October 16, 2008

Backups Shine in Sprint Football’s Win Over Tigers

Print More

With the senior quarterback and starting running back both on the bench with injuries, the sprint football team notched its first conference win on Friday with a dominating 40-14 victory over Princeton at Powers Field.
The theme of the night was the breakout performance of sophomore backup quarterback Elliot Corey, who started for senior captain Zak Dentes.
“At the beginning of [last] week, Zak texted me and let me know he wasn’t going to be starting,” said Corey.
Dentes and the Red coaching staff did not disclose before game time that the usual signal-caller’s nagging foot injury would keep him from, which might have thrown off the opposing defense.
Whether or not that was the case, the feeble Tiger defense had no answers for the young Red quarterback making his first start — Corey completed 5-of-13 passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns. He also led Cornell’s running game with 104 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
Later in the game, Corey was temporarily replaced by freshman quarterback Timothy Bruhn, who completed 3-of-9 passes for 32 yards and the first touchdown of his sprint career.
Said Corey, “the game plan really worked, we were running the shotgun spread option,” a formation that allows for the quarterback to run almost at will when he sees the opportunity.
“You’ve got to give credit to the offensive line though,” added Corey.[img_assist|nid=32700|title=Hot off the bench|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Senior running back Ryan Smith — another backup who started on Friday due to injuries and put up a strong performance — also had praise for the blockers.
“I was confident running, and the offensive line had a great game, and I just followed their lead,” said Smith. “You can’t have an offense without them, and it all just came together [on Friday].
In his first start, Smith racked up 49 yards rushing on eight carries. Joining him in the backfield was senior Frank Lalezarzadeh (34 yards on 10 carries) and freshman Doug Famularo (13 yards on four carries).
Although disappointed with even the single score surrendered to Princeton’s anemic offense, the defense played well overall.
“We took away the run, and we held them to short pass plays,” said sophomore linebacker Clay Hemminger, who had seven tackles, including two for a loss, and a sack.
“The secondary also really played well,” said Hemminger.
Leading that secondary was junior defensive back Nicholas Indovina, who recorded eight tackles, three for a loss, and two sacks.
Hemminger added that going forward, the Red defense “really needs to take away the big play, because that’s how we lost the game to Penn [on Sept. 19th].”
The Red was first to score when senior receiver Mike Brennan caught a 26-yard pass from Corey for a touchdown.
“Brennan told me he was going to beat his guy, and he did,” said Corey.
Corey also connected with junior Upal Sparker (17 yards) and Brennan for a second time (38 yards) to add to his 22- and 12-yard touchdown runs.
Bruhn’s score went to senior tight end Jack Rossman for 13 yards.
In total, it was an impressive performance for a Red offense that seems to have come a long way since the opening game against Penn when it scored just one field goal and managed only seven first downs. In comparison, Cornell moved the chains 17 times on Friday, racking up 341 total yards of offense.
With Corey’s impressive performance and on-field leadership, it seems as though a quarterback controversy could be brewing in the Red backfield. The players, however, unilaterally dispelled such rumors.
“It’s Zak’s team, it’s Zak’s senior year,” said Corey.
Dentes echoed the sentiment; “The time off has been good for [my foot]. I expect to be the starter this weekend.”
From the sidelines, Dentes saw an offense that was executing well behind the young quarterback. “The game looked pretty good from an offensive standpoint,” he said. “[For Corey,] with more experience will come more calm, but that will come with time. On any given day though, he can play that well.”
With a matchup against undefeated CSFL powerhouse Penn this Friday at Schoellkopf Field, the Red will look to its entire roster to step up and perform.
“It’s important to have good back-ups,” Smith said simply.
That might as well be the new team motto.