October 16, 2007

Freshmen, Backups Lead Way

Print More

Before last Friday’s game against Princeton, the sprint football team knew that to win this game, it would have to lean heavily on its younger players to fill in for an ever-growing list of injured upperclassmen.
“We probably played more freshmen than we’ve ever played since I’ve been here,” said head coach Terry Cullen, who is entering his 43rd season as head coach.
Freshman Elliot Corey made his first start at quarterback and responded with three touchdown passes in the first half on the way to a 34-0 victory. He was eventually replaced by junior Brandon Stoller who threw one touchdown pass and ran for another.
The offensive success can be partially attributed to the play of the offensive line. The line allowed the Red (3-1, 1-1 CSFL) to accumulate 134 rushing yards — compared to Princeton’s 80 — including a few long gains. Stoller had a 46-yard run for a touchdown and sophomore D.J. Schiavetta and junior Matt Malleo had runs of 22 and 15 yards, respectively.
“It’s nice to know that we’ve got some younger guys that can step up and perform,” said sophomore offensive lineman Sam Lincoln. “It’s a big aspect for the next few years.”
“Injuries have played a major role this season,” said sophomore Chris Stanton. “I think it shows leadership that guys can step in and immediately have an impact.”
The defense, also compiled largely of young players, shut down a Princeton offense that scored 29 points in the first matchup between these two teams but was missing several key starters including its quarterback. Freshman defensive backRyan Saunders recorded three tackles for a loss, a sack and an interception. Cullen was particularly impressed by the effort of freshman Chris Lamont who notched three tackles.
Despite the victory, several players thought that the team did not play up to its potential, particularly in the first half.
“The score doesn’t look like we came out slow,” Lincoln said. “But we did during the first quarter.”
“They had a new offense so we were kind of playing by ear,” Stanton said. “We kind of stumbled through the first quarter a little bit but we were fine the rest of the game.”
Cullen attributed the Red’s slow start partially to it’s rough schedule.
“We played Navy on Sunday and didn’t get back until early Monday morning,” Cullen said. “It was a lousy week of practice, it really was. I’ve got a lot of appreciation for the pros. We were pretty lethargic in the first half.”
Despite its tepid start, the Red was happy to prevail in what Cullen and some players agreed was a “must-win game.”
“It was very important to get back on track,” Stanton said. “We have two very important games coming up with Penn and Army.”