October 17, 2011

SPRINT FOOTBALL | Unable to Hold Early Lead, Red Falls To Army at Home

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Coming into Friday’s game at Schoellkopf Field, the Red knew that it would have to play a perfect game to beat last year’s CSFL co-champion Army. After jumping out to an early lead, 10-0, the outlook appeared promising. But Army (3-1, 3-0 CSFL) gained the momentum with three unanswered scores, cruising the rest of the way to a 41-16 victory over Cornell (2-2, 2-2).    Though the score may indicate otherwise, Friday night’s contest was actually close for most of the way. Up until the midpoint of the fourth quarter, the game was still very much up for grabs. Cornell came out of the gates strong, putting up the first two scores of the ball game. On the first drive of the game sophomore quarterback Brendan Miller led the offense deep into Army territory, setting up a 29-yard field goal by sophomore kicker John Rodriguez. Miller once again put up impressive numbers, throwing for 334 yards and two touchdowns. The quarterback entered the game with high expectations, according to co-head coach Bart Guccia, and did not disappoint the coaching staff with his performance.On the next drive Miller connected with junior Spencer Gruenenfelder for a 37-yard touchdown reception. This put the Red ahead, 10-0, with two minutes to play in the first quarter. Things could not have been any better for the Red, but all it took was a 65-yard return on the ensuing kick-off to erase a 10-point lead. Starting with the ball on the Cornell 13, the Army offense required only two plays to find the end zone. After recording its first score of the game, Army proceeded to dominate a contest that had previously been controlled by Cornell, and never looked back.“We never felt we were completely out of it,” Guccia said. “It was only 14-10 at halftime and most of the third quarter was a one-score game. What the game came down to was a microcosm of things, particularly Army’s outstanding performance on third downs.” Guccia continued, pointing out that “the score didn’t get out of hand until the fourth quarter,” when Army turned a 11-point lead into a four-score advantage.The Red is currently in the middle of the most difficult part of its schedule, as the team travels down to Philadelphia, Pa. on Friday night to take on Army’s co-champions from a season ago — the Penn Quakers (3-1, 3-1).“Penn’s going to be tough”, Guccia said. “We always knew that they had a great passing game, but last week their running game flourished as well. In order to beat them we’re going to have to make sure we put them in third and long situations and prevent the big play.”Last year the Red lost a heart breaker to Penn. Ahead deep into the fourth quarter, Cornell had the Quakers facing a third-and-15 in its own territory. Penn converted on the play to keep its drive alive, ultimately taking the lead and earning the victory. Cornell mounted one final stand, driving all the way down to the Penn five-yard line; however, the Quaker defense managed to preserve the lead. The Red will look to avenge this loss under the lights at Franklin Field on Friday at 7 p.m.

Original Author: Edward McNelis