both players have started before,” Knowles said. “To me, we have four returning starters [at kicker and punter] and I think we’ll be very solid.”