Sprint football (1-4) hosted Chestnut Hill (0-5) on Friday night for its final home game of the season. The game also served as Senior Night to honor the Red’s 22 seniors. In their final game played at Schoellkopf Field, the seniors enjoyed a victory powered by a stout defense and an offense that finally put together the sparks that had flashed throughout the season.
“We feel really good,” said quarterback Xavier Martinez. “Our team is definitely riding a nice high right now.”
Martinez scored four total touchdowns on the day as the offense complemented the defensive effort. The Red’s defense has been the strength of the team throughout the season and again stepped up during the contest, creating three turnovers and four sacks.
“On the offensive side of the ball, we knew that we owed it to the defense to put together longer drives to help them out and make their efforts worth it,” said running back Jacob Wynkoop.
The Red shutout Chestnut Hill in the first half while putting up seven points, but Cornell’s game exploded in the second half. The team scored 21 second-half points while holding its opponent to 14 to secure the victory, 28-14.
“We’ve known that we’re capable all year,” said linebacker Will Anderson. “It’s nice to see the scoreboard finally reflect that.”
With five games played and only one win, Cornell has had to make some adjustments to find its footing.
“We took a different approach coming into this game compared to previous weeks,” Martinez said. “We were always banged up and low in numbers, so we let our bodies recover.”
Going into this game, the Red held multiple practices wearing helmets only instead of full pads. As a result, about 51 players were dressed for the game and healthy to play. This method, in tandem with an energized offense, culminated in the Red’s first victory.
“We have two winnable contests coming up to finish the season,” Anderson said. “We’re looking to build on this week and keep the momentum going, to finish the season on a hot streak.”
Next up for the Red is a Saturday afternoon matchup at Caldwell University (4-1) on Oct. 29 followed by a Friday night finale at Saint Thomas Aquinas College (1-4) on Nov. 4.