David Jones was the first to break out Cornell football’s “Turnover Time” chain in Saturday’s win over Sacred Heart, and he’s now the first from East Hill to earn Ivy League player of the week honors.
With two interceptions — one which was returned for a touchdown on the Red’s first defensive drive — the Defensive Player of the Week in the junior cornerback Jones anchored a Cornell defense that held undefeated Sacred Heart to 10 first-half points while the offense poured on 36 of its own in a 43-24 rout of the Pioneers.
On the first interception, Jones jumped his route as Sacred Heart quarterback Kevin Duke was being forced to roll out by the Cornell front seven. Jones returned the interception 48 yards for the first pick-six of his college career and the first for the program since 2011. Head coach David Archer ’05 called the sequence the spark for the win after the Red’s first offensive drive moments earlier stalled out for just a field goal.
— Cornell Daily Sun Sports (@DailySunSports) September 29, 2018
“I haven’t been in the end zone for a while,” Jones said with a smile after the game, adding that his last pick-six came his senior year in high school. “It felt good.”
On the second pick, as the Pioneers were looking for the end zone in the dying moments of the first half, Jones stuck with his man and muscled his way to the ball on the two yard line. It maintained the Cornell lead — one that was never in danger.
With the two picks, Jones has five interceptions in his last four games including last year’s three-interception season finale against Penn and ignited a Cornell defense that struggled to take the ball away this season until Saturday.
Jones also had a pair of solo tackles on the afternoon.
Jones also shined in his special teams role as punt returner. On the drive after the pick-six, Jones returned a Sacred Heart punt 46 yards to the Pioneer 23 to set up Cornell’s third score of the day.