An unknown punter and backup kicker a few weeks ago, sophomore Nickolas Null was named Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week for the second straight week thanks to a last-minute boot to give Cornell football the upset win over Princeton.
Trailing 28-26 with under a minute remaining on national television, Null’s 43-yard game winning field goal gave Cornell one of the program’s biggest wins in recent history. It was the first game-winning field goal with less than a minute to go for the Red since 2012 when John Wells’ 23-yarder gave the Red the win over Princeton.
In addition to the winner, Null made two other field goals, sunk both PATs and sent all seven of his kickoffs for touchbacks. He also four times for an average of 37.5 yards and a long of 51.
Joining Null in the weekly award recognition is senior captain and safety Nick Gesualdi, whose key interception, which moved him into second place in school history, and six tackles powered the Red defense to allow just one second-half score to the potent Princeton offense and earned him Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Gesualdi was all over the field Saturday, playing a key role for the Cornell defense to overcome a 21-10 halftime deficit and hold Princeton quarterback Chad Kanoff and the Tigers’ high-powered offense scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Two other Cornellians were also named to the Ivy League’s weekly honor roll. Senior quarterback Jake Jatis was honored after totaling 92 total yards, including a rushing touchdown that put Cornell in striking distance and set the stage for the Null kick. Sophomore cornerback David Jones was also named to the honor roll after averaging 35.5 yards per kick return, including a long of 61 yards to open the second half. He also had six total tackles, one pass breakup and one pass defended in the win.
Sitting in a tie for first place in the Ivy League, the Red’s “Revenge Tour” continues next week when it travels to Hanover to take on Dartmouth.