September 17, 2010

Football Falls to Wagner in Season Opener

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The Cornell football team welcomed in the Kent Austin era in disappointing fashion on Saturday afternoon, falling to Wagner College, 41-7, in a lop-sided affair. Despite the disappointing result, Cornell showed some promising signs early on; three times driving into Wagner territory in the first quarter. In the end, though, it was turnovers and an explosive Wagner offense that dropped the Red to 0-1 on the season.

Wagner (1-1, 0-0) got on the scoreboard first, as sophomore quarterback Nick Doscher capped off a 58-yard drive with a one-yard rushing score midway through the first quarter. Doscher spent the rest of the afternoon hurting the Red through the air, connecting with junior Tyrone Collins on 41-yard and 11-yard touchdown strikes in the second quarter to put the Seahawks up, 20-0, at the half. Doscher accounted for over 300 yards of offense on the afternoon, gaining 227 yards and three scores through the air and 77 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Sophomore running back Torian Phillips added to the rushing attack, racking up 136 yards on 16 carries.

After a long quarterback battle in the off-season, junior Adam Currie got the starting nod for the Red on Saturday. Currie finished 3-7 for 20 yards and an interception through the air and ran the ball six times for 18 yards. The junior was replaced by freshman Jeff Matthews, his main challenger for the starting position throughout the preseason, in the second half. Matthews threw for 97 yards and an interception and ran for 10 yards on four carries.

The Red quarterbacks were pressured all game, as the Wagner defense recorded three sacks and two interceptions on the afternoon. One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown, giving the Seahawks its biggest lead of the game, 41-0, late in the third quarter. The Seahawks defense also forced three fumbles, one of which resulted in a take-away.

Cornell’s lone score came on a one-yard rushing touchdown by senior Marcus Hendren at the eight-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Hendren accumulated 34 yards on eight carries in the game. A majority of the Red’s rushing yards were gained by freshman Grant Gellatly, however. Gellatly carried the ball for 87 yards on seven attempts, highlighted by a 63-yard dash late in the fourth quarter.

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Original Author: Dan Froats